Asians make up the biggest share of new immigrants to Canada, according to a recent data released by Statistics Canada.
As newcomers have become the primary driver of the nation’s economic engine and population growth, Canada aims to immigrate more than 430,000 permanent residents this year, which is an increase of about 7.4% from its record-setting 401,000 new residents last year.
According to the census, Asians make up the largest share of new immigrants by 62%, with India, the Philippines and China being the top three countries of origin for recent immigrants. Newcomers have accounted for four-fifths of Canada’s labor market growth from 2016 to 2021, according to Statistics Canada.
John Paul Catungal, an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice, noted that the data reveals a shift away from immigration patterns before the 1970s.
“This is, part and parcel, of that upward trend towards kind of the Asianization of immigration to the Canadian context,” Catungal told CityNews.
“There was a concerted effort to keep Canada white, and that encouraged immigration from a European context,” he added. “With the shift away from that, the introduction of the points-based merit system, the criterion of whiteness came to be downplayed a little more in terms of the demographics of immigration.”
One major factor for Asian migration to Canada is the creation of specific pathways to immigration, according to Catungal. The country holds a liberal approach to immigration and is committed to uplifting multiculturalism.
“Migrant worker programs like the Live-in Caregiver Program and temporary migrant work in agriculture or the service sector or that have encouraged particularly labor migrants from countries like the Philippines,” Catungal told CityNews.
“This is a self-image of Canada that it needs to sustain,” he added. “Canada benefits in a second way: immigrants fill sectors of the economy that would otherwise go unfulfilled.”
Statistics Canada projects that immigrants could represent between 29-34% of the nation’s population by 2041.
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