Let's review the latest statistics.
The results of the last census showed that Canada's population has increased by 1.6 million or roughly 5.4% in five years. Canada placed first amongst the G-8 countries, followed by the US at 5.0%, Italy at 3.1%, France at 3.1%, UK at 1.9%, Japan at 0.4% and Germany at 0%.
Of the population increase in Canada, two thirds was due to international immigration (1.2 million) and the other third was the natural increase of births exceeding deaths (400,000). However, given the low fertility rate of 1.5 children per woman, statistics reveal that by the year 2030, the growth in Canadian population will occur only through immigration. Canada has the highest intake rate of immigrants in the world at 7700 immigrants for every million Canadians and that rate is three times higher than the United States. Toronto is designated as the world's most demographically diverse city reflecting proportionately the world's population with over 45% of its residents foreign born. Canada's Parliament has the highest proportion of foreign-born legislators in the world.
In addition to these facts, the latest employment statistics predict Canada's net labour force growth will be filled by foreign workers. The present intake of foreign workers is about 100,000 per year with the number increasing at a gradual rate given the increased utilization of the Provincial Nominee programs across Canada.
Canada's unique position as being one of the most accepting immigrant countries in the world has been the result of several factors including the universal immigration policy that began in the late 1960s in the Trudeau years. The "point system" emphasized education and skilled work experience without designating a foreign quota system. These changes were rapidly followed by the implementation of the Canadian Multiculturalism Act that recognized and promoted the cultural and racial diversity of Canadian society.
As well, Canadians themselves have lived with the cultural French/English duality ever since Confederation and have had to adjust politically, philosophically and socially to the rigors of such dual compatibility, while simultaneously accepting the long-standing traditions of our First Nations.
As business owners, as employers, as professionals and those serving the public, we are all adjusting our perspectives and thoughts, our planning and strategy when it comes to recruiting employees, providing multilingual services, taking advantage of the growing international networks brought by new Canadians and seeking unique and varied ways of marketing to an ever-changing consumer population.
Given the statistical data revealing Canada as a popular country for immigration and given Canadians' own propensity for acceptance, Canada is rapidly becoming a model of how united nations can, in fact, coexist. Noted Canadian political scientist Wil Kymlicka summed it up well: "Canadians are distinctive in the way they have incorporated Canada's policy of accommodating diversity to their sense of national identity.
by David Aujla