More Canadian Immigrants Choose to Settle in Saskatchewan

Filed under: Headlines,Immigration News |

According to the latest numbers from Statistics Canada, Saskatchewan – the booming Prairie province – has become a magnet for migrants in 2011 because of its reputation for seeking newcomers and plenty of work.

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The Statistics Canada’s report, which was released on Tuesday, shows that Saskatchewan and Alberta lead the country for population growth in 2011. While Ontario, traditionally the country’s strongest draw for newcomers, recorded its smallest net international immigration for this quarter since 1998. The number of overseas migrants coming to Saskatchewan over the third quarter of 2011 was the highest it has been for any quarter since 1971. The city now has 234,000 people with immigrants mostly from the Philippines, Ukraine, China, India and England.

Canada’s western provinces have been growing economically and, as a result, are luring Canadian job seekers from eastern provinces like Toronto.

The population shift also reflects a change in the way Canada seeks immigrants to fill its labor shortages. The skilled worker points system is no longer the Government’s primary emphasis, instead there is an increasing use of provincial nominee programs that allow provinces to hand-pick the immigrants their economies need most.

“Settlement patterns in contemporary Canada are changing. Western Canada is increasingly vibrant economically and Saskatchewan, we think, is helping to drive that kind of shift,” Immigration Minister Rob Norris said. “It’s allowing us to fuel our economic growth… We’re seeing community renewal under way and we’re also seeing economic benefits.”

Canadian immigrants not only contribute to economics, they also change the flavour of the Prairies. Thirty per cent of Saskatchewan’s immigrants are settling in hundreds of small communities, Mr. Norris says. That mirrors migration trends in the American Plains states, where last year’s census showed fading towns rejuvenated by an injection of Hispanic migrants.

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