Immigration lawyers are seeing a considerable increase in the number of newcomers to Canada, as immigration to major cities has been a strong factor in the considerable growth of various population areas.
Over 2013 and 2014, over two thirds of Canada’s census metropolitan area (CMA) population growth – 71%, to be exact – was caused by immigration to major Canadian cities. While Canada’s growth as a whole was measured at 1.1% for the time period in question, the growth rate of the nation’s CMAs was 1.4%, a considerable difference when counting in percentages of millions. As such, citizenship lawyers and immigration lawyers have their work cut out for them.
Canada’s two largest CMAs, Toronto and Montreal, both reached new landmarks in 2014: Toronto’s population reached 6,055,700, and Montreal’s grew to 4,027,100. While these overall numbers are impressive, the growth rates were actually rather average for the country.
The areas that have actually seen the largest growth, according to Statistics Canada, have been in the Prairie Provinces, say citizenship lawyers. Leading the nation with a population growth rate of 3.6%, Calgary, Alberta saw the most growth in 2013-2014. Following Calgary was Edmonton, Alberta at 3.3%, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan at 3.2%, and Regina, Saskatchewan at 2.8%.
Unsurprising to local immigration lawyers, these four cities have also been the top four in terms of economic growth in 2014. This time, Edmonton was in the lead: 2014 saw an economic growth of 4.9%, and projections indicated a potential 29,000 jobs created in that year. Saskatoon, Calgary, and Regina followed in that order, and all four cities saw low unemployment rates compared to the national average. The promise of a strong economy lends itself to more opportunities for employment and the possibility of supporting a family, a major deciding factor for immigrants to new countries when selecting what city to settle down in, according to citizenship lawyers. In many cases, new Canadians have come from areas where jobs are scarce and financial security is extremely difficult to obtain, and even more so to hold onto.
With immigration and population growth in general so tightly connected to economic growth, it is no wonder that the prairies are seeing more immigration these days than the central and eastern provinces. However, with improved economic stability forecasted for Ottawa-Gatineau, Toronto, Hamilton, and Montreal for 2015, immigration lawyers believe that these cities will remain strong attractions to new immigrants and will see increased migration in years to come.