The latest statistics show that more and more immigrants are choosing to settle in the Western Prairie provinces rather than in Ontario.
According to data obtained through the National Household Survey, which has just replaced the old mandatory long-form census, there has been a sharp decline in immigration to Ontario since 2006, while more newcomers are heading to Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.
Alberta had the highest jump in proportion of immigrants, with 12.4 percent of new arrivals choosing that province in 2011 compared to 9.3 percent in 2006. Manitoba welcomed 5 percent of newcomers in 2011 while Saskatchewan was the destination of choice for 2.3 percent.
Immigrant advocates are concerned that the change in numbers could induce a shift in funding for resettlement programs. Despite the drop in newcomers arriving each year, Ontario still is home to a vast majority of immigrants. With a foreign-born population of 46 percent, Toronto will soon be made up by a majority of immigrants.
Furthermore, those new arrivals that choose to settle out West are often arriving through the skilled worker and entrepreneur streams, while most sponsored relatives and refugees are still heading to Ontario.
“If Ontario gets more refugees and refugees require more intensive settlement assistance than some other classes of immigrants, then you need a more nuanced formula,” said University of Toronto Law professor Audrey Macklin.
Overall immigration to Ontario is down from 52 percent of newcomers in 2006 to 43 percent in 2011.
Source: Vancouver Province