Large numbers of immigrants are pushing Alberta and Saskatchewan to the top of the country in terms of growth, according to the latest data.
A new report from Statistics Canada shows that the two prairie provinces are attracting more newcomers than other traditional “hot spot” destinations for immigrants such as Ontario. In fact, Alberta has actually been attracting not only new immigrants, but also large numbers of former Ontarians and is leading the country in interprovincial immigration.
Meanwhile, in the third quarter of 2011, Saskatchewan saw its highest immigration numbers since 1971.
“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,” said the province’s Immigration Minister Rob Norris. “It’s allowing us to fuel our economic growth. … We’re seeing community renewal under way and we’re also seeing economic benefits.”
Experts say that the shift in settlement patterns is reflective of the changing immigration policies implemented by the government, which has seen less emphasis being placed on traditional “skills” such as those in medical professions, toward more trade workers whose employers nominate them through provincial programs.
The changes have also caused the federal government to redistribute settlement funding away from Ontario toward the Western provinces.
Source: Globe and Mail