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Andrew Duffy, Ottawa Citizen, Ottawa Citizen 03.17.2015 Ottawa’s share of new immigrants continues to decline as newcomers increasingly opt for the economic opportunities of Western Canada or the cultural diversity of Montreal. A Statistics Canada study released Wednesday reveals that the percentage of immigrants who cited Ottawa as their intended destination has dropped to 2.4 per cent in 2012 from 3.4 per cent in 2000. It means that the actual number of immigrants settling in Ottawa has gone down even as Canada welcomed more newcomers. Annual immigration to Canada rose to 280,700 in 2012 from 227,500 in 2000. “The recession hit Ontario pretty hard and it’s normal that immigrants don’t want to go to someplace where economic conditions are not as good,” said Gilles Grenier, a University of Ottawa economics professor who specializes in labour market and immigration issues. The Statistics Canada research paper, Changes in the Regional Distribution of New Immigrants to Canada, examines the country’s evolving settlement pattern. It shows that new immigrants have started to look beyond Toronto and Vancouver to destinations such as Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Saskatchewan, where — at least until the recent crash in oil prices — economies have been booming. Montreal, already a major destination, has also seen its share of newcomers increase substantially to 18.1 per cent in 2012. Meanwhile, Toronto, which attracted almost half (48.4 per cent) of all new immigrants in 2000, saw its share of newcomers fall to 30 per cent in 2012. Still, that city remains the country’s biggest magnet for immigrants. StatsCan analysts suggested that the new settlement pattern reflects changes in regional economic activity and employment. “In short, labour market conditions were better in Western Canada than they were in the rest of the country,” the report concluded. That more newcomers were settling outside of Toronto and Vancouver was also a reflection of Canada’s revised immigration system. Provincial nominee programs (PNPs) allow provinces to select and nominate immigrants to meet their own economic goals and growth targets. “Over the 2000s, the PNPs considerably increased the number of immigrants going to destinations that previously received few immigrants,” the study found. The percentage of immigrants arriving in Canada as provincial nominees increased to 13 per cent in 2010 from one per cent in 2000. The program has been particularly successful at attracting immigrants to Manitoba, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. StatsCan analysts said the distribution of newcomers within Canada has also been affected by shifts in the country’s immigration sources. In the late 1990s, most of Canada’s immigrants came from China and India, and they tended to settle in Toronto and Vancouver. By 2010, however, the Philippines was the biggest source of Canadian immigrants, and they have settled in cities across the country, the report said. Montreal’s growth as a destination city was driven by increased immigration from Africa, South America, Central America and the Caribbean. Gilles Grenier said the study shows that Canada’s immigration system is maturing. “It’s a good thing that immigrants disperse in Canada,” he said. “Because Ontario, for many years, was the main destination for immigrants in Canada, especially Toronto, where almost half the population is foreign-born.” The recent drop in oil prices, however, could cause immigration patterns to shift again, Grenier warned, as immigrants chase new job opportunities. BY THE NUMBERS 48.4: Percentage of new immigrants who wanted to settle in Toronto in 2000 30: Percentage of new immigrants who wanted to settle in Toronto in 2012 5.5: Average unemployment rate in Toronto in 2000 9.2: Average unemployment rate in Toronto in 2010 21.3: Percentage of Canadian immigrants that came from China in 2000 12.8: Percentage of Canadian immigrants that came from China in 2010 14: Percentage of Canadian immigrants that arrived from the Philippines in 2010 Source: http://www.montrealgazette.com/News/ottawa/Ottawa+share+immigrants+decline+newcomers+look+Montreal/10902540/story.html
New statistics from Citizenship and Immigration Canada suggests that mid-sized cities are beginning to attract an increasing number of immigrants due in large part to shifting economic and employment prospects. Government initiatives such as the provincial nominee program that allows provinces to select immigrants to fill specific labour needs; and the development of tools that help smaller centres draw and retain immigrants are some of the reasons attributed to his recent shift. In addition, a booming economy in Western Canada has lead to a surge of newcomers migrating to more rural areas thanks to the provincial nominee and family nominee programs enacted by the Government. The figures show the number of immigrants taking up residence in Toronto dropped to 87,136 last year from 99,293 a year earlier, a decline of roughly 12 per cent, while the number coming to Vancouver slipped to 32,920 from 36,273, a drop of just over nine per cent. Montreal was up slightly to 38,710 from 38,391. Meanwhile, Charlottetown was up 73 per cent to 801, Moncton 31 per cent to 343, Saskatoon 40 per cent to 1,618, Winnipeg 10 per cent to 8,472 and Red Deer 93 per cent to 567. It was a mixed picture in British Columbia's smaller centres, with gains in Kelowna, Chilliwack, Nanaimo and Victoria and declines in Kamloops, Abbotsford and Prince George. Despite these facts the preferred destination for the vast majority of immigrants are the larger cities, with 67 per cent of newcomers calling them home. The main reason for this is that larger cities tend to offer an established community of family and friends and a greater number of economic opportunities -- either low-skilled jobs that require few language skills or businesses that cater to particular ethnic groups. Interestingly, studies have shown that immigrants who settle in larger cities experience labour market advantages over those who settle in smaller cities and they can earn substantially more. Nevertheless, immigrants have begun to appreciate the advantages of living in a smaller city, away from the congestion, pollution, noise and stress of the big city. Many newcomers enjoy the smaller cities precisely because they are so different from the chaos, traffic and pollution of large cities. If you are interested in Visas to Canada, contact Migration Expert for information and advice on which visa is best suited to you. You can also try our visa eligibility assessment to see if you are eligible to apply for a visa to Canada. http://www.migrationexpert.com/Canada/visa/canadian_immigration_news/2008/Aug/0/538/Immigrants_Flocking_to_Canada's_Smaller_Cities_Where_Job_Growth_is_Strongest