Immigration in Canada surges ahead, boosting housing demand

The preliminary data shows 280,636 permanent residents were admitted last year, well beyond the government’s planned range of 240,000 to 265,000. It’s also 60,000 people above the average annual intake of permanent residents admitted in the 1990s.

The increase is due to faster processing by the government, cutting away at what it said was a backlog of applicants

“While other Western countries cut back on immigration during the recession, our government kept legal immigration levels high,” said Minister of Citizenship Jack Kenney. “Canada’s post-recession economy demands a high level of economic immigration to keep our economy strong.”

Immigration has also kept many real estate markets strong by fuelling strong demand for housing, especially in the western provinces lately.

But other provinces have not benefited from the influx of people. Newfoundland and Labrador lost 830 people to inter-provincial migration in the third quarter of 2010, with just 78 international immigrants coming into the province’s population.

The report by Citizenship and Immigration Canada also showed strong growth in temporary residents, including 182,322 temporary foreign workers and 96,147 foreign students. The 2010 foreign student figure was 41% higher than the 2005 level.

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