Canada is celebrating its 153rd anniversary today on a holiday called “Canada Day”. Throughout Canada’s history, immigrants have joined the founding Indigenous peoples of the country to help build a great country.
To celebrate “Canada Day”, we have compiled 10 interesting facts about the Canada Immigration:
- The Constitution Act, 1867 defines immigration as an area of shared responsibility between the federal government of Canada and the provinces and territories. This is due to the fact that Canada’s home provinces had experience recruiting immigrants from Europe before 1867, and immigration was considered vital to the economic development and security of the provinces when it was founded.
- July 1 commemorates the union of Canada’s three original provinces: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the province of Canada, which is now Ontario and Quebec, into one nation in 1867. Today, Canada has ten provinces and three territories. Canada Day marks almost exactly the middle of the year. July 1 is the 182nd day and there are 183 days left in the year.
- In 1967, Canada became the first country in the world to introduce a point system for economic class immigrants. Canada has introduced the point system to help it objectively assess applicants for immigration based on human capital characteristics such as age, education, language skills, occupation, and work experience. This model has since been adopted by other countries such as Australia and New Zealand. Canada continues to use this model; for example, Express Entry uses the Comprehensive ranking system (CRS) to rate and classify applicants for immigration.
- Quebec became the first province in Canada to launch a dedicated immigration department in 1968. At the time, Quebec recognized the importance of welcoming more immigrants to maintain its Francophone character and its political influence in Canada. Thirty years later, Manitoba became the first province to sign an agreement with the federal government in 1998. Today, 12 of 13 provinces and territories in Canada operate their own immigrant selection program to help grow their economy. Collectively, Canada offers over 80 immigration programs for skilled workers.
- The flag of Canada became the official flag of the country on February 15, 1965. The flag on the Peace Tower of Parliament in the national capital, Ottawa, is changed daily and given free to citizens. However, the government’s website has a warning: there is a waiting period of over 100 years!
- Canada has 38 million people. Almost 22% of the Canadian population were immigrants in the last census, in 2016. Each year, Canada receives immigrants from about 200 different countries.
- Canada has more than 500 organizations serving immigrants across the country. The goal of these organizations is to provide free support to help immigrants integrate into the Canadian economy and society. These organizations offer English and French courses, job training, mentoring, and many other forms of assistance. You can find organizations near you by visiting the IRCC website.
- Canadian citizens had no legal status before the coming into force of the Canadian Citizenship Act on January 1, 1947. Before that date, anyone born or naturalized in Canada was a British subject. Among its characteristics, the Act defined who was a Canadian citizen and how Canadian citizenship could be obtained or lost. Today, most immigrants become citizens. In fact, more than 85% of immigrants obtain Canadian citizenship, which is one of the highest rates in the world.
- Since 1867, Canada has welcomed more than 19.5 million immigrants. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Canada remains committed to high levels of immigration. Before the pandemic began, Canada planned to welcome more than one million new immigrants over the next three years.
- Canada has an immigration museum. The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 is located in Halifax, Nova Scotia. This site was chosen because Pier 21 welcomed almost a million new immigrants to Canada between 1928 and 1971.
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