Canada is a nation of immigrants, the benefits are a two-way street


The results of Canada’s 2011 National Household Survey, which replaced the long-form census in 2010, are out and guess what? Canada is a nation of immigrants; something  folks have been saying for decades. But now it’s more so than ever. StatsCan reports that Canada is home to 6.8 million foreign-born residents which accounts for 20.6 per cent of the population, up from 19.8 per cent in 2006.

They gain a stable environment in which to live (relatively speaking), and we enjoy a multitude of new accents, foods, ideas and religions, all of which add to the fabric that is Canada.

I found it interesting that Montreal’s population is not diversifying as quickly as Vancouver and Toronto,  but then I noticed that the statement refers to “… the suburbs that surround the three largest cities”. While the make-up of Montreal’s suburbs is certainly changing, the city still has a vibrant inner-city community that boasts a wide range of cultural backgrounds. Montreal has always boasted a residential friendly downtown core including students and families living cheek-by-jowl with businesses and office towers, even before the condo explosion.

In all, Canada is becoming a more diverse population, something that is especially true of the suburbs that surround the three largest cities – Toronto, Vancouver and, to a lesser extent, Montreal. – Globe & Mail

In fact the city was so concerned about the rapid increase in the number of school-age children that it became necessary to limit the number of kids to 30 per block. To that end the signs pictured below were installed last winter on many crowded streets.

CrossingLimit

What’s that? This is a school crossing sign you say. Sorry, I guess I misunderstood the intention of these signs!

The bottom line is that Canada is growing, not just in raw numbers, but culturally – if we encourage this growth. It’s great to have all these people arriving and applying for and receiving citizenship (and paying taxes) from various places around the world. They gain a stable environment in which to live (relatively speaking), and we enjoy a multitude of new accents, foods, ideas and religions, all of which add to the fabric that is Canada.  The benefits of immigration can, and should, be a two-way street – I hope I get that street sign right!

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