Canada has received its biggest influx of immigrants since the first world war, new statistics show.
In the latest from Statistics Canada, over 320,000 immigrants came to Canada in 2018, the highest number since 1913.
Immigration was the primary driver of Canada’s population growth, in 2018 Canada added nearly 530,000 people — the highest since 1990 and the fastest rate in the G7 countries.
These numbers do not include illegal border crossers, who have arrived in droves over the past couple years — overwhelming the emergency shelters in multiple cities.
Immigrants in 2018 represented 80% of all the population growth in Canada.
A slowing natural population growth, births minus deaths, and higher immigrants quotas instituted by the Trudeau government have resulted in nearly all population growth in Canada by immigrants.
The natural growth hit a low in 2018, at just above 100,000, the lowest level since the 1940s.
The Trudeau government has pushed for increased numbers of immigrants, pushing yearly levels up to 350,000 by 2021, hinting that they may eventually push the number up to 450,000.
Around the same time, immigration minister Ahmed Hussen announced a government-sponsored campaign to fight “anti-immigrant rhetoric” and communicate the benefits of immigration.
If the government counts illegal border crossers, however, the government may reach their immigration goal much sooner than 2021, particularly as spring makes travel easier.
Nearly 20,000 illegal border crosser walked into Canada in 2018, with numbers expected to be higher in 2019.