Canada’s population grew by over 1 million last year as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s left-wing administration, with the administration arguing it is using mass immigration to plug gaps in the country’s labor market.
According to figures published by Statistics Canada on Wednesday, the country’s population was estimated at 39,566,248 as of Jan. 1, 2023, with record growth of 1,050,110 net new arrivals last year.
It is the first time in the country’s history its population has risen by over 1 million in a single year, and the growth rate of 2.7 percent is the highest since 1957 during the post-war baby boom and the movement of refugees following the 1956 Hungarian Revolution.
Canada now has the fastest-growing population in the developed world, topping the charts of OECD members, with its growth rate only exceeded by a number of African nations.
The main reason behind the surge is the policy of mass immigration advocated by the Canadian government, with international migration accounting for 95.9 percent of all recorded growth.
The government argues that immigrants have been allowed to head to Canada to ease so-called labor shortages, with the country experiencing a high number of vacancies amid historic low levels of unemployment. Critics of this stance argue that many of the new arrivals lower wages for existing workers, create social tensions due to demographic replacement concerns, and in the case of high-skilled immigrants, Canada is actively taking the best and brightest away from developing countries suffering from a brain drain.
Canada accepted 437,000 immigrants last year, while a total of 607,782 non-permanent residents were also welcomed to Canada with all provinces and territories recording a year-over-year net increase in the number non-permanent residents. Work and study permits, in addition to the number of asylum applications, shot up across the country.
The last quarter of 2022 saw the largest growth rate of any point in Canadian history at 0.7 percent, with the country’s population increasing by 273,893 people.
The figures far exceed the half a million annual immigration target Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged to reach by 2025.
If Canada maintained last year’s 2.7 percent growth rate, its population would double in the next 26 years.
The rapid population growth is also squeezing Canadians on the housing market. According to Housing Crisis Canada, “housing costs have skyrocketed in Canada – disproportionately affecting the youngest and poorest Canadians who are already economically vulnerable.” Concerns have also been raised over whether Canada will even have enough houses to meet Trudeau’s plan to bring an unprecedented number of immigrants into the country. Just last month, Bloomberg reported that the number of immigrants arriving in the country is actually being undercounted, and the housing system is buckling under the pressure.