Canada accepted 235,808 people as new permanent residents in 2004 according to preliminary figures released on March 7 by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).
According to Canada's Immigration Minister Joe Volpe this is within the anticipated range of migrants for 2004 outlined to the Parliament in 2003. The official figures will be released in Spring 2005 but are expected to be very close to the preliminary data.
"Newcomers to Canada each year not only contribute to our cultural mosaic, but also help to make Canada more prosperous and internationally competitive," said Mr. Volpe. "It's therefore important to ensure that our immigration program continues to function in a balanced, predictable and well-managed way."
According to the data, in 2004 57 percent of admissions were in the economic classes, including applicants' family members. The other 43 percent of immigrants consisted of people coming under the compassionate and humanitarian immigration categories; including 33,000 refugees - 26 percent more than in 2003.