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Record numbers of immigrants to Canada in 2008

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On 20 February 2009 Citizenship and Immigration Canada announced a record number of permanent and temporary residents in 2008.

"While other countries are talking about taking fewer immigrants, today, I am pleased to announce that in 2008, we increased the number of new permanent residents to Canada," said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney.

2008 Canadian immigration Statistics are as follows:

  • 247,202 permanent residents; 70,000 more than in 1998. The Canadian Government had a target of 240,000 to 265,000 new permanent residents for the year.
  • 193,061 temporary foreign workers.
  • 79,459 foreign students

Total permanent and temporary residents for the year: 519,722

The increase in temporary foreign workers is due to an increase in demand from employers to fill vacancies in the Canadian Labour market.

"Our government will not follow the advice of those who believe that Canada should take steps to reduce immigration levels. In fact, we are maintaining our planned immigration levels for 2009," said Minister Kenney. "As minister responsible for multiculturalism, I am particularly concerned by short-sighted, divisive rhetoric that pits immigrants against Canadians in our economy."