Canada’s Population

Date: Dec 21, 2019

Question- Answer

1. Influence of immigration on Canada’s population over the last two decades

The government of Canada evaluates the effect of immigration on the Canadian population on the basis of size, regional distribution, origin, and demographic traits. According to Statistics Canada (2011), the Census survey conducted in 2006 indicated that Canada had 6,186,950 immigrants. It was 19% of the country’s population that stood at 33 million people. The proportion of origin for immigrants was majorly contributed by Asia and the Middle East, Europe, America, and Africa respectively. The five nations with most immigrants were the UK, China, India, the Philippines, and Italy. Before 1991, the UK, Italy, and Germany had the highest number of immigrants. However, the biggest number of immigrants who moved to Canada from 1991 to 2006 originated from the Philippines, China, and India. Statistics show how many immigrants from the nations moved in that period. The countries with the least number of immigrants are Somalia, Ethiopia, and Tanzania whose citizens average 20,000 immigrants in Canada. The number of immigrants has almost doubled from 3,408,415 in 1991 to 6 million. According to Statistics Canada (2011), the immigrant population grew by 1,580,000 people between 1991 and 1996 and 1,410,000 people between 1996 and 2001. The deaths within these time periods were 1,024,000 and 1,089,000 while births 1,936,000 and 1,705,000 respectively.

Immigration affects Canada in various ways. It influences population, economy, social circles, and multi-cultural integration. According to Bone (2014), the population and economy of Canada are ever-increasing due to immigrants and increased demand for resources. As noted above, the population of immigrants has increased double fold in the last two decades. The rationale behind this is a decreasing population growth for Canadian citizens. It is unlike Asia where population growth is increasing.

Table 1: Growth of Immigrant Population by Place of Birth

between 1991 and 2006

Place of Birth Totals (2006) Before 1991 1991 to 1995 1996 to 2000 2001 to 2006
Totals 6,186,950 3,408,415 823,925 844,625 1,109,980
United Kingdom 579,620 515,135 20,630 18,200 25,655
China, People's Republic 466,940 133,910 69,635 108,285 155,105
India 443,690 156,830 67,825 89,890 129,140
Philippines 303,195 107,765 65,485 52,060 77,880
Italy 296,850 289,820 2,540 2,225 2,270

Immigrants have also built a strong economic relationship between Canada and their home countries. For instance, Asian countries are increasingly exploiting resources in western Canada for their industrialization plans. It increases capital gains for the country. Further, the immigrants are considered to be a skilled labor force in western Canada where industrialization is rapid. However, Canada is at risk of closure of its local industries since foreign goods, especially from China, are flooding their market thus limiting the market for home products. It is a real threat to the country’s local industries which face stiff competition. It has become the reason for Canadian companies to downsize or relocate, which in turn created unemployment. As a result, employment and industrialization are changing. Moreover, immigrants demand less pay, leading to the loss of jobs among native Canadians.

Socially, the aspects of language and religion are always conflicting for the first time immigrants. Canada’s official languages are English and French. The country promotes monogamy, and it is less religious and open to cultural changes. Over 80% of non-immigrants use the two languages. The religious shift is brought about by the increasing number of Canadians not professing to existing religions while the immigrants are coming from non-Christian countries. However, there are other subscriptions to Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, and Sikhism. Religious affiliation and cultural beliefs are closely tied and govern human relations. Canada promotes a strong multicultural society through the Ministry of State for Multiculturalism. The ministry promotes multiculturalism, respect and tolerance between minorities and majorities to prevent marginalization or ethnocentrism towards non-Canadians. The program began in 1971 and promoted citizenship for immigrants, integration of the views of immigrants without comprising those of locals. Economically, the Ministry helped establish a Canadian stock index that respects Islamic laws in terms of a loan, pig production, gambling, and banking. All these changes have been made to accommodate immigrants in the Canadians society (Bone, 2014)

2. Importance of the James Bay Project

The James Bay Project is a mega hydroelectric power project on the east coast of James Bay in Qu?bec. The project was pegged on two phases where eight hydroelectric generating units were built. The first saw diversion of waters from the rivers of Eastmain, Opinaca, and Caniapiscau into dam La Grande Riviera. The first phase was completed in 1984. The second phase began in 1989 and was based at the mouth of River La Grande Riviera. However, the second phase faced various challenges, such as limited market and environmental opposition, and thus was shelved.


The project introduced cheap electricity for the economy of Quebec. The electricity supported residential and commercial facilities. The power availability was a key parameter for industrialization in the area. Equally, the Qu?bec government was able to earn foreign income by exporting electricity to the United States. However, the project has brought various social and environmental effects. The project has led to the displacement of native Cree and Inuit inhabitants. Further, the project caused the contamination of fish, loss of wetlands, increased flooding as well as deforestation. In the 1970s, the James Bay Project was seen as a political tool. Bourassa, the head of the government was re-elected on the basis of this project (Scudder, 2012).

Canadian Heartland

The Canadian Heartland also uses cheap power since the project produces more than half of the electricity used in Canada. Further, an airline was founded on negotiations between negotiators of the project and local communities. Currently, the airline company, known as the Inuit Air company, has over 550 employees. Initially, only project members used the plane.


At the beginning, the Canadian government understood that the project was an opportunity to generate cheap power that would, in turn, support local industries and promote the creation of jobs. Moreover, the James Bay Project offered hope for the establishment of a nuclear plant due to the availability of rivers, alternative energy and the existing engineering pool of power scientists. The project was considered to be the strategy of the century and promised an economic turnaround for Canada. In the end, the economic benefits were realized with greater social and environmental costs. Most of the litigation costs ended in 2002 on compensation while environmental costs are felt to date (Desbiens, 2013; Bone, 2014).

3. Importance of Ontario

Ontario is the second-largest province in Canada. It is an economic hub for the country in terms of automobile manufacturing and forestry production. The city also preserves English characteristics for Canada. The province is found in the Northern America Free Trade Area; hence, it has easy access to a market of over 450 million people. It borders major water bodies in North America, other provinces of Canada and four states of the USA. The states include New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Michigan.

It provides well-developed transport systems through air, water, rail, and roadways. Ontario hosts the third vehicle industry in Northern America. It is located in the core of the Free Trade Area of this region. The ready market provides goods for a population of over 460 million. Trans-border roads and railways include Detroit Tunnel and Canadian transit respectively while the major seaway is the Saint Lawrence Seaway. It also hosts the Toronto International Airport that is the busiest in Canada. The province is also a leading producer of fruits, vegetables, cash crops, and animal products in the country. Other industries include the service sector that supports the manufacturing industry. The locality of Ontario enables easy access to markets locally and those located in the United States.


Ontario makes an outstanding contribution to the economy of Canada. The province produces goods for both local and international consumption. The province contributes about 39.6% of the GDP of Canada out of ten provinces. It hosts 50% of skilled employees. The province manages trade averaging 1.4 billion Canadian dollars daily. Manufacturing alone roped $258 billion. The forestry industry provides more than 200,000 direct and indirect work opportunities. The service industry offers up to 5 million work opportunities. Thus, the location of Ontario in the Northern America Free Trade Area provides massive economic and social opportunities for Canadians. The province is a preserve of the Art Gallery of Ontario, Metis and Inuit native people and Algonquin Provincial Park.

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