Canada’s Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney announced on Sunday that in 2010 Canada received the highest numbers of documented immigrants in more than 50 years. According preliminary data, 280,636 individuals took up permanent residency last year. This represents 60,000 people or about 6 percent more than the figure anticipated at the outset of 2010.
During Sunday’s announcement, Min. Kenney noted that while other Western countries scaled back their immigration flows during the global financial crisis, Canada kept its doors open, admitting most skilled migrants. Parliamentary Secretary Alice Wong added that high levels of economic immigration were crucial to helping Canada emerge from the recession. In addition to permanent residents, Canada admitted 182,000 temporary workers, 89,000 foreign students and 12,000 government-assisted refugees in 2010.
In recent months, Canada has also focused efforts on protecting its southern border with the United States. On February 4, Prime Minister Stephen Harper signed an agreement to share more information on migrants and coordinate cross-border investigations. Meanwhile the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has tripled the number of agents on the U.S.-Canada border in recent years.