BY AUBREY SC MAKILAN
Vol. VII, No. 45, Dec. 16-22, 2007
Based on the 2006 Census of Canada released recently, the Philippines is the 3rd highest source of immigrants to Canada in the world, and has consistently been in the top 5 since 1981.
RP in Top 3
With 77, 880 recent immigrants to Canada, the Philippines ranked third among the top 10 place of births of recent immigrants to Canada. The People’s Republic of China was the top placer with 155,105, followed by India with 129, 140 immigrants. Other top sources of immigrants are Pakistan, United States, South Korea, Romania, Iran, United Kingdom and Colombia. Recent immigrants refer to those who arrived in Canada between Jan. 1, 2001 and Census Day May 16, 2006.
Meanwhile, since the 1981 census, the Philippines remained among the top five sources of immigrants to Canada.
With 6,186,950 foreign-born residents in Canada, they represent 19.8 percent of Canada’s population or one out of every five residents was were born outside the country. This percentage is the highest in 75 years. Canada’s foreign-born population is even much higher than that of the United States of America. According to the American Community Survey in 2006, foreign?born residents in the U.S. constituted 12.5% of the U.S. population
According to Statistics Canada, Canada’s foreign-born population grew by 13.6 percent between 2001-2006. This rate of increase is four times faster than the Canadian-born population, which increased by only 3.3 percent.
Overall, Canada’s total population increased by 1.6 million between 2001 and 2006, registering a growth rate of 5.4 percent from 2001. Statistics Canada said that the estimated 1,110,000 newcomers who arrived in the Canada between Jan. 1, 2001 and May 16, 2006 are responsible for more than two-thirds or 69.3 percent of its population growth.
The 3,891,800 foreign-born residents are living in Canada’s three largest census metropolitan areas — Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver. On the contrary, only 27.1 percent in these three urban areas are from the Canadian-born population.
The 2006 Census showed there are 2,320,200 foreign-born residents in Toronto, 831,300 in Vancouver and 740,400 in Montréal, representing 45.7 percent, 39.6 percent, and 20.6 percent respectively, of the population of these areas.
Top source in Winnipeg
With nearly three out of every 10 newcomers coming from the Philippines, the census showed that the Philippines is the leading source of newcomers in Winnipeg between 2001 and 2006. India and the People’s Republic of China were also among the leading countries of birth of recent immigrants who settled in Winnipeg.
From 2001 to 2006, the foreign-born population in Winnipeg grew by 10.5 percent outpacing the total growth of the census metropolitan area (CMA) which increased by 2.8 percent in the same period.
As of 2006, the foreign-born population of Winnipeg was 121,300, or 17.7percent of its total population. The figures showed an increase from the 16.5 percent listed in 2001.
The census placing the Philippines as the 3rd highest source of Canada’s immigrants did not surprise a group of Filipino immigrants there.
“We are one of the fastest-growing immigrant communities in Canada, yet our issues remain virtually invisible,” says Cecilia Diocson, Executive Director of the National Alliance of Philippine Women in Canada (NAPWC). Diocson’s two children were born in Canada.
The woman migrant leader said that the chronic economic and political crisis in the Philippines, including the current state of civil war in the country and the lack in jobs pushes Filipinos to leave for abroad. Over 3,400 Filipinos leave the country, in search of a better life, daily. According to the Commission on Filipinos Overseas, as of 2006, there are 437,940 Filipinos living in Canada, 396,054 of them have permanent resident status.
Marginalized and abused
Diocson added that although Filipinos have been living in Canada, some for over 40 years now, they remain “economically marginalized and segregated.” She added that nearly 100,000 Filipino women have
entered Canada since the early 1980s under the Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP). (related article: https://www.bulatlat.com/news/6-44/6-44-canada.htm)
“The LCP as Canada’s de-facto national childcare program has resulted in many women suffering a lifetime of de-skilling and other forms of abuse,” said Diocson. “The recent death of Filipina live-in caregiver Jocelyn Dulunan and the daily reports of abuse of caregivers under the program, reinforce our demand to scrap this racist and anti-woman program,” she added.
Filipino youth living in Canada also face similar experiences of racism and economic marginalization, said Carlo Sayo, national chairperson of Ugnayan ng Kabataang Pilipino sa Canada / Filipino-Canadian Youth Alliance. He blamed the “systemic racism” and the LCP as the factors behind their marginalization in Canada, citing the alleged impact of systemic racism in Vancouver high schools as a blatant example. (related article: https://www.bulatlat.com/news/6-50/6-50-gangs.htm)
“While Filipinos are reported to be one of the fastest growing immigrant population in Metro Vancouver, Filipino youth also have one of the highest high school drop out rates,” said the Filipino youth leader. Sayo explained that there are currently 62,960 Filipinos in Metro Vancouver, a growth of 36.2 percent from 2001 to 2006.
“It is time all levels of government recognize the issues and listen to the demands of the growing Filipino community in Canada,” said Sayo. “Beyond simply our rising numbers, our community is still struggling for equality and genuine development in Canada.” Bulatlat