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Canada 150 message: we are a country of immigrants

There is little doubt technology and scientific discoveries will change and challenge our lives beyond our imaginations in the next 50 years, but Canada will still be a country of immigrants in 2067. Canada’s population is expected to grow by at least by 10 million people in the next 50 years. Currently Canada’s population is 36 million. Statistics Canada is projecting that nearly one in two Canadians could be an immigrant or the child of an immigrant by 2036. According to the report, Immigration and Diversity: Population Projections for Canada and its Regions, 2011 to 2036, if current immigration levels continue, the proportion of immigrants in Canada’s population could reach between 24.5 and 30 percent in 2036, compared with 20.7 percent in 2011. More than half of these newcomers are expected to be of Asian origin. More than one-quarter of the Canadian population will have a mother tongue other than English or French. Over one-third of the working-age population (15 to 64) in 2036 is expected to belong to a visible minority group. Forty years ago, only two percent of the population (about 300,000 people) could be classified as visible minority, according to Canada’s Visible Minority Population: 1967-2017 by Andrew Cardozo and Ravi Pendakur. Few people leave their homelands willingly. Except for Canada’s Indigenous peoples, your relatives and mine left their homes to come to this country to escape religious or political persecution, famine or war. They came out of economic necessity and for opportunities. Canadians pride themselves on tolerance, but history shows people who look, dress, speak or worship differently have not always been welcomed. Newcomers have been met with opposition, fear and loathing. Prejudice is a knee-jerk reaction to “different” but hatred has to be carefully taught. We need to get over our prejudices and affirm that Canadians cannot and must not be ranked as good, better and best. From the French to the Syrians and every one in between, immigrants have made Canada what we today and will be tomorrow. That’s a reason to celebrate

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