Communique #8 – Community Life

October 09, 2019

National Chairperson of Community Life Marie Rackley, October 9, 2019

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Wear Red on Fridays
The Canadian military make many sacrifices in the name of peace in Canada and several countries around the world. As an organization, the League supports the men and women serving this country. Participating in the Wear Red on Fridays initiative demonstrates to Canadians and troops that members care and honour those who fought and continue to fight for freedom, peace and our resolve. Consider showing you care by supporting the troops and wearing RED on FRIDAY.

Refugees, Immigration & Citizenship—Madonna Clark, Sub-Committee Chairperson
After researching immigration to Canada, I want to share some statistics I hope you will find interesting.

Under its multi-year immigration levels plan, between 2018 and 2020, Canada expects to welcome nearly one million new immigrants. In 2018, Canada’s population increased by 303,257, of which 152,852 were women (Duffin, Erin. “Immigration in Canada–Statistics and Facts.” www.statistica.ca). Due to policy changes, Canada’s economic situation and world events, the number of landed immigrants in Canada has varied throughout the last 150 years. In the 1800s, immigration totals varied between 6,300 and 133,000. Settlement in western Canada was promoted in the early 1900s, with the highest immigration number ever recorded of more than 400,000 people arriving in the country in 1913. In 1915, during World War I, fewer than 34,000 newcomers landed, with the lowest immigration numbers recorded throughout the 1930s Great Depression and World War II. During 1956 and 1957 when there was political and humanitarian crises, 37,500 Hungarian refugees arrived in Canada. The 1970s and 1980s saw large numbers of Ugandan, Chilean, Vietnamese, Cambodian and Laotian refugees come to Canada. Landed immigrant numbers have averaged approximately 235,000 per year since the early 1900s (Statistics Canada. “150 years of immigration in Canada.” www150.statcan.gc.ca).

An immigrant refers to a person who is, or has been, a landed immigrant (permanent resident), granted the right to live in Canada permanently by immigration authorities. Immigrants are either Canadian citizens by naturalization (the citizenship process) or permanent residents under Canadian legislation. Some immigrants have resided in Canada for a number of years, while others arrived recently. Most immigrants are born outside Canada; however, a small number are born in Canada. Children born to Canadian citizens temporarily residing in another country are not included in the category as they are Canadian citizens at birth. The terms immigrant, landed immigrant and permanent resident are equivalent (Statistics Canada. “Immigrant status.” www12.statcan.gc.ca/).

A non-permanent resident is a person lawfully in Canada temporarily under the authority of a valid document (work permit, study permit, ministerial permit) issued to that person, along with members of their family living with them. This group includes individuals who seek refugee status upon or after their arrival in Canada and remain in the country pending the outcome of processes relative to their claim. Note that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada use the term “temporary resident” rather than “non-permanent resident.” Net non-permanent residents is calculated by subtracting the number of non-permanent residents estimated at the beginning of the period, from the number estimated at the end of the period (Statistics Canada. “Population and Family Estimation Methods at Statistics Canada.” www150.statcan.gc.ca/).

With stronger gains in international migration, the following immigration numbers were recently recorded provincially and territorially—Alberta (38,683), British Columbia (41,930), Manitoba (14,158), New Brunswick (4,113), Newfoundland and Labrador (1,275), Northwest Territories (255), Nova Scotia (5,137), Nunavut (31), Ontario (132,417), Prince Edward Island (2,102), Quebec (47,903) and Yukon (263) (Duffin, Erin. “Number of immigrants in Canada in 2018, by province and territory of residence.” www.statistica.ca).

Prior to the 1970s, the majority of immigrants were from Europe; recently however, the greatest number of immigrants have been from Asia. According to Statistics Canada, one in five people in Canada are foreign-born (Statistics Canada. “Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity in Canada.” www12.statcan.gc.ca). Many people leave their home countries in pursuit of economic opportunities.

The church has celebrated the World Day of Migrants and Refugees since 1914, with the 105th World Day of Migrants and Refugees held September 29, 2019 (“World Day of Migrants & Refugees 2019.” migrants-refugees.va). A survey by the Angus Reid Institute reported faith communities gave material assistance to immigrants, including helping with finding a job, finding a place to live, learning English and providing a vital social network. Faith communities became spiritual homes for newcomers during transitioning to life in Canada (Angus Reid Institute. “Faith and Immigration: New Canadians rely on religious communities for material, spiritual support.” angusreid.org).

Canada has grown and prospered with immigrants from all over the world. We are so blessed to be part of an organization that began by helping immigrants arriving in Canada. Please encourage members to continue to play such a vital role in welcoming immigrants into the faith community.