Canada Witnesses Highest Population Growth in 60 Years: Moncton Leads With Record Influx

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Canada is experiencing its most elevated population growth rate in over six decades, according to the latest report from Statistics Canada. This demographic shift is most noticeable in areas like Moncton, where an influx of new citizens, temporary workers, and international students is shaping a new socio-economic landscape.

Moncton has welcomed a staggering 4,700 new permanent residents in the last year – a historical record for the city. John Wishart, the CEO for the Greater Moncton Chamber of Commerce, underlines the importance of these fresh faces in the business community. Over 40% of the chamber’s new members in the previous year are owned and operated by new citizens, a dramatic increase from the previous 10%.

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This influx of new population is not merely a local phenomenon. Canada’s population surged by 2.9% from July 2022 to July 2023, tipping the total population over the 40 million mark. The primary driver behind this growth is international migration, accounting for 98% of this demographic leap.

In a landscape where talent shortage is a key concern across varying sectors such as construction, health care, transportation, finance, and insurance, this trend is a welcome development. As Mr. Wishart rightly points out, the quality of international talent incoming to Canada is exceptionally high, enriching the labour market with their skills and experience.

The demographic growth witnessed in the Maritimes is also impressive: Prince Edward Island registered a 3.9% increase, Nova Scotia 3.2%, and New Brunswick 3.1%, all closely following Alberta’s lead at 4.0%. Mr. Wishart describes this as an unprecedented turn of events: for the first time in decades, people are moving to eastern Canada from the west, setting a new challenge for businesses and governments to accommodate this wave of growth.

In welcoming the surge, New Brunswick’s Finance Minister, Ernie Steeves, boasted a healthier than anticipated economic rebound in the 2022-2023 fiscal year, backed by the record population growth. Consequently, not only has the population resurgence augmented taxes, but it’s also catalysed revenue improvements.

However, one pressing issue that comes with such growth is housing. The city of Moncton has already devised a 25-year urban plan to meet this demand. With an aim to grow its population to approximately 116,000 over the next 23 years, the city has committed to substantial investment in infrastructure upgrades making urban densification a primary goal. Such initiatives, coupled with a steady increase in building permits issued in recent years, have made their housing development targets achievable.

This reaffirms that population growth is key to moving Canadian cities forward – it fuels the labour market and contributes to the overall growth and prosperity of the community, reflecting that Canada’s future lies in welcoming a diverse and dynamic population.