The chang­ing faces of P.A.

P.A. now 42 per cent In­dige­nous; home to about twice as many im­mi­grants over 10 years, ac­cord­ing to cen­sus

Prince Albert Daily Herald - - FRONT PAGE - ARTHUR WHITE-CRUM­MEY

Prince Al­bert is be­com­ing more di­verse, with cen­sus re­sults show­ing a sharp rise in the city’s Abo­rig­i­nal pop­u­la­tion and a near dou­bling in the num­ber of im­mi­grants.

Ac­cord­ing to 2016 data re­leased on Wed­nes­day, 42 per cent of Prince Al­ber­tans iden­tify as Abo­rig­i­nal – a cat­e­gory that in­cludes First Na­tions peo­ple, the Inuit and the Métis.

That’s up from the 36 per cent recorded in 2006, the year of the last long­form cen­sus.

The in­crease roughly tracks na­tional trends.

Canada as a whole saw the pro­por­tion of Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple rise from 3.8 per cent to 4.9 per cent over the past decade. Statis­tics Canada found that the Abo­rig­i­nal pop­u­la­tion across the coun­try is rel­a­tively youth­ful, and in­creas­ingly mov­ing into ur­ban ar­eas.

Im­mi­gra­tion statis­tics, re­leased on the same day, re­vealed a large in­flux of new ar­rivals. In 2006, there were only 1,460 im­mi­grants liv­ing in Prince Al­bert – ap­prox­i­mately 4 per cent of the to­tal pop­u­la­tion.

In 2016, Statis­tics Canada counted 2,755 new Cana­di­ans in P.A., a pro­por­tion of about 8 per cent.

More than half of all im­mi­grants came from Asia, par­tic­u­larly the Philip­pines and In­dia. About 500 came from Europe, and 465 from Africa.

Mayor Greg Dionne said the news didn’t sur­prise him.

“It’s vis­i­ble in the com­mu­nity,” he said. “I be­lieve it adds to the cul­ture, it adds to the strengths of the com­mu­nity, be­cause they’ll bring dif­fer­ent skills.”

Again, Prince Al­bert’s jump in diversity is in line with wider pat­terns. Statis­tics Canada found that im­mi­grants are in­creas­ingly mov­ing to the prairies.

Saskatchewan is also wel­com­ing far more new Cana­di­ans, with a sim­i­lar dou­bling from five to 10.5 per cent since the last cen­sus.

But Toronto, Vancouver and Mon­treal still re­main the most pop­u­lar cen­tres of im­mi­gra­tion, hous­ing more than half of the to­tal. All told, one in five Cana­di­ans are now for­eign born.


New Cana­di­ans take the oath of cit­i­zen­ship dur­ing a cer­e­mony at St. Mary High School last Oc­to­ber.

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