More than 150,000 Chinese have settled in Canada from 2001 to 2006, making China the largest source of new immigrants to the North American country.
According to the 2006 Canada census, Chinese comprise 14 percent of the 1,110,000 foreigners who settled in the country between January 1, 2001, and May 16, 2006.
China, India, the Philippines and Pakistan accounted for 38 percent of new settlers in 2006, remaining the top four sources of immigrants to Canada, says the census released by Statistics Canada.
And the Chinese language (and dialects) remains Canada's most common mother tongue after English and French.
The number of people citing the Chinese language (or any of its dialects) as their mother tongue last year rose to about 1,034,000, up 162,000, or 18.5 percent, over 2001. Also, Chinese language speakers account for 3.3 percent of Canada's population, up from 2.9 percent five years ago.
Experts say Canada is among the top destinations for Chinese eager to settle abroad as far as applications are concerned because its immigration rules are not very rigid or complex. The large Chinese community in the country is an attraction, too.
"Compared to other countries, such as those in Europe, the immigration rules (of Canada) are relaxed. That makes the country a favorable choice for aspiring Chinese immigrants," said a consultant surnamed Su, who works for Beijing JJL Overseas Education Consulting & Services Co.
The number of Chinese immigrants to Canada began rising in the 1980s when China launched its reform and opening-up policies. Their number surged after 1994 when the two countries agreed that eligible Chinese applicants could be granted Canadian visas if they fulfilled all the requirements and could become permanent residents.
（英语点津 Celene 编辑）