The Globe and Mail is reporting that in 2018, the number of people travelling to Canada from outside the country reached a record high of 5.4 million, an increase of more than 3.5 million compared to 2017.
While that number doesn’t represent the full impact of the refugee crisis, it does represent a spike of some 70 per cent over 2017.
The increase is in line with a previous peak reached in 2014, when the number reached 4.3 million.
The numbers have been trending upward since the last peak in 2014.
The report says the majority of the increase is due to Canadians who are travelling from outside of the country, which is a stark contrast to the majority who are staying in their homes in Canada.
“The number of arrivals from outside Canada is the highest it has been since at least 2015, when we reached 5.2 million.
This represents a 5.5 per cent increase in just one year,” said the report.
Canada has welcomed more than a million refugees since it was founded in 1917, with many of those arriving in recent years coming from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.
The country has taken in a record number of asylum seekers in 2017, when more than half of them came from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Sudan and Somalia.
The number of refugees who have settled in Canada over the past decade is now over 11,000, with more than 8,000 of those in 2017 alone.
Many of the refugees who came to Canada as children are now seeking refuge with relatives in Canada, and many of them are also returning to Syria, where they are currently battling with a bloody conflict.
“It is important to note that the overall refugee population in Canada has continued to increase, with an increase in the number arriving in 2017 of 6 per cent compared to 2016.
This is in part due to the recent increase in asylum applications,” the report says.
While the number is still a record, the surge of people coming from other countries has caused a huge spike in the price of housing in many areas.
The Globe reported that prices in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal were up by $3,000 or more since 2017.
Prices in Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg were up nearly $1,000.
“There is evidence that rising prices in the Vancouver area are having an effect on affordability,” the Globe reports.
“Prices in Vancouver are up about $2,400 since 2017 and are currently up by nearly $10,000 in Calgary and Edmonton.
Prices are also up in Toronto and Winnipeg.”
The report states that while there is an increase, the price increase is not due to a shortage of housing.
Instead, it is because people are choosing to move to the cities because they have higher housing costs.
“Despite the dramatic increase in housing prices, however, it has not caused a shortage,” the paper states.
In the report, the authors say there are signs that the housing market in Canada is stabilising.
They note that prices are going up at a slower rate than they were in 2016, but the average price of a home in 2017 was $3.2-million.
“With higher prices in 2017 compared to the year before, the average home price is up 2.6 per cent since 2016,” the authors said.
“This suggests that prices have stabilized and that prices will likely rise slightly over the next few years as new demand comes into the market.”