Manila, Philippines – THE “2011 Census of Population: Linguistic Characteristics of Canadians,” released by Statistics Canada (StatCan) showed that Tagalog, which is widely spoken and most understood in all regions of the Philippines, is the fastest-growing immigrant language in Canada. Tagalog is now the fifth most common non-official language spoken in Canadian households. “The home languages showing the strongest growth between 2006 and 2011 were primarily Asian, and the population that reported speaking the Philippine-based language Tagalog increases by 64 percent, the highest growth,” StatCan reported. “Nearly 279,000 people reported speaking Tagalog most often in 2011, up from 170,000 five years earlier.”
The top 10 immigrant languages spoken most often in Canadian homes in 2011 were: Punjabi, Chinese, Cantonese, Spanish, Tagalog, Arabic, Mandarin, Italian, Urdu, and German. Vancouver has one of the largest Canadian populations of Tagalog speakers, with 47,600. Tagalog is the most-spoken foreign language in Edmonton and the second most common in Calgary, after Punjabi, and the sixth most common in Vancouver and Toronto.
“Robust immigration” accounts for the big increase in the number of Tagalog-speaking residents in Canada, which is home to 667,674 Filipinos, according to data by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas. Canada’s economic growth has created a wealth of new opportunities for Filipinos who migrated to Toronto, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Alberta, and Regina for jobs. Canada admitted 34,991 Filipinos in 2011 under the Live-In Caregiver Program that provides nannies to Canadian families, more than from any other country. In 2007, the Philippines overtook China as Canada’s largest source of foreign workers as the number of immigrants jumped to 19,064 from 15,254 in 2007. In 2002, new permanent residents in Canada numbered only 11,011.
With the continuing wave of Filipino migration, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs is institutionalizing Tagalog language training for Canada-based children of Filipino descent. It is bringing home language training to key Canadian cities with large Filipino communities.
We wish Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario and Philippine Ambassador to Canada Leslie B. Gatan all the best and success as they work together to provide for the welfare and well-being of Filipino migrants in Canada. CONGRATULATIONS AND MABUHAY!
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