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News Briefs – Montreal becomes 2nd most popular destination

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Montreal, buoyed by a robust economy and aggressive recruitment strategies, vaulted past Vancouver last year among top Canadian destinations for immigrants.

It’s the first time since 1993 that Montreal has occupied second place behind perennial leader Toronto – a further sign of the economic turnaround on Quebec’s island metropolis.

The Montreal region received 33,004 immigrants in 2002, compared with 29,922 for Vancouver, according to numbers released in June by Immigration Canada.

Toronto continued to attract more new arrivals than any other Canadian city by far, with 111,580 in 2002, or 48.7 per cent of the national total.

Ontario seeking to improve security screening

The Ontario government is moving ahead with plans for the OPP to conduct extensive background security checks on all immigrants and refugees resettling in the province. Public Safety and Security Minister Bob Runciman wants the province to follow Quebec and begin selecting and conducting checks on immigrants before they’re allowed to resettle here. He hopes to dispatch a team of elite OPP officers to some embassies abroad to screen potential immigrants destined for Ontario.