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News Briefs – Most Immigrants Settled in Cities in Past Decade

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Nearly all the immigrants who came to Canada in the 1990s settled in the country’s largest cities, a report says – a large jump over the number who settled in urban centres in the previous decade.

About 1.8 million people settled in Canada’s 27 metropolitan areas in the 1990s, Statistics Canada said Wednesday.

Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal got the bulk of the immigrants – about 73 per cent of whom made their homes in those three cities.

Comparatively, in 1981, only 58 per cent of immigrants settled in those cities.

Number of Refugee Claims Decrease

Increased security measures in Canada and the United States in the wake of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, have resulted in a dramatic decrease in the number of refugee claimants in Canada, advocates and lawyers say.

In the first six months of this year, Canada received 12,207 claims, the lowest number in a decade. This represents a 30-per-cent decline from the first six months of 2003 and a 45-per-cent drop from 2002.

More stringent visa requirements and increased interdiction overseas mean it is now more difficult for asylum seekers to travel to North America, according to lawyers. The United States — the first destination of many refugee claimants — has introduced stricter visa requirements for many countries, while Canada has doubled the number of interdiction officers overseas.