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People take the citizenship oath at Pier 21 immigration centre in Halifax on Canada Day. Canada’s population would have been below 35.15 million if not for an influx of immigrants that Statistics Canada said accounted for about two-thirds of the population increase between 2011 and 2016. (Adina Bresge/The Canadian Press) Reis Pagtakhan emphasizes the plural when he talks about the Filipino grocery stores, restaurants, newspapers and radio programs that now populate Winnipeg, decades after his family first came to the city.

This week, Pagtakhan’s observations about the rise of Tagalog in Winnipeg are expected to get some statistical backing when the latest tranche of census data details Canada’s linguistic diversity. It is anticipated that the language heard in those Filipino stores and restaurants and on radio shows — Tagalog — will be among the fastest-growing since 2011.

For Pagtakhan, the change around Winnipeg is a far cry from when his parents arrived in Canada in the 1960s and there were only a few hundred Filipino families in the region.

Now, "you have tens of thousands of people from the Philippines who are here, many of whom speak Tagalog. It’s just spoken widespread," said Pagtakhan, an immigration lawyer.

Wednesday’s release about the languages that Canadians report as their mother tongue or being spoken at home will provide a peek at Canada’s ethnocultural diversity, which the national statistics office will fully reveal this fall with data from the recently returned long-form census.

In February, census data showed that the national population would have been potentially far below 35.15 million if not for an influx of immigrants that Statistics Canada said accounted for about two-thirds of the population increase between 2011 and 2016. Immigration will be the dominant source of growth by 2056, Statistics Canada predicts, as natural, fertility-fuelled growth declines due to an aging population — for the first time, there are more seniors than children 14 and under — and a declining birth rate.

The figures coming this week are expected to show some 200 languages are spoken in Canada, with seven million people — or more — saying their mother tongue is neither English nor French.

"Once you start to see all the different languages that are spoken, it really speaks to the profound diversity of our Canadian population," said Michael Haan, an associate professor in the school of sociology at Western University in London, Ont.

The figures will add another dimension to the portrait of Canada the five-year census began painting earlier this year. Additional layers will be added later this year, including income data in September, immigration and Indigenous Peoples numbers in October, and figures detailing education, jobs and work patterns in November.

The latest release will also include data about families, revealing changes in marriage rates, how much longer Canadians are waiting to start families, and how many families live under different roofs — be it because one parent is working in another part of the country, or because they are older parents choosing to live apart.

The statistics will show the varying and ever complex definition of family in Canada, which — like language — seems certain to prompt governments and service providers to rethink their policies and offerings to meet demographic dynamics. Philippines top source for immigrants

The number of people reporting a mother tongue other than English or French has been gradually going up over time, as too have the number of different languages being spoken, says Doug Norris, chief demographer at Environics Analytics. The census data will also show how many of those households speak English, French or both on a regular basis along with their mother tongue.

"More and more homes in […]

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