Canada in top 5 on immigration index

Ability to integrate immigrants puts Canada fifth among 28 countries

Canada is one of the most immigrant-friendly countries, according to a new European immigrant index.

The Migrant Integration Policy Index examines countries' policies and legislative frameworks to assist newcomers integrate into mainstream society.

Canada, in its first appearance on the index, placed fifth (tied with Finland) among 28 countries studied.

The findings reaffirm that Canada is a nation that's open to diversity and sets a high standard in a world where it is important to be sensitive to immigrants, said Jack Jedwab, executive director of the Montreal-based Association for Canadian Studies.

Sweden, Portugal, Belgium and the Netherlands rounded out the top five.

The index is jointly sponsored by European countries to highlight best practices and promote reforms encouraging greater social harmony and economic benefits among nations with significant immigration.

Governments use high rankings to help attract the best and brightest immigrants and poorer results to plan immigration reforms, said Jedwab.

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