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Population gains in Canada hit new record, but this may be the peak of the boom

Canada’s population growth rate hit a fresh record, capping a year when one of the world’s largest immigration programs reached its top speed as pressures mounted on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government to slow down future inflows.

The population grew by 1.3 million people over the past year to 40.8 million, according to Statistics Canada’s estimate released Wednesday in Ottawa. That’s the fastest annual pace in Canada since 1957.

At a 3.2 per cent annual rate, Canada has among the world’s fastest population growth, only behind a few African countries with high fertility. The country added roughly the equivalent of Estonia’s populace last year.