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Canadians remain largely supportive of immigration, new survey finds

November 16, 2022

By CIC News |

Despite the pandemic, the majority of Canadians continue to hold positive views on key aspects of immigration, a new Environics Institute survey has found.

The Environics Institute conducted telephone interviews with 2,000 Canadians between September 7 and 23, 2021 to see if their views on immigration and refugees have changed over the past year.

According to the findings of the public opinion research institute’s Fall 2021 Focus Canada survey Canadians’ views on immigration and refugees remained  “mostly stable” over the past 12 months.

“A clear majority supports current levels of immigration, views immigrants as good for the Canadian economy, and believes they are important for building the country’s population,” the survey found.

The report comes at a time when Canada is moving beyond the crisis phase of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Immigration issues have been somewhat sidelined during this period, but are beginning to resurface. The objectives of this survey were, therefore, in part, to understand how the challenges and stresses of the past year have affected “Canadians’ capacity for openness to others.”

The majority disagreed with the statement that there is too much immigration to Canada

Two-thirds (65 per cent) of Canadians, reject the idea that immigration levels in Canada are too high. This figure is virtually unchanged from the previous Focus Canada survey conducted in September 2020.

However, over the past 12 months, among Atlantic Canadians, Manitobans, and Saskatchewanians, this sentiment has weakened by 7 to 8 percentage points. In Quebec, attitudes are essentially unchanged from a year ago, while among Albertans they are up by a slight 3 points.

The views of first-generation Canadians, those born in another country, have changed considerably since 2020, with a nine-point increase in the number of people in this group who agree with the statement. This proportion now stands at 36 per cent, compared to 27 per cent for those born in Canada.

Differences in attitudes toward immigration levels were also found among supporters of Canada’s various federal political parties.

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