Majority of Canadians have positive views on immigration, new poll says

April 30, 2019

A new Environics Institute survey entitled “Spring 2019 Focus Canada” found that a majority of Canadians continue to hold positive views on immigration, with a minority viewing immigrants and refugees as an urgent national concern.

The findings showed that Canadians’ views have remained the same since its previous study in October 2018.

The survey is done every six months and surveys a sample of 2,000 Canadians.

 “As has been the case most of the past two decades, positive sentiments outweigh negative ones on such questions as the overall level of immigration, its positive impact on the economy, its low impact on crime rates, and the impact on the country as a whole,” according to the survey.

The survey showed that issues such as the economy, environment, and poor government leadership are a more pressing concern to Canadians. Three percent of Canadians stated that immigration and refugees are an important issue facing the country.

59% of respondents do not think we have too much immigration

When asked whether there is “too much immigration in Canada”, 59 percent disagreed.

Source: Environics Institute

Respondents living in Atlantic Canada and British Columbia had the most positive outlook on immigration, with 64 percent disagreeing that there is too much immigration.

 “Canadians’ level of comfort with immigration is grounded on the belief that it is good for the country’s economy, and this perspective held steady over the past six months,” according to the institute.

In Ontario, 80 percent of respondents agreed that “immigration has a positive impact on the economy of Canada.”, with the lowest response coming from Alberta, with 70% of respondents agreeing.

Age, education, income affect attitudes

Younger, university-educated, and those who view their income as “adequate” expressed more positive views on immigration. Meanwhile, Canadians over the age of 60, without a high school diploma, and who are low-income expressed more negative views.

Integration still a concern

The poll showed that Canadian are equally divided on whether immigrants are adopting Canadian values after their arrivals. 51 percent say immigrants are not integrating, while 42 percent disagree.

Source: Environics Institute

Provinces who expressed the most concern for integration were Quebec (56 percent) and Alberta (55 percent), with the lowest being Atlantic Canada (41 percent).

53 of percent of Canadians agreed that immigrants work harder than people born in Canada.

Environics added that 45 percent of Canadian agree that immigration is making Canada a better place, with 15 percent disagreeing.

1/3 of Canadians believe immigration hasn’t made a difference to the country, with 7 percent having no opinion.

The poll also shows that most Canadians agree that the country is welcoming to immigrants.

Source: Environics Institute

80 percent of Canadians said, “immigrants are made to feel very or somewhat welcome by public agencies in their community and by the local population.”

Refugees

37 percent of Canadians agreed that “most people claiming to be refugees are not real refugees.” with 80 percent of respondents saying that refugees “are made to feel very or somewhat welcome by the local population.”

 

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