Canadians have become more accepting of immigrants over the past years, a new report says.
Most Canadians are comfortable with present immigration levels, they see immigrants as good for the economy and not a threat to Canadian jobs, and they believe that immigration is vital to growing the country’s population.
These findings emanate from a recent public opinion survey out of the Environics Institutes, a non-profit organization that promotes original social research on matters of public policy and social change.
The survey was based on telephone chats with 2,000 Canadians between September 8 and 23, 2020. Results were accurate to within plus or minus 2.2 percentage points in nineteen (19) out of twenty (20) samples, the report says.
Survey results show a plurality of Canadians reject the idea that too many refugees are not legalized, and that too many newcomers are not adopting Canadian values. By a five-to-one ratio, Canadians think that immigration makes Canada a better country, and a more diverse and multicultural place to live in.
“Perhaps the most striking aspect of this recent trend is that it has taken place all over the country and among all demographic aspects of the population,” the report reveals.
Most Canadians disagree that immigration levels are too high
Two thirds, or sixty-six (66) percent, of Canadians, reject the ideas that immigration levels are too high. This figure is up to three (3) percent from the same time last year, and an all-time high for available data going way back to 1977.
Attitudes toward immigration levels are becoming more positive and accepting in almost every aspect of the population. The shifts in opinion are most noticeable among Albertan people with lower household incomes, and first-generation Canadians.
Positive views of immigration levels are more extensive in Atlantic Canada and Canadians who have high levels of education and income.
This survey also found that there is less of a gap in public opinion by age as sixty-six (66) percent of Canadians ages eighteen (18) to twenty-four (24) disagree that immigration levels are too high, which is down seven (7) percent. However, sixty-seven (67) percent of Canadians age forty-five (45) and over disagree with the statement, up to eight (8) percentage points.
Half of Canadians agree immigration needed for population growth
More than fifty-six (56) percent of respondents agree that Canada needs more immigration to increase its population.
About thirty-six (36) percent of the population disagrees and Seven (7) percent have no clear opinion.
These opinions co-relate with opinions on the current immigration levels. About Seventy, (70) percent of people in Atlantic Canada agreed with the statement, sixty-six (66) percent of educated and high-income Canadians, Seventy-one (71) percent of first-generation Canadians, Sixty-six (66) percent of radicalized people, Sixty-seven (67) percent of Federal Liberal Party supporters, and Sixty-four (64) percent of NDP supporters.
Most Canadian people agree immigration is positive for the economy
The large majority of Canadian people, eighty-four (84) percent, agree that the economic impact of immigration is positive. This is four points up from October 2019, and the highest recorded level since 1993.
Furthermore, about Seventy-eight (78) percent of Canadian citizens fail to agree that immigrants take away jobs from other Canadians.
The survey reveals that the reason behind the growing support for immigration may be in part a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, or a reaction to political instability in the U.S. Seven (7) out of ten (10) Canadians says they are in favour of Canada welcoming skilled immigrants who are denied entry into the United States.
“And it may reflect a solidifying public consensus that Canada’s economy depends on making space for new immigrants, especially this year when the economy needs all the help it can get,” the report suggests.