Canadian Public Opinion Generally Positive Towards Immigrants, Finds Survey

Six in 10 Canadians disagreed that immigration levels in the country are too high, said the survey.


A majority of Canadians have consistently held generally positive views towards immigrants and citizens with ethnic backgrounds, a public opinion research said on March 22.

The Environics Institute partnered with Canadian Race Relations Foundation to update its ongoing tracking of Canadian public opinion on immigration and inclusion as part of its ongoing Focus Canada research program. The research comprised a national survey with a representative sample of 2,000 Canadians aged 18 plus and conducted during Feb. 5 -17, 2018.

“Canadians as a whole continue to be more positive than negative about the current levels of immigrants coming to this country, and with the legitimacy of refugees who have been arriving,” the results of the survey pointed out.

The survey, titled “Canadian Public Opinion about Immigration and Minority Groups,” also said that a significant proportion of the people still believe that too many immigrants still don’t adopt Canadian values, but this concern continues to gradually wane over time.

When Canadians were asked if overall, there is too much immigration in Canada, six in 10 (60 per cent) respondents disagreed with this negative statement about immigration levels being too high, as compared with one-third (35 per cent) who agreed.

However, the survey pointed out that sentiments appear to be a bit less polarized than a year ago, as fewer people now either “strongly agree” or “strongly disagree.”

The survey said: “The overall stability of opinion over the past year marks an end to a small but steady increase in the proportion of Canadians who reject the view that the country is taking in too many immigrants, dating back to 2015–when 57 per cent expressed this opinion.”

Across the country, rejection of the idea that immigration levels are too high continues to be most widespread in British Columbia (66 per cent), among Canadians aged 18 to 29 years (66 per cent) and those with a university degree (69 per cent). This is also the case among second generation Canadians, those born in the country with one or both parents being immigrants (66 per cent).

“This survey includes questions that have been asked repeatedly on Focus Canada surveys dating back 25 to 40 years, in order to provide an empirical basis for measuring how public opinion is changing or not over time,” the survey said, adding that these questions were last asked in April 2017.

The Canadians’ level of comfort with immigration is grounded in part on their belief that it is good for the country’s economy. This view has strengthened further over the past year, with 80 per cent respondents expressing this sentiment, up two points since 2017. The number of people who expressed disagreement declined to 16 per cent, down 4 per cent.

“The positive impact of immigration is the majority view across the population, and the upward shift is evident across most groups but especially in Quebec and the western provinces, while holding steady in Atlantic Canada and Ontario,” according to the survey.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *