In the past year, Canada has opened its doors, received two amnesties, and frantically accepted nearly 400,000 new immigrants, including a very large proportion of refugees. Do you wonder what the general public in Canada thinks about all this? Are Canadians really welcoming of immigrants? Or, like the United States, Australia, Britain and other countries, cater to the general trend of the world, hoping to reduce the immigration quota or even exclude new immigrants?
The Canadian Environmental Research Institute and the Century Initiative have been experts in immigration polling since 1976, studying Canadian public opinion on immigration policy. Recently, they released a new report, in general, Canadians’ attitude towards immigration is still moderate and inclusive.
First of all, about 65% of Canadians accept the immigration policy of admitting 1.2 million new immigrants from 2021 to 2023, while another third believe that the current number of immigrants should be reduced. It can be seen from the figure that since 2000, Canadians’ overall acceptance of large-scale immigration has remained at a high level. In fact, 20 years ago, there were 6 active workers for every Canadian retiree; in the next 15 years, this ratio may drop to 1:2. Therefore, from an economic and sociological point of view, Canada must accept a large number of new immigrants.
The report also revealed many interesting details. Residents of the four Atlantic provinces and the Prairie provinces of Manitoba and Saskatoon have seen their residents’ welcome to newcomers decline by as much as 8 per cent. These provinces are also the areas where immigration policies have been most inclined since 2019.
About 57 %的加拿大人认为移民是加拿大维持人口增长的核心动力；同时，大多数加拿大人（80% ) believe that new immigrants have more positive effects than negative effects on the Canadian economy. Among them, groups with left-wing views (such as Liberal Party and NDP voters) are more tolerant of accepting immigrants, but more than half of the center-right group (Conservative Party voters) believe that current immigration policies are too radical. Interestingly, it is the older generation of immigrants who are least welcoming to new immigrants. Canadians who immigrated from another country were the least satisfied with current immigration policies, with two-thirds of them saying that current immigration quotas should be cut.
Overall, Canadians have mixed views and voices about immigration, but are generally welcoming. They recognized the current immigration policy and the annual immigration quota of 400,000. Even during the epidemic, Canadian society’s tolerance for new immigrants remained stable.