For years, Canadians have been largely supportive of immigration, but that may be changing.
So many Canadians are either immigrants themselves or have parents or grandparents who were born elsewhere. So it’s concerning that public support for immigration has started to slip.
A new Ipsos Global Public Affairs poll shows that while Canadians back immigration more broadly, they have significant concerns about how it is being managed.
The poll reveals 44% of people say that there are now too many immigrants coming to Canada and a majority of respondents believe the country is too welcoming to new arrivals.
It found 40% of Canadians think that “immigrants in Canada have made it more difficult for Canadian people to get jobs.” That compares to 30% who disagree and 30% who neither agree nor disagree.
Where is this tougher position coming from? What drives this perspective? For example, 57% of Canadians agree with the statement that immigration has placed too much pressure on public services in Canada.” That includes 77% of Conservative voters but also 51% of Liberal voters and 48% of NDP voters.
Overall, more Canadians agree with the statement that “immigration has generally had a positive or negative impact on Canada” compared to 32% that disagree and 24% that say the impact has been neither negative nor positive.
Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos Global Public Affairs, says this poll shows higher support for immigration as a positive factor than when they polled on the same question in 2013 when support was at just 31%.
Where Canadians turn negative on immigration is on the cost and how the system is working – or not working as the case may be.