Nearly half of B.C. residents think immigration has positive effect on Canada

posted on February 8, 2019

By TriCities News

Discussions related to immigration in Canada have been dominated in recent months by two topics: refugee claimants and family reunification.

On social media, the conversations can often take a nasty turn. Just days ago, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned about people trying to create “fear, intolerance and misinformation” about immigration in the country.

The situation in Canada is distinct (thankfully) from the debate that is currently developing in the United States about the construction of a wall that most Americans – according to a Research Co.survey conducted earlier this month – do not want. Still, it would be unwise to ignore that the feelings Canadians may have about newcomers to the country can go through shifts, depending on their life stage and the region they reside in.

Research Co. asked Canadians about immigration this month, and the results are not as unambiguous as people may assume. More than a third of Canadians (36%) think immigration is having a mostly negative effect in Canada, while a larger proportion of residents (46%) believe it is having a mostly positive effect.

In almost every demographic tested, there is a larger number of residents who tend to look at immigration in an encouraging light. The biggest defenders of the current state of affairs are Canadians aged 18 to 34 (55% positive, 27% negative) and Quebecers (52% positive, 30% negative). Conversely, there are two groups that are decidedly more likely to question the benefits of immigration: Canadians aged 35 to 54 (39% positive, 39% negative) and Albertans (41% positive, 42% negative).

While only one in five Canadians (20%) would like to see the number of legal immigrants allowed to come to Canada increase, a larger proportion (36%) believe that it is time to welcome fewer new residents than in the past.

The provinces that are more prone to want a reduction in the number of legal immigrants are Ontario (39%), Quebec (38%) and Alberta (36%). And, once again, Canadians aged 35 to 54 appear wary, with 40% calling for a decline and only 15% believing an increase is warranted.

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