Despite the fact that bad news seems to overshadow the good news, and at a time when division and polarization seem to gangrene the society every time, at least in Canada one point seems to be clear: we are a country open to immigration.
That is the conclusion of the most recent immigration and refugee survey of the Environics Institute.
Despite the impact of the arrival of 30,000 Syrian refugees , or the wave of people crossing the border on foot , or the constant debates on the integration of immigrants and “values”, Canadians continue to have a stronger opinion. Positive than negative about those who decide to start a new life in Canada.
High levels of Immigrants
60% of Canadians disagree with the statement: “Overall there are many immigrants in Canada”, while 35% do believe that the levels are very high.
The percentage of people who believe that Canada receives to many immigrants has been falling in the last 10 years. The 45% of respondents did not support the idea that “most refugees are not legitimate refugees , ” while 39% do not believe it .
A point that still generates division is when you ask if you agree or disagree with the following statement: “Many immigrants do not adopt Canadian values .”
A slight majority ( 52% ) agree with that idea, while 42% disagree with that statement. However, this trend has been reversed now, by 2012 about 70% believed that many immigrants were not integrated into the country’s values.
Another positive point – and one that is part of the great arguments of those who oppose mass immigration – is the economic contribution of immigration.
A strong 80% believe that immigrants have a positive impact on the economy , and only 16% believe otherwise. In fact, this vision has remained stable over the past decade.
The study also puts into context the results in Canada with the rest of the planet, using as a reference the Migrant Acceptance Index of the Gallup firm. Canada occupies in that list the third place among the countries that have a higher level of acceptance of immigrants, second only to Iceland and New Zealand.
Not everything is rosy
The study of Environics Institute shows the differences between the different regions of the country in terms of the opening towards immigration.
Nationwide, 35% of Canadians believe there are many immigrants. This proportion rises to 42% in Alberta . By contrast, in British Columbia only 27% support this idea.
Also in Alberta, 48% believe that the majority of refugees are not legitimate, followed by 42% who support this idea in Quebec.
62% of Albertans also believe that many immigrants do not adopt Canadian values, 10 points above the national average. Quebec also ranks second in that category, with 54% of citizens agreeing with that idea.
The survey was conducted to 2,000 Canadians , by telephone, between February 5 and 17, 2018. The margin of error is 2.2 percentage points.