Canadians now believe legal immigration is a net negative

A new poll from Research Co. has found that more Canadians now believe legal immigration is a net negative rather than a positive and support decreased levels.

Canadians now believe legal immigration is a net negative

Signifying rapidly shifting trends, 46% of Canadians (up 7 points from October last year) now say that the number of legal immigrants allowed to come into Canada needs to decrease. Only 31% (down 6 points from last year) say that current immigration levels are fine, and just 15% (down 2 points) want to see an increase in immigration).

Additionally, 44% of Canadians say immigration has a mostly negative effect on the country (up 6 points), while 42% say immigration is mostly positive, and 14% remain undecided.

As for party leanings, “About two-in-five Canadians who voted for the Liberal Party (41%) or the New Democratic Party (NDP) (39%) in the last federal election would decrease legal immigration to Canada,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “The proportion jumps to 63% among Canadians who supported the Conservative Party in 2021.”

While Canadians still support immigrants who come to Canada with the intention to work hard, just 66% believe “the hard work and talent of immigrants makes Canada better”, down 9 points from last year.

The number of Canadians who believe immigrants should only be allowed into Canada if they adopt Canadian values remains unchanged at 65%.

By provinces, the majority of those in Atlantic Canada and Ontario (53% in each) want reduced levels of legal immigration. A smaller but still sizeable portion of those in Saskatchewan (50%), Manitoba (50%), British Columbia (48%), Alberta (42%), and Quebec (34%) feel the same.

In terms of integration, the poll found significant differences between men and women in terms of whether they prefer a melting pot approach to immigration (i.e., everyone assimilates) or a mosaic approach (i.e., cultures don’t blend but remain distinct and separate within the country). The poll found that 50% of men favoured the melting pot, while 48% of women favoured the mosaic—these preferences were mirrored when looking at Conservative vs. Liberal-NDP votes.

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