Toronto: In sentiment driven by growing economic anxiety, for the first time in decades, an increasing number of Canadians (44%) are questioning whether there is too much immigration to the country.
This is among the major findings of a new poll from the independent, non-profit Environics Institute for Survey Research released this week. “More than four in ten Canadians now strongly (23%) or somewhat (21%) agreeing with the statement, ‘there is too much immigration to Canada,’ up 17 percentage points from one year ago and the largest one-year change ever recorded on this question,” the survey found.
They are still outnumbered by those who are satisfied with the level of immigration, at 51%, but the poll found, “Canadians are now significantly more likely than a year ago to say there is too much immigration to the country, dramatically reversing a trend dating back decades. For the first time, a growing number of Canadians are questioning how many immigrants are arriving, rather than who they are and where they are coming from.”
The trend is clear compared to the data for last year, when a whopping 69% of those sampled disagreed with the question that there was too much immigration, as against just 27% agreeing.
“The latest Focus Canada research shows a significant jump in the proportion of Canadians who believe the country accepts too many immigrants, marking a dramatic reversal from a year ago when public support for immigration numbers stood at an all-time high, which at the time marked a rising trend stretching back three decades,” the researchers noted.
The change of mood is driven by economic pressure and a general sense of malaise in the country, not a rise in xenophobia as the vast majority, 74%, continue to agree that immigration overall is good for Canada and its economy. Only 34% are satisfied with the way things are going in the country while 58% aren’t. Inflation, cost of living, housing affordability and other economic matters worry those surveyed the most.