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Growing Economic Anxiety Spurs Debate on Immigration in Canada

A Survey results, for the first time in decades, a growing percentage of Canadians (44%) are concerned about excessive immigration.

In a shift driven by growing economic anxiety, a new poll from the independent Environics Institute for Survey Research reveals that, for the first time in decades, a rising number of Canadians (44%) question whether there is too much immigration to the country.

Key Poll Findings:

The major findings of the poll show that “More than four in ten Canadians now strongly (23%) or somewhat (21%) agree with the statement, ‘there is too much immigration to Canada.’ 

This marks a significant increase of 17 percentage points from just one year ago, representing the largest one-year change ever recorded on this question.”

A Shift in Public Opinion:

While those who are satisfied with the level of immigration still constitute the majority at 51%, the poll indicates a significant shift in public opinion.

It states, “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, many Canadians are questioning how many immigrants are arriving, rather than who they are and where they are coming from.”

Changing Landscape Compared to Last Year:

The data from the previous year starkly contrasts with the current trend. 

Last year, 69% of respondents disagreed with the idea that there was too much immigration, while only 27% agreed.

The change in public sentiment is attributed to economic pressures and a general sense of malaise in the country. 

It’s worth noting that this shift is not necessarily a result of increased xenophobia, as a significant majority (74%) of Canadians still agree that immigration is good for the country and its economy.

Economic Concerns at the Forefront:

The prevailing economic concerns include inflation, the cost of living, housing affordability, and other economic matters, which weigh heavily on the minds of the surveyed individuals.

Consistency with Other Surveys:

This trend in public perception is consistent with other recent surveys. A survey by the agency Nanos in September found that 53% of Canadians wanted fewer immigrants. 

This comes amid a period of record immigration, with Canada’s population exceeding 40 million. The country added over a million new residents last year, with 98% of that growth driven by immigration.

Implications for Immigration Policy:

The shift in public perception is expected to influence the new immigration levels for the upcoming years, which are set to be announced on Wednesday by Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Marc Miller.

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