May 2, 2019
68 Percent of Survey Respondents Said Immigration Makes Canada Stronger
As Canada prepares for a federal election in October 2019, the issue of how the federal government should treat immigrants and refugees is increasingly in the spotlight. Public opinion towards immigrants and refugees is an important consideration for politicians. Earlier this week the US-based Pew Research Center released a report on public attitudes towards immigration in 18 countries, including Canada. When asked whether immigrants make Canada stronger or are a burden, 68 percent of respondents said that immigrants “make our country stronger” and 27 percent stated that immigrants are a burden, according to a survey conducted by US-based Pew Research Center in 2018.
The vast majority (80 percent) of Canadians surveyed also said that immigrants are “no more to blame for crime than other group”, however 17 percent of Canadian participants believed that immigrants are more to blame for crime than others. The responses to these survey questions indicated that Canadians have a more positive opinion of immigrants than those surveyed by Pew in 17 other countries.
The majority of participants in many of the 18 countries surveyed viewed immigrants positively. In the US, for example, 59 percent of those surveyed said that immigrants made the country stronger and 34 percent found immigrants to be a burden. However, in South Africa, Israel, Russia, Greece and Hungary at least 60 percent of participants believed immigrants to be a burden.
The report which summarizes the survey findings does not delve into the factors driving public opinion in Canada or elsewhere but it does comment briefly on the link between where participants fall generally in terms of political ideology, education, age and income:
“In most countries surveyed, those on the left of the ideological spectrum are more positive about immigration’s impact on their country than those on the right. Similarly, in many countries surveyed, those with higher levels of education, younger adults, and those with higher incomes are more likely to say immigrants make their countries stronger because of their work and talents.”
Hopefully, as more Canadians interact with and learn from one another far more than 68 percent of them will acknowledge the contributions of immigrants and refugees to Canadian society.