Study Finds Not Even Trump or a Global Pandemic Has Affected Canada's Stance on Immigration
According to a recent study from the Environics Institute, Canadians are more welcoming to newcomers than ever before. This is even despite the uncertainty and economic toll the global pandemic has caused.
The study found that Canadian attitudes towards immigration have been increasingly positive throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and these views aren’t a coincidence.
“These views are not a blip. They’re not chance. They seem to be deeply rooted and widely spread,” said Andrew Parkin, executive director at Environics.
The study went on to say that not even the emergence of anti-immigration views following the election of U.S. President Donald Trump were able to change Canadians' opinions on immigration.
“If these views are not going to get knocked back by politics in the United States or a major health or an economic crisis, they’re probably not going to get knocked back,” he said.
The Environics study was based on results from a survey titled the Focus Canada survey, which has been conducted every year since 1976.
The 2020 results, which were just released in October, suggested that for the first time in the survey's history, Canadians are less likely to believe that immigrants are not integrating into Canadian society or adopting Canadian values.
Furthermore, the study found that a significant number of Canadians believe that immigrants are critical to the Canadian economy and that Canada needs more immigrants to increase its population and help fill jobs.
“Over the past year, the Canadian public has become more accepting and supportive of immigrants and refugees, continuing a trend dating back several years, but to levels not recorded in more than four decades of Focus Canada surveys,” the report claims.
What's interesting is that these results aren't just coming from young Canadians in heavily populated, diverse cities like Toronto and Vancouver. The study reported that older, more conservative Canadians and residents of regions that have faced economic devastation were becoming more accepting and adopting the same pro-immigration beliefs.
At the same time though, one alarming part of the study found that close to one-third of Canadians feel there are too many refugee claimants that are not “real” refugees. However, this number has decreased dramatically since 1987, when 79% of Canadians held this opinion.
This, along with Canada's overwhelmingly positive opinions on immigration help demonstrate that our country is moving in the right direction by welcoming more newcomers with open arms.