Most Canadians support immigration of STEM workers from Asia: report

November 2, 2019

By Vancouver Sun |

Many Canadians want the government to develop public policies to promote the immigration of skilled and talented workers from Asia.

Many Canadians support the immigration of skilled and talented workers from Asia, especially ones who have a background in science, technology, engineering or mathematics, concludes the latest gauge of Canadian attitudes toward Asia.

But the Asia Pacific Foundation’s latest 2019 poll also finds a significant level of opposition to the idea and said that view needs to be dealt with by government.

A random survey of over 1,520 Canadian adults found 53 per cent think the “benefits outweigh concerns regarding Asian talent immigration,” the report said. But “a sizable 36 per cent … feel otherwise.”

“It’s important to look at the concerns raised here. We need to address them,” said Sreyoshi Dey, program manager, surveys and polling at the Vancouver non-profit that focuses on building ties, especially economic ones, between Canada and Asia.

The report concluded some of the primary concerns of those surveyed “over recruiting Asian talent are increased labour market competition and foreign influence on Canadian culture.”

“Policies extending Canadian workers’ job protection would mitigate the impact of changes in the labour market and further protect Canadians who are vulnerable to international competition. In cases of concern about Asian influence on Canadian culture, … actions can be taken to promote Canadian culture and values among incoming international workers through social integration practices, education, and training, thereby enabling them to adapt to life in Canada.”

“On the other hand, the concerns about Asian influence on Canadian culture may be driven by a lack of awareness and could be alleviated … through education and other public programs,” said the report.

The poll showed that the Canadians surveyed were less receptive to immigration of talented workers from China than from other countries in Asia.

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