Study finds Canadians more positive than negative about benefits immigrants bring to the economy

November 14, 2019

By Canadian Immigrant Magazine |

Canadians as a whole continue to be more positive than negative about the number of immigrants arriving in Canada and the benefits they bring to the country’s economy, says a recently released survey on Canadian attitudes about immigration and refugees.

A follow-up to a study conducted earlier this year by Environics Institute, findings reveal that public concerns about questions such as the whether newcomers are adequately embracing Canadian values, and the legitimacy of refugee claimants have not increased over the past year; if anything they have moderated.

Key findings from the study include:

Attitudes about immigration and refugees vary across the population: Positive sentiments are most prevalent among younger Canadians and those with a university education. Negative views are most evident in Alberta, among Canadians ages 60 and older, and those without a high school diploma. In Quebec, despite the recent controversy over its new legislation banning religious dress, public opinion about immigrants is as positive if not more so than in other parts of the country.

Issues of public concern: Canadians’ overall satisfaction with the direction of their country has rebounded over the past six months. The environment and climate change is now the top issue of concern for the country, while immigration and refugees remain well down the list and declining in salience.

Overall level of immigration: A growing majority of Canadians reject the idea that their country is accepting too many immigrants. This view is due in part because eight in ten Canadians believe that immigration is helping Canada’s economy.

Integration of immigrants into society: Canadians continue to be divided on whether some immigrants are not adopting the right values, but this sentiment is slowly waning over time.

Legitimacy of refugees: Many Canadians continue to believe that some refugees are not legitimate, but such concerns have held steady over recent years, and remain well below levels recorded in the past.

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