The pandemic has not diminished the public’s openness to newcomers

November 5, 2020

By Canadian Immigrant Magazine News |

A study released in October 2020 on Canadian public opinion about immigration and refugees finds that in 2020 Canadians have become more accepting of newcomers, not less so – despite the national crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the study, strong and increasing majorities of Canadians are comfortable with current immigration levels, see immigrants as good for the Canadian economy and not threats to other people’s jobs, and believe that immigration is essential to building the country’s population.

The study finds that a majority of respondents say that immigration makes Canada a better country, not a worse one, and they are most likely to say this is because it makes for a more diverse multicultural place to live.

So, what lies behind this positive public opinion towards immigration and refugees? According to the study this is not apparent from the data itself but it “may be in part a response to the pandemic (e.g., a “we are all in this together” reaction). It could be a reaction to the alarming political instability south of the border in the USA (“we are not like them”). And it may reflect a solidifying public consensus that Canada’s economy (and one’s own livelihood) depends on making space for newcomers, especially this year when the economy needs all the help it can get.”

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