Survey Shows Canadians Not as Keen to Increase Immigration as the US
A recent survey conducted by Pew Research Center asked participants of 27 countries about their views on migration in and out of their countries. The results show that American citizens seem more open to increasing immigration than Canadians.
19 percent of Canadian respondents felt that immigration numbers should rise, compared to 24 percent of American respondents who felt the same. Spain had the highest percentage of respondents looking for an increase in immigration at 28 percent, following closely by the United States and Japan. While this paints a picture that Canada is not as welcoming, a closer look at the numbers and recent events reveals a desire for a more moderate approach.
The Angus Reid Institute conducted a poll of its own over the summer that revealed that 67 percent of respondents felt that Canada was in the midst of a refugee crisis. But according to the Pew survey, 53 percent of Canadians feel that immigration levels should remain “about the same.” What’s more, during a recent visit to Ottawa this past November, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Volker Turk, stated outright that Canada was not experiencing a crisis.
While Canada may be lukewarm on migration at the moment, there is no cause for concern when compared to the responses of other nations. The central question of Pew’s survey was, “In your opinion, should we allow more immigrants to move to our country, fewer immigrants, or about the same as we do now?”
A staggering 82 percent of Greek respondents answered “Fewer/None,” with Hungary and Italy coming in at 72 percent and 71 percent, respectively. Thankfully, Canadian hostility to immigration was minimal; only 27 percent of respondents felt that we should accept fewer or no immigrants, second only to Japan.
Furthermore, last year the majority of Canadians did not consider the rising immigration rate to be a high-priority problem facing Canada today. The subjects that preceded immigration and refugees were the economy, interest rates, inflation and deficit, environmental issues and climate change, health care, weak government and leadership representation, social issues such as poverty and homelessness, and unemployment.
While these polls and surveys work to quantify complex issues, it should be noted that they’re never completely representative of opinions. They may be useful to capture a snapshot of public opinion, but they’re not the full story. Despite political rhetoric and (in some cases) misinformation, this Pew survey shows that most Canadians are content to stay the course on issues related to migration.