May 7, 2024

Weekly EconMinute—Canadian Perceptions of Immigration: Part 3

In Part III of this special edition of our EconMinute series that explores Canadians’ Perceptions of Immigration, we’re talking about Canadians’ vision for immigration.

Public Opinion Polling and BCA’s Prosperity-Driven Immigration Project

As a part of our work on Prosperity-Driven Immigration—a summary of which can be found here—we were interested in gaining a better understanding of how Canadians feel about immigration, including the existing challenges they see and their vision for the future. Through public polling conducted by Abacus Data in April 2024, we were able to gain insights from diverse voices across Canada. Over the course of this mini-series, we highlight some of the key findings from this polling data (the full results of which can be found here.

Part I and Part II of our mini-series on Canadians’ Perceptions of Immigration revealed that Canadians are increasingly unsure of the value that immigration brings to Canada, and many believe the current system of immigration is ineffective.

Furthermore, according to our polling results, 70% of Canadians believe it is time for Canada to make changes to its immigration system. So, what changes do they want to see?

Here’s what we found:

  • 63% of Canadians believe newcomers should have clear paths to credential and experince recognition in Canada. This is a widely held view among both immigrants (73%) and those born in Canada (60%).
  • 61% of respondents believe that Canada should prioritize immigrants who significantly contribute to the Canadian economy.
  • Additionally, around 60% of respondents believe that the primary goal of immigration should be to help increase living standards. Of those who agreed, the view was particularly common among supporters of the LPC (Liberal Party of Canada) at 65%, and the CPC (Conservative Party of Canada) at 63%.
  • Lastly, 56% of individuals feel that it is important newcomers are provided with support such as language lessons, access to employment opportunities, and so forth, to facilitate successful integration.

Overall, these results suggest that, while many still see the benefit of immigration, Canadians want a system of immigration that functions better for Canada. Particularly, Canadians emphasized the importance of prioritizing those immigrants that offer the greatest economic potential; and ensuring all newcomers are put in a position to succeed.

This suggests that, amid emerging challenges, Canada needs to do more to ensure that both present and future generations of Canadians benefit from a strong system of immigration. This week, the BCA launches its report Delivering the Promise that offers a vision and strategy for how we do exactly that.

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