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Even immigrants think Canada’s open borders policies are too extreme, new poll finds

Canada’s current mass immigration plan is opposed by a large minority of recent arrivals, according to a new poll, although the results vary widely by ethnicity and they are more likely to be pro-migration than the average Canadian.

The latest Leger survey asked adults who arrived in Canada during the last 10 years about their views on politics and immigration, and found that 42% think the country’s current plan admits too many immigrants, 34% say it’s just right, 7% say it won’t admit enough, and 17% don’t know.

The question asked was: “The Government of Canada’s current immigration plan is to welcome 465,000 immigrants to Canada this year, 485,000 in 2024 and 500,000 in 2025. In 2022, Canada admitted over 437,000 immigrants. Which of the following best reflects your opinion about the government’s plan?”

Canada immigration poll Leger
Canada immigration poll Leger

The results differed widely by ethnic group, with 50% of South Asians saying too many were being admitted, along with 64% of Southeast Asians, 55% of Chinese, and 45% of Filipinos.

For Black immigrants the corresponding figure was 17%, compared to 32% of Middle Eastern and North Africans, and 38% of Latin Americans.

Those surveyed were also asked which political party they typically found themselves agreeing with more often.

South Asians and Chinese were most likely to vote for the Conservatives at 31% and 30% respectively, while only 13% of Blacks agreed. 50% of Black immigrants answered “don’t know”.

Nationwide polling in March found that 50% of Canadians think there are too many immigrants coming in, double the January 2023 percentage. 39% of those cited the country’s housing crisis, 21% said immigrants and “draining the system”,  and 10% said they were concerned about becoming a minority.

Only 7% of those surveyed said more immigration was needed.

In January the National Bank warned Canada was caught in a “population trap” caused by record-high immigration.

The bank’s report defined a population trap as “a situation where no increase in living standards is possible, because the population is growing so fast that all available savings are needed to maintain the existing capital labour ratio”.

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