New Abacus Poll Shows Canadian Immigration Attitudes Hardening

In the last few days, two new polls on Canadian immigration attitudes have been released from respected polling firms Leger and Abacus. The data shows that skepticism of large-scale immigration continues to increase among Canadians.

I have compiled some of the most interesting findings from the Abacus poll here.

Majority of Canadians think federal immigration target is too high:

  • Way too high (40%)
  • Too high (27%)
  • About right (23%)
  • Too low (2%)
  • Don’t know (7%)

Majorities in all regions surveyed think immigration is too high:

  • British Columbia (64%)
  • Alberta (70%)
  • Saskatchewan/Manitoba (67%)
  • Ontario (70%)
  • Québec (60%)
  • Atlantic Canada (68%)

Majority of both immigrants and native-born think immigration is too high: 

  • Born in Canada (68%)
  • Born outside Canada (62%)

All age groups, both sexes agree that immigration is too high:

  • 18-29 (54%)
  • 30-44 (64%)
  • 45-59 (71%)
  • 60+ (73%)
  • Male (65%)
  • Female (69%)

Voters from all four major parties want lower immigration: 

  • Conservative (82%)
  • Liberal (61%)
  • NDP (63%)
  • Bloc Québecois (80%)

* The Abacus survey does not include the Green Party, but the Leger survey reported that 58% of Green voters think immigration is too high.

A plurality of Canadians think too many immigrants are arriving in their community:

“Does your community need more or less immigrants?”

  • Less (47%) +6 since July
  • About the same as now (38%)
  • More (15%)

This includes most immigrants themselves:

“Does your community need more or less immigrants?”

  • Born in Canada answering less (48%)
  • Born outside of Canada answering less (44%)

Growing concern over impact of immigration on daily life:

The Abacus poll shows that many Canadians continue to believe that immigration is having a positive effect on the availability of workers, economic growth, and Canada’s ability to attract new business investment – although support is slipping on all of these measures since the last time Abacus asked respondents in July.

Respondents were particularly concerned about the less abstract effects of immigration, in particularly its impact on their daily lives.

“Do you think the number of immigrants coming to Canada is having a positive, neutral, or negative impact when it comes to…”

  • Access to healthcare (Negative: 53% Neutral: 27% Positive: 14%)
  • Crime and public safety (Negative: 39% Neutral: 41% Positive: 13%)
  • Congestion and traffic (Negative: 51% Neutral: 33% Positive: 10%)
  • The cost and availability of housing (Negative: 69% Neutral: 17% Positive: 8%)F

And finally, an increasing number of Canadians think immigration is making Canada worse off: 

“Is immigration making Canada better or worse off?”

  • Worse (43%) +7 since July
  • Better (24%) -4 since July

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