Poll: Majority Skeptical of Century Initiative, Think Immigration Should Benefit Canadians

A Leger poll commissioned by Canadians for a Sustainable Society, a Canadian environmentalist organization, contains striking insights into public attitudes on a variety of topics, including immigration levels:

What Canadians Want (Leger, May 5th 2023, commissioned by Canadians for a Sustainable Society, sample size of 1,500, survey conducted online)

I have compiled some of the key insights here.

First impressions of the Century Initiative were overwhelmingly unfavourable

“An advocacy group called The Century Initiative advising the Canadian Government wants to triple our population by the year 2100. What are your initial thoughts on this?”

  • Good idea (13%)
  • Bad idea (60%)

To break it down further into the shades of grey:

  • Very good idea (2%)
  • Good idea (10%)
  • Doesn’t matter (12%)
  • Bad idea (32%)
  • Very bad idea (28%)
  • I don’t know (15%)

Consensus that population growth would worsen problems in big cities

Most respondents said that the level of population growth advocated by the Century Initiative would make many problems in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal even worse. For each problem, I included the percentage of respondents saying high population growth would make it worse.

  • Preserving farmland (78%)
  • Access to nature (76%)
  • Housing affordability (76%)
  • Healthy environment (73%)
  • Quality of life (66%)

Most say immigration policy should improve lives of Canadians

“When it comes to the immigration policy in Canada, in your opinion, which of the following goals should be the most important?”

  • Ensuring the lives of Canadians are improved with the addition of immigrants (63%)
  • Helping make the lives of prospective immigrants better (18%)
  • Helping address problems in other countries (7%)
  • I don’t know (12%)

Strong hostility to using immigration to lower Canadian wages

“Canada should allow cheap labour into the country to support companies which pay low wages”

  • Strongly disagree (37%)
  • Somewhat disagree (24%)
  • Neither agree nor disagree (18%)
  • Somewhat agree (12%)
  • Strongly agree (3%)
  • I don’t know (7%)

Majority say train our own doctors and bring in foreign doctors, too

“In your mind, should Canada train our own residents to be doctors, nurses, engineers or other professionals, or should
Canada import foreign trained immigrants?”

  • Train our own residents (36%)
  • Import foreign trained immigrants (4%)
  • Both (56%)
  • I don’t know (4%)

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