Public support for current immigration quotas falling across Canada to levels not seen in nearly two decades

When asked if there are too many, too few, or about the right number of immigrants in Canada, 35 percent said there were too many. 48 percent said the number was about right. This marks the lowest amount of support for immigration quotas since 2006.

Public support for current immigration quotas falling across Canada to levels not seen in nearly two decades
The Canadian Press / Adrian Wyld
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A federal report has found that support for current immigration quotas is falling sharply. The Department of Immigration memo states that one-third of Canadians, and a majority of Ontarians, say there are too many immigrants.

"Canadians’ support for immigration levels decreased substantially during 2023,” said a Deputy Minister Transition Binder, reports Blacklock's. “The proportion of Canadians who say the number of immigrants coming to Canada is ‘too many’ rose by 13 percentage points between March and November.”

“This is the most concern about the rate of immigration to Canada that we have seen in nearly 20 years and appears to be tied to increased concern about immigration’s impact on housing and public services in Canada,” it read.

When asked if there are too many, too few, or about the right number of immigrants in Canada, 35 percent said there were too many. 48 percent said the number was about right. This marks the lowest amount of support for immigration quotas since 2006.

"Between March and November concern about the number of immigrants coming to most provinces also increased by about 15 percentage points," the briefing binder reads.

51 percent of Ontarians when asked about immigration levels said that there were "too many." This is the highest negative response in any province, followed by Prince Edward Isalnd (44 percent,) British Columbia and Nova Scotia (38 percent,) Alberta (36 percent) Saskatchewan (31 percent,) Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador (25 percent,) New Brunswick (24 percent) and Manitoba (19 percent.)

“Concern about pressure placed on housing prices by immigration has increased substantially in the past year and a half, rising from 34 percent (in March 2022) to 45 percent (in March 2023) to 56 percent (in November 2023),” the memo read. “Similarly concern about pressure placed on public services rose from 51 percent to 59 percent.”

Last year, the Department of Immigration reported that 471,550 immigrants were admitted to Canada under federal quotas. Additionally, there were 766,520 temporary foreign workers and 1,040,985 recipients of foreign study permits. According to the Briefing Binder, most Canadians believe that schools should "accept fewer international students" but agree that migrant workers are necessary.

The memo is dated for this past January. Immigration Minister Marc Miller said during a March interview with US National Public Radio that Canada had no choice but to accept more immigrants, citing Canada's need for growth.  

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