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Support for Immigration in Canada Declined in 2023

Canada Declined in 2023

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Recent polls conducted by Nanos, the Environics Institute, and Leger, a Canadian market research company, indicate a significant drop in support for high levels of immigration to Canada since September.

Immigration plays a crucial role in Canada’s population growth, which surpassed 40 million in 2023. The country aims to admit 485,000 new permanent residents in 2024 and 500,000 in both 2025 and 2026.

The rapid population growth has raised concerns among Canadians about its impact on the cost of living, particularly housing. While Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) emphasize the benefits of immigration, polls suggest growing concerns among Canadians dealing with high living costs, inflation, and housing challenges.

Leger Poll:

  • Only 9% of Canadians prefer a higher number of newcomers.
  • 43% are content with the planned immigration levels.
  • 39% want to see fewer immigrants in Canada.
  • 72% believe immigrants play a key role in population growth.
  • However, 75% associate immigrants with contributing to the housing crisis, and 73% feel pressure on the healthcare system.

Environics Poll (October):

  • Support for immigration dropped from an all-time high in 2022 to an all-time low in just a year.
  • Canadians are more likely to say there is too much immigration.
  • Most still believe immigration is good for the economy, but support is not as strong.

Nanos Poll:

  • 53% of Canadians want fewer immigrants in 2023 than projected in the Immigration Levels Plan.
  • A 20-point increase since March 2023.
  • 55% believe there are too many international students.

Common Elements:

  • All three polls highlight concerns about the impact of immigration on affordability, particularly housing.
  • Concerns about housing affordability are driven more by media narratives than direct experiences.
  • Decline in support for high levels of immigration is evident across political parties, with conservatives showing the most significant decrease.

These polls reflect a shift in public sentiment regarding immigration in Canada, with affordability concerns and political leanings influencing attitudes.
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