Most Canadians say they are in favour of the country’s current immigration levels but support drops once they’re made aware of specific federal immigration targets, an internal government survey suggests.
Among those who did not agree that the right number of immigrants are coming into Canada, 22 percent said immigration levels are too high and another 22 percent said levels are too low.
The report was prepared for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) by Ottawa-based research firm Phoenix SPI. The company surveyed 3,400 Canadians between Jan. 31 and March 17.
After being informed about the government’s planned number of immigrants to be settled in the country for 2023, survey participants started showing reticence.
“While half (51 percent) said that this is about the right number, approximately one-third (35 percent) of Canadians felt that this would be too many immigrants,” the report said, noting a 13 percent increase among the latter cohort when told the quota for 2023.
When told of Canada’s 2023 target for immigrants, the proportion of respondents who still believed the number was too low declined from 22 percent to 10 percent.
Canada’s record immigration levels have raised questions about the impact on the housing market and the current affordability crisis, as housing demand vastly outstrips supply.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Aug. 21 that the solution to rising housing affordability woes is to increase immigration, citing labour shortages.