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Newcomers say new policies will let in too many new immigrants: poll

Of the 2,000 respondents who immigrated within the past decade, 42 per cent say the Liberals’ new immigration plans are too permissive

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Among people who immigrated to Canada in the last decade, more think Canada’s latest immigration targets will bring in too many people, a newly released Leger poll suggests, while fewer recent newcomers think the plan will bring in the right amount of people or not enough.

The poll also suggests strongest support for federal Conservatives among Canadian immigrants — most notably among Chinese immigrants, whose support for the Tories outpaced the Liberals nearly three-to-one.

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In an online panel survey of over 2,000 adults who immigrated to Canada within the past decade, 42 per cent surveyed said the Trudeau Liberals’ new immigration plan will admit too many immigrants into the country.

That’s compared to a little over a third of respondents who said the plan will admit the right number of newcomers to Canada, while only seven per cent said it won’t let in enough.

Seventeen per cent didn’t have an answer.

Leger vice-president Andrew Enns says the numbers offer an intriguing snapshot into the current state of Canadian politics.

“It sends along a pretty interesting insight in terms of how things might be shifting within ethnic communities, and what people tend to assume and admittedly what we saw over the past couple of elections,” he said.

“The Liberals typically do quite well with the newcomer vote.”

When asked about which political party they support more generally, 24 per cent of those who gave an answer reported agreeing with the Conservatives most often, followed by 22 per cent for the Liberals, and eight per cent for the NDP.

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The Conservatives’ biggest share of support came from Chinese immigrants, of whom 30 per cent said they support the Tories, compared to just 10 per cent who said they mostly agreed with the Liberals.

Of the ethnic categories in the poll, all but Latinos, Blacks and Filipinos say they agreed with Conservatives over the Liberals, with Black immigrants reporting 27-per-cent support for the Liberals compared to 13 per cent for the Tories.

Professed support among Southeast Asian immigrants was evenly split between the Conservatives and Liberals at 25 per cent each, while 31 per cent of South Asian immigrants prefer the Conservatives compared to 22 per cent for the Liberals. (Southeast Asian refers to those from nations including Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, while South Asian countries include India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.)

Thirty-eight per cent said they didn’t know what party they agreed with the most.

A little over a quarter of poll respondents were Canadian citizens, 41 per cent were permanent residents, 15 per cent were here on work permits, 10 per cent were international students and a small number said they were refugees.

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In response to ongoing housing, affordability and health-care pressures, Immigration Minister Marc Miller announced last year that Canada would ease government immigration targets, capping newcomers at 500,000 annually starting in 2025.

Canada plans on admitting 485,000 new immigrants this year.

Those targets are up from less than 300,000 immigrants yearly when the Liberals came to power in 2015.

Miller also promised a review of temporary immigration programs like international students — of which Canada admitted nearly 900,000 in 2023 alone.

Among poll respondents who said the latest immigration targets are too permissive, Southeast Asian immigrants represented the highest numbers in that cohort at 64 per cent, followed by the Chinese community (55 per cent,) South Asian (50 per cent,) Filipinos (45 per cent,) White (41 per cent,) Latinos (38 per cent,) Middle Eastern/North Africans (32 per cent,) and Black (17 per cent.)

Of those who felt the new policies were too loose, 47 per cent arrived in Canada between six and 10 years ago, compared to the 38 per cent who immigrated within the past five years.

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Black respondents were most likely to say the new policies will admit the right number of immigrants (47 per cent,) followed by Filipinos (40 per cent) and those from Latin American nations (39 per cent.)

Less than 10 per cent of respondents from all categories felt the new targets wouldn’t let enough immigrants into Canada.

While margins of error cannot be applied to online panels, a comparable probability sample would yield a margin of error no greater than +/- 2.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

National Post

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