Are Canadians changing their attitude on migration due to COVID-19?


Canada has a reputation, both at home and around the world, as a beacon of tolerance when it comes to acceptance of immigrants and refugees. Part of this is due to the favourable attitudes of Canadians on the issue. Over the decade, the balance of opinion in Canada has become increasingly positive about the number of immigrants arriving in Canada and the benefits they bring to the country’s economy.

Is the dramatic impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic, causing Canadians to reconsider their perspective? Are they drawing inward and protective? Are they becoming more wary of outsiders such as new immigrants who could show up to take precious jobs from those already here and introduce new health risks? Has the pandemic and its impacts diminished the public’s openness to newcomers?

The reality is that Canadians have actually become more open, not less so. Over the past year, the Canadian public has become increasingly accepting and supportive of immigrants and refugees, continuing a trend dating back several years but to levels not recorded in more than four decades of survey research.


Witers: Andrew Parkin and Keith Neuman