A recent EKOS survey shows immigration towards non-white newcomers is expected to be an election issue.
According to numbers released Monday by EKOS Research Associates, about 40 per cent of Canadians feel there are too many immigrants coming to this country. The responses were drawn from a survey with a modest sample size.
But the poll also suggested that reluctance to welcome newcomers who are visible minorities is now basically at the same level since the 90s. And that is something new.
The numbers also point to a “dramatic” gap between Liberal and Conservative supporters on the issue.
When asked if there are too few, too many, or the right number of immigrants coming to Canada who are members of visible minorities, 69 per cent of Conservative supporters chose “too many,” compared to 15 per cent of Liberal backers.
In 2013, the same question yielded a less jarring split: 47 per cent of Tory supporters and 34 per cent of Liberals said there were too many visible minorities coming to Canada.
The research suggests Liberals are “losing votes” to Conservatives from Canadians who are less welcoming to visible minorities, Graves said.
The overall poll, conducted between April 3-11 via interactive voice response, had a sample size of slightly more than 1,000 Canadians. However, the questions on immigration were randomly split
Some of the reasons why a growing number of Canadians have negative feelings toward new immigrants could be a result of economic despair, and the rapidly changing demographics of the country can leave many with a feeling of loss for what was familiar.
Conservative MP Deepak Obhrai says negative attitudes toward immigration are a “byproduct” of what he called the Liberal failure to address the “border crisis.” Since 2017, more than 41,000 asylum-seekers have crossed into Canada through unofficial points at the Canada-U.S. border.
And while Canada has separate streams and processes for asylum claims and immigration, Obhrai believes the flow of irregular border crossers has contributed to the polarization on the topic.
Liberals are now using their omnibus budget bill to bring about controversial changes that would prevent asylum-seekers from making refugee claims in Canada if they have already done so in the U.S. and certain other countries. Border Security Minister Bill Blair has said the move is about preventing so-called “asylum-shopping.”
But this won’t stop the thousands of illegal migrants from streaming across the border and as long as that happens, Canadians are going to be even more wary of immigration. Unfortunately, migrants coming across the border illegally are being seen as immigrants and the ire of Canadians is heaped on all immigrants who happen to be mostly people of colour. -CINEWS