Majority of Canadians against accepting more refugees, poll suggests | Power & Politics



we are an aging society we have a growing economy that needs a lot of new workers the local labor market supply is not enough welcome to the show Vashi is away today with the federal election less than four months away CBC News is asking Canadians what issues matter most to them a commission poll involving more than 4,000 people reveals some divisions and one of the issues people are divided about involves newcomers to this country the CBC Salima shiv ji is looking into what the numbers are telling us about Canadians attitudes on immigration and refugees and she joins me now so what stood out for you well it's interesting actually can you obviously this was a sweeping poll but on this issue it really shows a clear divide in in a way it you know sort of the preference being for skilled workers to be coming into the country as opposed to refugee so that's the most stark conclusion from this although interestingly 74 percent of those surveyed don't care about the ethnic makeup of those coming in it's really about whether the skills are there or not and let's look a little bit closer at the number so less than half of those surveyed actually only 43% agree with the statement that Canada should be accepting more refugees and interestingly there's this worry over illegal immigration that's also present in this poll 64 percent of those polled say it's becoming a serious problem so sort of that idea that there's a need for a system that is orderly that is fair and but I do want to point out a little bit of context as well there was also a question asked of how important this issue is to those who were polled if it's top of the election issues that they're gonna be focusing on as they vote and really it was quite low down on that list who came in about eighth way below the cost of living health care and climate change so just a bit of context for where this issue is at in terms of voters if those are the attitudes do the facts about how Canada's immigration system actually works match those attitudes and and what has the the political reaction been yeah it's interesting I'm sure because a lot of the federal parties have already been talking about issue as you know you know there's that sort of that sense of fairness if the system is fair has been really tapped into by the federal conservatives we saw Andrew Shearer talking about it in one of his five policy speeches you know he talked about he being the one who could sort of fix the Canada's immigration system and and restore faith that sort of idea that you know cracking down on people who are gaming the system or trying to jump the queue so those sort of statements have been coming from the federal conservatives for a while now the Conservatives have also promised you know to forego set yearly immigration levels whereas that's their contrast with the Liberals because of course we know they want to keep those numbers going up they want to still increase the number of immigrants coming in each year to up to three hundred fifty thousand by 2021 even though honestly internal polling that the party has done do show that Canadians are happy with where the limits are now without that added increase so the Immigration Minister has spoken about this really talking about the need for his party and just in general to highlight how we need skilled workers and we need to help in terms of our changing demographic we need these workers to come in we need to let these people and but of course the Liberals are also attuned to that idea that Canadians want that fair system they want to make sure that that the system is fair the Prime Minister mentioned it as he was defending a thing that was slipped into the budget you know that that's sort of slightly more aggressive stance and cracking down on some would be refugees refugee claimants making asylum claims in Canada that was pushed into law by the budget implementation bill so you're getting that idea of a fairness in the system echoed by the Liberals as well you know and not just the federal conservatives now Quebec Premier ventured into the debate again today again the focus was on skilled workers and he says he wants to sort of push Ottawa to focus on economic immigration take a listen right now there's a lack of personnel in many companies in Canada so I've already spoken with few premiers of other provinces and I think we can a common demand to the federal government to change the percentage and increase the percentage of economic immigration so there you go that's Quebec stance obviously they have control over economic immigration as opposed to other provinces who do not but he wants the other primers on side he is promising to bring this up bring this issue put it on the agenda for that big premiers meeting next week in Saskatoon so look out for that all right sliema Shuchi thank you for your time today you're welcome so how is this information being interpreted by people who work with the refugee community Janet Dench is the executive director of the Canadian Council for Refugees and she joins three from Montreal thank you very much for your time today miss Dench I want to ask you 57% of respondents said Canada should not be accepting more refugees are you surprised by that figure well it's certainly a little bit disheartening but at the same time you have to do understand it depends a bit on the context in which the question is asked and in experience you know when you ask people in general in the abstract you want more refugees they may answer differently to if you present them with a particular person who needs our protection and is gonna face severe persecution even death potentially if they're sent back home and most people in the latter case respond with compassion um in in the CBC story that we're running online right now one frontline worker no mentioned that she has seen a shift in attitudes towards refugees and it's a shift to the more negative is that something you've had a sense of it all you know there's a lot of concern among all of our member organizations about rising intolerant attitudes and they have an enormous impact they they affect the policies that the government adopt but they also expect the experiences of people on the ground and we've seen this over the years in as there is rising and falling levels of welcoming towards refugees and hostility towards newcomers more generally so when things go down it affects people's everyday lives it affects their in daily encounters and it affects therefore how much people feel like they can settle in and contribute to their full capacity in the Canadian society you're on the front lines of this is there anything specific you you would attribute any sort of shift in attitude toward is there any is is there a source of this changing attitude well certainly we look at the politicization of issues and and we're very conscious around the world that many politicians see that attacking refugees is an easy way to plug into the xenophobia that exists the the me2 attitudes that exist in all of us and and our worst selves luckily in Canada over the past decades we've been relatively spared that elections tend not to be fought on who can be nastier towards refugees as unfortunately is the case in many other countries but this time there's a real concern that some politicians may be wanting us to go in that direction and in fact we've written a open letter to all the leaders of all the political parties asking them to be cautious and mindful in the way that they speak during the election campaign because because things could very easily go off the rails during the 2015 election campaign the the issue of Syrian refugees did come up and it did play out I remember covering it it happened at the time of the photo of Alan Kurdi the young Syrian boy who had died and washed up on the shore in it it certainly gave if the world wasn't paying attention in the way it should have been it certainly brought all of the attention to Syria and became an election campaign issue do you think that given sort of the responses we're seeing here that this is going to become an election issue in the 2019 campaign well it certainly it would be very disturbing if it became an election at the other end obviously in in the previous election the party that won was the party that proposed a very generous and open response to the Syrian refugees and in an urgent sort of way which was appropriate to the moment if we go the opposite direction four years later that will not be to the credit of Canada we would hope that we Canadians will be more paying attention to the the choice that lies before us and comparing ourselves with what is happening in the United States of course everybody is horrified by the photos and the stories from what is happening in in the States so we have a choice before us is what kind of a country do we want to be do we want to be a country that is open and welcoming and respects the basic rights of those who knock on our door and you mentioned in that answer you spoke about the generous policy that Canada adopted when it came to the Syrian refugees 40,000 coming to Canada starting back in 2015 I know when the Syrian refugees did come to Canada there was a concern that there weren't enough resources there wasn't enough infrastructure in place to really give the appropriate supports to those people and the United Nations said that Canada took in more refugees than any other country about 28,000 refugees last year I believe it was so it does kinda have the support in the infrastructure to handle more refugees well I think we just need to a little bit nuance that responds because kind of did not take the majority of refugees or more than any other country it was only we said we settled more sorry settle many many right you're right on a daily basis receive more than Canada receives in a year but and and we only resettle more than any other country because the United States has drastically dropped the numbers that they resettle so we would prefer to see Canada take that role as the leading resettlement country because we resettle more rather than that the US has has declined certainly Canada can and should do more to make sure that newcomers are properly supported but at the same time it's important to recognize how much refugees in particular and newcomers more generally are resilient and really contribute to them themselves to their into raishin so i don't think we should look at it is more just like people are asking for more money or more services that that's part of it but it's also a question of doing things more smartly so that refugees and other newcomers can contribute and and we take down the obstacles that prevent them from contributing to their full potential as soon as possible Janet Dench I want to thank you for your time today thank you that's Janet Dench of The Canadian Council for Refugees hi I'm Vashi Capello's host of power in politics see more of our show by subscribing to the CBC news channel or click the link for another video thanks for watching

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. Why does a population have to increase? Why can’t we just maintain the numbers we have? We are not in the human replacement business. Perhaps it would be a good idea to slow down the immigration and take care of those in need we already have here.

  2. Welcome to Canada, Hong Kong democratic loving people, come and become Canadian. As sasel Patrickshek said anybody declared anti-China and democratic will be granted free access to Canada.

  3. When he cannot take care of his own citizens, what does a bozo prime minister resort to: looking after immigrants, many of whom are gaming the system. Wake up Trudeau and smell the coffee.

  4. My parents immigrated from England in the 1950s and most all my friends had parents who had come from the Netherlands, England, Scotland or Ireland. Was it different to Canadians that these were white, Anglo-Saxons rather than people of colour in those days? These were people who were working class and not any more wealthy than the immigrants of the current age. Why are there objections from the conservative side, other than ones that stem from prejudice?

  5. When is government going to address the problem – why don't Canadians have enough kids? Is that not more important than importing more people. Also we are not importing people we need – through point based system – rather we are just taking anyone. The unskilled refugees put a large burden on Canadians at the lower socioeconomic ends. Just see South of the border, that is the exact reason Trump got in. You can have differences with him, but he is 100% correct on need to have controlled immigration.

  6. They bring only Muslims and call it diversity. They go against the majority of Canadians because under the Liberals means under a dictatorship. As long as the Liberals are in power, Canadians will never be a democratic society. Trudeau bought and controls the media, those are the actions of a dictator.

  7. We've got veterans that haven't been treated fairly for years and citizens sleeping on the streets because they can't afford housing, our health care and schooling systems are scraping to keep thier foods open and out prime minister has not moved to solve any of these problems. But he can find the money to hand out to illegals that hes letting him into the country which continues to overload our resources knowing that they have zero skills to benefit Canada. Where the hell are thier brains. What the hell?

  8. Who is this person she talks so fast no we are not where did she get her info no more imports take care of the Canadians and let these people fix their on problem's in their own country's the come here and show no respect to us no more no more 🙂 🙂

  9. No more free stuff for muslim refugees .no more muslim refugees , they hate our way of living , they force sharia on our western values . they wont comply to our laws . come on enough is enough . My parents and i immigrated in the 70 s and we had before nothing and where givin nothing .Thats the way it should be instead of spoiling these brats .

  10. We don't nend more immigration. Immigration is part of the reason why house pricing is out of reach for some as well as the drug trade is bigger problem than ever. We have our own unemployed people that can fill these minimum wage jobs. Stop rewarding people with free tax payers dollers for being too lazy to work. With the forest industry dwindling we will have our own problems to worry about with alot of tax dollars out of circulation. Canada needs to have a back bone and be run like a business not a free for all.

  11. The only immigrants willing to migrate to Canada are refugees.. And then they only vote for Liberals..
    Why do even the FOB immigrants hate the Great White Canadians or the Veterans ??

  12. China can send Canadog one million Mozzies if they need more people !
    See how Canadog will become within 50 years !

  13. The local labour supply is not enough? Enough for what? To fund rich city dwellers with unsustainable lifestyles? To expand government control and globalization? To fund more welfare refugees? They always keep saying more and more but when is enough? The people lobbying for more refugees are people who have something to benefit from it. Think voting demographics and wage undermining. You’ll understand who I’m talking about.

  14. 36 BILLION people will crowd the earth within 3 centuries. Next time you recycle your garbage ask yourself if you're wasting your time – you actually are. We require 2.5 persons to support the one retiree. Runaway population growth is a real threat to the planet. People need millions upon millions of windmills (green technology) to power our things. We need to pave over forests and wildlife habitat if we need to go green. Extinction of species is a neccessary evil. We need babies and lots of babies!

  15. Refugees and immigrants are some of the hardest working people
    In the world of you give them the opportunity. I think the poll was not big enough but I hope to God that most Canadians don’t feel that way. Don’t turn into the US

  16. The jobs are growing in Quebec so maybe they should go there.
    Bombardier snc-lavalin, new Metro lots of jobs.

  17. Canadians can build a wall with all the "recyclable" Plastics & Trash kicked back from the East Asian Nations.
    How environ-mental do you think the impact would be ?

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