Majority of Canadians have positive views on immigration, new poll says

A new Environics Institute survey entitled “Spring 2019 Focus Canada” found that a majority of Canadians continue to hold positive views on immigration, with a minority viewing immigrants and refugees as an urgent national concern.

The findings showed that Canadians’ views have remained the same since its previous study in October 2018.

The survey is done every six months and surveys a sample of 2,000 Canadians.

 “As has been the case most of the past two decades, positive sentiments outweigh negative ones on such questions as the overall level of immigration, its positive impact on the economy, its low impact on crime rates, and the impact on the country as a whole,” according to the survey.

The survey showed that issues such as the economy, environment, and poor government leadership are a more pressing concern to Canadians. Three percent of Canadians stated that immigration and refugees are an important issue facing the country.

59% of respondents do not think we have too much immigration

When asked whether there is “too much immigration in Canada”, 59 percent disagreed.

immigration level

Source: Environics Institute

Respondents living in Atlantic Canada and British Columbia had the most positive outlook on immigration, with 64 percent disagreeing that there is too much immigration.

 “Canadians’ level of comfort with immigration is grounded on the belief that it is good for the country’s economy, and this perspective held steady over the past six months,” according to the institute.

In Ontario, 80 percent of respondents agreed that “immigration has a positive impact on the economy of Canada.”, with the lowest response coming from Alberta, with 70% of respondents agreeing.

Age, education, income affect attitudes

Younger, university-educated, and those who view their income as “adequate” expressed more positive views on immigration. Meanwhile, Canadians over the age of 60, without a high school diploma, and who are low-income expressed more negative views.

Integration still a concern

The poll showed that Canadian are equally divided on whether immigrants are adopting Canadian values after their arrivals. 51 percent say immigrants are not integrating, while 42 percent disagree.

too many immigrants

Source: Environics Institute

Provinces who expressed the most concern for integration were Quebec (56 percent) and Alberta (55 percent), with the lowest being Atlantic Canada (41 percent).

53 of percent of Canadians agreed that immigrants work harder than people born in Canada.

Environics added that 45 percent of Canadian agree that immigration is making Canada a better place, with 15 percent disagreeing.

1/3 of Canadians believe immigration hasn’t made a difference to the country, with 7 percent having no opinion.

The poll also shows that most Canadians agree that the country is welcoming to immigrants.

immigrants arriving

Source: Environics Institute

80 percent of Canadians said, “immigrants are made to feel very or somewhat welcome by public agencies in their community and by the local population.”


37 percent of Canadians agreed that “most people claiming to be refugees are not real refugees.” with 80 percent of respondents saying that refugees “are made to feel very or somewhat welcome by the local population.”



Disproportionate number of jobs in Canada is due to immigrant-owned businesses, new study shows

A new Statistics Canada study shows that immigrant-owned business created a “disproportionate share of new job creation” from 2003 to 2013, in comparison to businesses with Canadian-born owners.

Immigrant-owned businesses were responsible for 25 percent of net jobs created, during the 11 year period, while making up 17 percent of all business studied.

This translated to 400,000 net new jobs from 2003 to 2013, higher than Canadian-owned businesses.

Immigrant-owned businesses were shown to be 1.3 times more likely to become high-growth firms, with annual employment growth shown to exceed 20% more than Canadian-owned businesses.

A majority of immigrant-owned businesses were less than four years old, which according to Statistics Canada, is an important factor.

“In any given year, young firms … were much more likely to increase employment than to shed employment,” the report says. “Young firms accounted for 40.5 percent of gross job creation, but only 17 percent of gross job losses.”

Statistics Canada adds that younger firms are more dynamic when it comes to job creation, due to their high rates of growth than older firms.


Canadian provinces looking for immigrants with in-demand occupations

Individuals with work experience in one of many skilled professions can be invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence through the country’s Express Entry stream, and can also take advantage of one of many provincial immigration streams which target skilled workers in in-demand professions.

Canada has federal and provincial immigration streams, each targeting specific skilled workers.

Express Entry uses the CRS (Comprehensive Ranking System) scoring system, and helps determines whether candidates have the appropriate occupation and experience.

Occupations are rated under 3 categories, type 0 (manaerial), skill level A (professional) and skill level B (technical) under the NOC system (National Occupational Classification).

Provincial Nominee Programs

Work experience is required by most provincial nominee streams, some of which are linked to the Express Entry system.

These streams allowed provinces or territories to nominate foreign workers for with the appropriate work experience for Canadian permanent residence.

Most of them operate using the Expressing of Interest system (EOI), which requires all candidates to create a profile with the provincial nomination program of their choosing.

Express Entry candidates who have a provincial nomination can guarantee themselves an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence (from an Express Entry draw), as a nomination gives them 600 additional CRS points.

Almost all provinces have one immigration stream that uses a list of in-demand occupation to determine eligibility.

The list is based on what jobs are in-demand in each of the provinces or territories, which can change without warning.

Some popular provincial streams that require specific work experience are:

Most commonly targeted occupations include:

  • Accounting technicians and bookkeepers (NOC 1311)
  • Administrative assistants (NOC 1241)
  • Computer programmers and interactive media developers (NOC 2174)
  • Social and community service workers (NOC 4212)
  • Early childhood educators (NOC 4214)

Tech occupations

British Columbia (B.C.) has been known for prioritizing immigrants with experience in tech-related occupation, through its Tech Pilot.

It targets 29 in-demand tech occupations that reflect the province’s labour demands, and provides a fast-tracked route to permanent residency for foreign workers and international students.

Manitoba also has an In-Demand Occupations List which features tech-related professions.

Ontario is also set to create a dedicated immigration stream for tech workers. Details have not been released yet.

Occupation-specific draws

A number of provincial streams have held draws targeting specific occupations. 

One of them is Nova Scotia’s Labour Market Priorities Stream, which was launched in August 2018 and targets early childhood educators, financial auditors, and accountants. 



IRCC now issuing invitations for Parents and Grandparents Program

Canada’s federal government is now issuing invitations to apply to its immigration stream for parents and grandparents.

Canada’s Parents and Grandparents Program lets Canadian citizens and permanent residents sponsor their parents and/or grandparents to come to Canada, for eventual permanent residence.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) stated that the invitations will be issued in the same order that the Interest to Sponsor forms were received, during the submission period which began on January 28.

The first invitations were issued on April 24, and the rest will take a few days to be received. They will be sent using the same email address that the applicant used on the Interest to Sponsor. Afterward, there are 60 days to accept the invitation and complete a sponsorship application.

IRCC stated that it aims to have 20,000 completed applications for its Parents and Grandparents Program in 2019, and if they don’t meet their quota they will conduct more invitation rounds.

Application process

Sponsors who are interested must receive an invitation to apply, and submit two complete applications. These applications are: to become a sponsor and from the parents or grandparents wishing to be sponsored for permanent residence. 

Both applications must be received by IRCC at the same time.

For more information on parent and/or grandparent sponsorship, contact Green Light Canada.