Immigration is rapidly becoming a major issue in the Great White North and there is an unprecedented level of opposition to immigration.
The report from the Angus Reid Institute analyzes polling data going back to 1975 to show that, throughout that period, a relatively constant number of Canadians — around one in four — have always said they think immigration levels should be decreased, while support for keeping levels the same has tended to be slightly higher. Only about 10 per cent of Canadians have supported increasing the levels during that time...
A survey conducted in late July by the Angus Reid Institute, however, does show a spike in opposition to immigration, which the organization says coincides with “more frequent and increasingly fraught conversations about policy regarding immigration and migration to Canada.”
The report puts the 2018 survey in context with previous polling on immigration done by Gallup and Harris/Decima over the past few decades, including a 2014 survey by Harris/Decima. The 2018 survey shows 49 per cent of respondents think immigration levels should be decreased (compared to 36 per cent in 2014), 31 per cent think levels should stay the same (compared to 48 per cent in 2014), and 6 per cent think levels should be increased (compared to nine per cent in 2014).
[Record opposition among Canadians to taking in more immigrants, but too soon to call it a trend, pollster says, by Brian Platt, National Post, August 21, 2018]
Of course, there is another way to look at this. Despite the relatively constant support for maintaining the "current levels" of immigration in Canada, immigration has been so great over the last few decades that Canada has been completely transformed. Canada will be majority non-white within twenty years.
Opponents of Canada's wide-open immigration policy have good reason to complain. This country embarked on a massive social experiment in the early 1990s, when the Mulroney government opened the immigration floodgates. That experiment is radically altering the ethnic makeup of the population. Yet that decision was never properly debated. Has the time come for such a debate, or is it too late?
A report this week from Statistics Canada forecasting the country's demographic makeup in 2036 suggests it's too late. The transformation of Canada is already far advanced, and continuing. By 2036, the agency predicts, as many as 30 per cent of all residents will not have been born in Canada. Another 20 per cent of the population will be native-born, but with at least one immigrant parent. Since the vast majority of immigrants come from Asian or Pacific nations, within 20 years Canada will likely be as brown as it is white...
If you're grinding your teeth at this, if you long for the Canada that was, it's easy to understand your frustration. That Canada has gone away. By 2036 it will be barely a memory.
[The politics of 2036, when Canada is as brown as it is white, by John Ibbitson, The Globe and Mail, April 14, 2017]
What is the point of democracy if you don't have any say about the fundamental direction of your country?