Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is proposing increasing how many immigrants Canada brings in each year, but a new poll suggests that it’s out of step with what Canadians want.
A Nanos Research Group poll, reported by Bloomberg News, found that only 17% of respondents think the country should accept more immigrants in 2021 than it did in 2020. Of the rest, 40 percent want the same amount and 36 percent want fewer immigrants.
According to Reuters, the plan is to add more than 400,000 new permanent residents in 2021 and 411,000 in 2022 – an increase of 50,000 from previous targets.
“The plan today helps us to make up for the disruption that has been caused by COVID-19 in 2020,” Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino told the outlet.
In part because of coronavirus restrictions, Canada only added 128,425 people in 2020, lower than its 341,000 target. Mendicino told Reuters that immigration is “one of the keys to our economic recovery and our long-term prosperity.”
But the opposition Conservative Party lawmakers opposed the push by Trudeau’s Liberal Party, saying that an economic downturn with high unemployment was not a time to be bringing in more workers.
“We’re facing 9% to 10% unemployment – more than a million Canadians are out of work,” lawmaker Raquel Dancho told Bloomberg. “Where are these folks going to work? Where are these folks going to live?”
The Nanos poll of 1,000 Canadians was conducted between Oct. 28 and Nov. 1 via telephone and online.