A new survey has found that there is a general consensus among Canadians about the positive effects of immigration on long-term economic recovery. However, they are more interested in seeing family members being given the priority for immigration for now. Canadians want the government to give more preference to family reunification than economic-class and refugee-class immigration in 2020.
The coronavirus pandemic has already cut down on immigration numbers. Family-class sponsorship and refugee resettlement have been especially affected. Family sponsorship was down by 78% in the second quarter of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. Refugee levels were hit the hardest and were down by 85%, while economic-class immigration was reduced by 52%.
Critics have opined that the Canadian government is not taking sufficient measures to ensure family reunification during the coronavirus pandemic since many family members have been separated because of the processing delays.
Results of the study
The new survey by the Association of Canadian Studies found that about 36% of the respondents wanted the family members of people who are already in Canada to be given priority in 2020. The support for giving priority to economic-class immigration stayed at 27% between 2016 and 2020, but the refugee-class experienced a significant drop in support from 29% to 16% between 2016 and 2020.
Alberta turned out to be the most supportive of family reunification as compared to other provinces, with 44% of people asserting that it should be considered as the first priority. Atlantic Canada was second place with 42%, and Ontario came in next at 36%. The two provinces offering the lowest amount of support were Manitoba and Saskatchewan at 28%, but it was the highest share in comparison to the other immigration classes.
The results were based on the data taken from 1,531 adult Canadians between July 31 and August 2.