Many new immigrants are having a crisis of confidence in Canada and that should be “ringing alarm bells all over Ottawa,” states a new study that challenges “cherished assumptions” about the nation’s immigration and citizenship programs.
Based on a Leger Poll, the study by the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) found that 30 per cent of young new Canadians could leave in the next two years mainly because they lack confidence in the nation’s current leadership and the high cost of living.
“Canada is a nation of immigrants — and one of the stories we tell ourselves is that we are welcoming to new immigrants, wherever they may be from,” said ICC CEO Daniel Bernhard in a statement.
“But while this may be generally true, (the) new survey data points to the fact that many new Canadians are having a crisis of confidence in Canada — and that should be ringing alarm bells all over Ottawa,” he said.
The survey’s key findings include:
- 30 per cent of 18–34-year-old new Canadians and 23 per cent of university-educated new Canadians say they are likely to move to another country in the next two years.
- While most Canadians and new immigrant Canadians alike believe that Canada provides immigrants with a good quality of life, Canadians have a much more positive outlook on Canada’s immigration policy compared to new Canadian immigrants.
- New Canadian immigrants are more likely to believe that Canadians don’t understand the challenges that immigrants face and feel the rising cost of living will make immigrants less likely to stay in Canada.
- Immigrants with university degrees tend to have less favourable opinions on matters related to fair job opportunity and pay than other immigrants.
- Among those who would not recommend Canada as a place to live, current leadership and the high cost of living were the top two reasons.
“The data suggest that younger, highly skilled immigrants in particular are starting to fall between the cracks,” said Dave Scholz, executive vice-president at Leger.
“We need to continue working hard to ensure that we are welcoming newcomers with the resources they need to succeed, and that we continue to be a country that provides opportunity.”
The study involved online surveys of 1,519 respondents from Leger’s panel and 2,103 New Canadians from ICC’s panel.
A multiple-award winning journalist, Fabian Dawson is an internationally acclaimed author, filmmaker and media expert. His work over the last four decades spans the globe and he also serves as a consultant/strategic advisor to a variety of international companies. As deputy editor-in-chief of The Province, part of the Postmedia chain, Dawson led initiatives within a special publications group to provide directed content for a variety of organisations. He was named the 2019 recipient of the Bruce Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award at Jack Webster Awards. Dawson has been invited by the governments of India, Malaysia, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong and the United States to act as a media observer/advisor on a variety of Asian-Canada issues. Dawson, now operates FD Media, which specializes in harnessing editorial assets to revenue generating opportunities.