Canadians want immigration shakeup

Brian Lilley, Parliamentary Bureau

, Last Updated: 6:32 AM ET

OTTAWA - Forget changing whether we take more family immigrants or skilled workers, a new poll shows Canadians want to shake up the selection of countries from which we select immigrants.

A Leger Marking poll of 1,503 Canadians found that 40% of Canadians say the government should limit immigrants from certain countries in order to change the mix of immigrants coming to Canada.

"Quebec and Ontario are really looking for a different mix," said Dave Scholz, vice-president of Leger.

Quebecers were most likely to agree with the statement that "Canada should limit immigrants from certain countries to provide a more balanced mix of new immigrants to Canada," with 35%.

Just 25% of Albertans felt the same way.

In Ontario, 29% agreed with limiting immigrants from some countries in order to balance the mix but Ontarians were most likely to say that "Canada should ban immigrants from some countries that are over-represented in our country to allow other immigrants from other countries a chance to have more access," with 14% agreeing with the statement.

The most popular option nationally ­ at 39% - was that an immigrant's country of origin should have no bearing on whether they should be allowed to come to Canada.

Albertans were most likely to agree with this, at 46%, while Quebecers were the least likely to agree, at 33%.

In 2009, close to one-third of all new immigrants to Canada came from just three countries - China (29,049), Phillipines (27,277) and India (26,122).

The fourth-place country was the United States, with just 9,723 people crossing the 49th parallel.

Leger did the polling online from Nov. 1-4, 2010. The company polled 1,503 Canadians 18 or older. A telephone poll of this size would have a margin of error of +/- 2.6%.


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