A recently released Focus Canada report from the Environics Institute shows Canadians becoming even more accepting of immigrants and refugees. The study, which is part of an annual public research program in Canada launched in 1976, found that the trend of increasing support for immigrants and refugees in Canada has continued, and has reached its highest levels in more than four decades.


The study found that, for the first time, a plurality of Canadians rejects the ideas that too many refugees are not legitimate, and that too many immigrants are not adopting Canadian values. By a five-to-one margin, the public believes immigration makes Canada a better country, not a worse one; and they are most likely to say this is because it makes for a more diverse, multicultural place to live.


Perhaps most surprisingly, this trend of increasing openness toward immigrants and refugees has occurred across all of Canada and among all demographic segments of the population.

Key Study Findings:

  • Two-thirds of Canadians now disagree with the statement “Overall, there is too much immigration to Canada”. Only 27% agree with the statement, down seven points from 2019.
  • Over eight in ten Canadians now agree that immigration has a positive impact on the Canadian economy, the highest level ever recorded by the Focus Canada study.
  • Only one in three Canadians now agree that most people claiming to be refugees are not real refugees, with 41% disagreeing, and 24% offering stating they’re unsure or offering no opinion.
  • Almost half of Canadians now disagree that too many immigrants do not adopt Canadian values, up six points from the previous year.

About Focus Canada:

Focus Canada is an annual public opinion research program, launched in 1976. This year, the Environics Institute updated its research on Canadian attitudes toward their country’s relations with its international partners. This survey was conducted in partnership with the Faculty of Social Sciences’ IMPACT Project at the University of Ottawa and Century Initiative. This survey is based on telephone interviews conducted (via land line and cellphones) with 2,000 Canadians between September 8 and 23, 2020. A sample of this size drawn from the population produces results accurate to within +/-2.2 percentage points in 19 out of 20 samples.

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