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A Distinctive Culture? The Sources of Public Support for Immigration in Canada, 1980–2019

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 July 2020

Keith Banting
Affiliation:
Department of Political Studies, Queen's University, Mackintosh-Corry Hall, 68 University Ave, Kingston, ON K7L 3N6, Canada
Stuart Soroka*
Affiliation:
Department of Communication and Media, University of Michigan, North Quad, 105 South State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1285, USA
*
*Corresponding author. Email: ssoroka@umich.edu

Abstract

Canada has often been seen as immune from the powerful backlash against globalization and immigration that has driven political shifts elsewhere. This article challenges this belief, at least in part, by tracing the evolution of public attitudes toward immigration and analyzing the factors that have shaped the trajectory for over three decades. Drawing on nearly forty years of Environics Focus Canada surveys, combined with annual data on macro-economics and immigration flows, findings here suggest that Canadians’ tolerance toward immigration responds to immigration flows and is heavily influenced by macro-economic conditions.

Résumé

Résumé

Le Canada a souvent été perçu comme étant à l'abri de la puissante réaction contre la mondialisation et l'immigration qui a entraîné des changements politiques ailleurs. Cet article remet en question cette idée recue, du moins en partie, en retraçant l'évolution des attitudes du public à l'égard de l'immigration et en analysant les facteurs qui ont façonné leur trajectoire pendant plus de trois décennies. S'appuyant sur près de quarante années d'enquêtes Environics Focus Canada, associées à des données annuelles sur la macroéconomie et les flux d'immigration, les résultats suggèrent que la tolérance des Canadiens à l'égard de l'immigration réagit aux flux d'immigration et qu'elle est fortement influencée par les conditions macroéconomiques.

Type
Research Article/Étude originale
Copyright
Copyright © Canadian Political Science Association (l'Association canadienne de science politique) and/et la Société québécoise de science politique 2020

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