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57 per cent disapprove of the federal government's handling of this summer's surge in asylum seekers

Half of Canadians say their country is ‘too generous’ toward illegal border crossers

By —— Bio and Archives--September 1, 2017

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September 1, 2017—In the wake of a new wave of asylum seekers crossing the border in search of permanent residency, more than half of Canadians say this country is being “too generous” towards those coming in through irregular channels.

Since July 1, more than 7,000 people have walked across the border into Quebec to make asylum claims.

Now, a new public opinion poll from the Angus Reid Institute finds 53 per cent of Canadians of the opinion the country’s approach is too giving—more than eight times as many as those who say Canada is not being “generous enough”.

Asked to weigh in on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s public statements about Canada welcoming refugees while also discouraging irregular border crossings, slightly more than half of Canadians (54%) say the PM’s messaging has been “unclear,” and a majority (57%) disapprove of the Trudeau government’s handling of the situation overall.

Key Findings:

  • Opinions divide along political lines: Three-quarters (75%) of past Conservative voters say Canada has been too generous, compared to 45 per cent of New Democrats, and four-in-ten (40%) Liberals
  • Asked how Canada should focus available resources, seven-in-ten (70%) would prioritize border monitoring and security over assistance to the new arrivals (30%)
  • Looking to the future, some 43 per cent of Canadians expect the number of irregular border crossings to increase “quite a bit” (23%) or “become a flood” (20%) before the end of this year


  • More than half think Canada is being “too generous” toward border-jumpers
  • Preference for border monitoring dwarfs desire for assistance
  • Is the PM’s message clear?
  • Most disapprove of Ottawa’s handling of this file
  • Will the number of asylum seekers increase or decrease?

Link to the poll here: www.angusreid.org/asylum-seekers-quebec-refugees

Download .PDF (1 MB) with detailed tables, graphs and methodology.

Media Contact:
Shachi Kurl:
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) @shachikurl

Angus Reid Institute -- Bio and Archives | Comments

The Angus Reid Institute is a national, not-for-profit, non-partisan public opinion research foundation established to enhance and encourage better understanding of issues and trends affecting economic, social, governance, philanthropy, public administration, domestic and foreign policy in Canada and its world.

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