A majority of Atlantic Canadians support the federal government screening potential immigrants for Canadian values before allowing them to enter into the country, according to a new poll by Corporate Research Associates (CRA).
“It’s probably not surprising that we would ask this kind of question given what’s going on in the Western world. There’s a lot of concerns in western countries about values and protection of values,” said Don Mills, chairman and CEO of Corporate Research Associates.
The poll, released Wednesday morning, is based on a telephone sample of 1,511 adult Atlantic Canadians, conducted from Feb. 2 to March 1, 2017.
CRA says the poll shows 68 per cent of residents completely or mostly support screening potential immigrants for Canadian values. Twenty-six per cent of those surveyed completely or mostly oppose this idea, and six per cent do not know or do not have an opinion on the matter.
“I don’t think that that means that Atlantic Canadians are in any way anti-immigrant. I don’t think that. It has nothing to do with that,” Mills told Global News. “I think it’s the protection of our core values that make us Canadian that people feel are important to make sure that we are attracting people that agree with those values.”
Despite the poll results, there is no definition for what constitutes Canadian values.
“While the definition of Canadian values is yet to be determined, the need for such a definition is clearly evident by the majority of Atlantic Canadians who support screening potential immigrants for Canadian values before allowing them entry into the country,” Mills said in a release.
“We intend to research the definition of the most common Canadian values.”
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“We want these youth to have ideas as to what Canada is all about,” said Rahime Konneh with the United Nations Association of Canada.
“Canada is a multicultural country so we want these youth to want to impact the youth to understand Canada is a multicultural country so they can take charge of Canada in the future”
When asked about the results of the poll, Konneh said he believes it’s important to understand diversity and respect one another in order to live harmoniously.
“If we are coming into this country as a new immigrant we have to respect the culture that have existed in Canada in return our culture will be respected,” he said. “For me, it should be balance.”
CRA says the level of support for the federal government screening potential immigrants for Canadian values is consistent across the Atlantic Provinces.