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POLS Speaker Series: "An Exceptional Country?" - Keith Banting

Friday, March 8, 2019
2:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Dunning Hall
Room: 11
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This presentation analyzes the factors that shape the evolution of Canadians’ attitudes towards immigration, focusing on both the national and regional levels. Dr. Banting will examine public support for immigration for almost four decades (1980-2017), drawing on a unique data set from Environics Focus Canada. Until the mid-1990s, close to two-thirds of Canadians agreed that there was too much immigration into the country. Public attitudes then shifted abruptly. Beginning in the mid-1990s, support for immigration rose dramatically, and by the early 2000s, approximately two-thirds of Canadians disagreed that immigration levels were too high. This is a remarkable change in such a short period. To explain this transition, Dr. Banting will discuss a model of the factors that shape public attitudes to immigration more generally and challenge popular narratives that Canada’s comfort with high levels of immigration reflects a distinctive culture and national identity which celebrate diversity.

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