More than half of Canadians are opposed to recruiting temporary workers overseas to help ease Canada’s labour shortage, says a national poll released yesterday.


The Angus Reid poll for the Asia Pacific Foundation of Can­- ada, a Vancouver-based think-tank on Asia, also found the majority of Canadians continue to welcome immigrants from Asia, though the goodwill has been waning, especially in Quebec, where support for Asian immigration has plummeted from 83 per cent a year ago to 44 per cent today.


While 60 per cent of respondents believe the rise of China is more of an opportunity for Canada than a threat, two in three raised concerns over Beijing’s growing military modernization in the Asia Pacific region, according to the wide-ranging survey.


Of all the provinces, support for the federal government’s temporary foreign worker program was highest in Alberta (58 per cent), Manitoba/Saskatchewan (55 per cent) and British Columbia (49 per cent). However, in Ontario and Quebec, where people have been affected by a recent economic downturn and job losses, only 39 per cent were in favour of the program. Nationally, only 44 per cent supported the temporary worker program.