Brandon residents find newcomers have positive impact, survey finds

A new survey shows the majority of Brandon residents feel the city's welcoming of new immigrants has had a positive impact on the community.

Probe Research conducted a survey for Economic Development Brandon between Nov. 30 and Dec. 14, 2015

Probe research conducted a phone survey for Economic Development Brandon in late 2015. (Probe Research/Supplied by Economic Development Brandon )

A new survey shows the majority of Brandon residents feel the city's welcoming of new immigrants has had a positive impact on the community.

Probe Research surveyed 400 Brandon residents by phone in late 2015 for Economic Development Brandon and asked respondents if new international immigrants to Brandon have had a positive effect, no effect or a negative effect on the community. 

Sixty per cent feel newcomers have had a positive effect on the community. Another quarter felt they brought no effect and 10 per cent felt they had a negative effect, a number Economic Development Brandon says has remained steady over the past several years.

Sandy Trudel, Brandon's economic development director, said the annual survey helps the city determine whether their approach to immigration is successful.

"What we're seeing now is that our holistic approach to settlement is working," said Trudel. "It's working for the newcomers and it's being very well received by the residents who are already living here."

Brandon welcomed 535 new immigrants to the city in 2014, according to statistics.

"If you think back historically, well past the decade of growth that we've been having, at that time we tended to on average welcome 65 newcomers [per year]," Trudel added.

"Compare that to the 535 of 2014 and it's still significant growth." 

This survey was conducted by Probe Research by telephone between Nov. 30 and Dec. 14, 2015 among a random and representative sampling of 800 adult residents of western Manitoba, including 400 residents of the City of Brandon and 400 residents of rural areas in Westman.

Within Brandon, the margin-of-error is +/- 4.0 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

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