The economy and immigration are on students minds as they ponder the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency and what this means for Canada.
When asked how they thought a Trump presidency would affect Canada and Canadians, Langara College students in Vancouver, B.C. spoke of two key issues- the economy and immigration. Domestic students focused in on the economic effects of Trumpism while international students said they anticipate things will get more difficult for immigrants to Canada and the United States.
Wern Lee, an environmental science student, feared a shift towards protectionism and a U.S. only mentality will happen under a Trump presidency.
“His foreign policy is very more towards focusing on the state itself rather than benefitting the global community. Trade deals and different types of things that will affect our relationship will be a lot more tied to everything that will benefit the U.S. more so than other states,” Lee said.
Mikayla Haynes, an international business student, thought Trump’s approach to the economy would leave Canada struggling to maintain its independence.
“I think that Donald Trump will push for certain things that he wants and kind of leave us in the dust so that I guess we kind of have to agree with what he wants. I think it’s going to be more a kind of bullying situation,” Haynes said.
While students were worried about the economic impact of a Trump presidency, most did not think it will be as bad as predicted.
“I think the economy will be hurt by it a bit because I know that he’s protectionist and wants a lot of the jobs that have left America to go back there,” student Nick Newburg said. “So I’m sure the economy will be hurt by it but I don’t know it will be as catastrophic as people think.”
International students on the other hand said an increase in immigration from the United States will make it difficult for other groups to come to Canada.
“I think U.S., Americans, they might try to come to Canada much more than before so I think at least for international students or people who are trying to immigrate to Canada it will be harder because there will be much more people trying to come here,” Mi Mura, a web and mobile postgraduate student from Brazil, said.
General science student Irene Feng believed Trump would create jobs for American workers but she anticipated the middle class would look to Canada for work and immigration, making it harder for other groups to become Canadian.
“I think for Chinese students probably will have less opportunities to be a Canadian because they probably take the opportunities because they are American,” Feng said.
Marketing student Raghav Joshi said Trump’s virulent rhetoric against Muslims will affect vulnerable groups trying to find safety in the United States.
“The way he’s speaking, like very aggressively and he’s targeting a particular community. He’s targeting the whole community. He’s mentioning the name Islamic terrorism. The whole Islam is not bad and I think it will affect the immigrants, the refugees there coming from the Syria so I think it will affect a lot,” Joshi said.