Guess what Canada: we’re kinda racists, too

Poll shows anti-immigration and anti-elite sentiments are deeply rooted

Still think there is no Islamophobia in Canada? Think again.

A new poll commissioned by CROP-Radio Canada examined Canadians’ attitudes towards different minority and immigrant groups, and found that despite priding ourselves on our tolerance and openness, it does not extend equally to all groups.   When it came to integration into Canadian society, only 12 per cent of respondents believe that Muslims and very well integrated into Canadian society, compared to 47 per cent who hold this opinion of Italians, 43 per cent of Jews, and 31 per cent of Asian Canadians.  The group considered second least-integrated was Haitians, at 14 per cent.

Additionally, one in four Canadians and one in three Quebecers polled is very or more or less in favour of banning Muslim immigration to Canada, a la Donald Trump. And 60 per cent of Quebec and 44 per cent of Canadian respondents feel very or somewhat unfavourable to the building of a mosque, a far greater percentage than object to the construction of the houses of worship of other faiths.

Those numbers don’t surprise Amira Elghawaby, communications director of the National Council of Canadian Muslims.  “Different polls indicate that there are negative attitudes towards Muslims in Canada. According to Abacus and Forum research numbers from 2016, four-in-10 Canadians hold biased views towards Muslims,” she told iPolitics.

The poll also asked another set of questions, on the issue of trust and who Canadians  believe. While there is little appetite for a Canadian Trump, the type and contents of the populism that got him elected is highly popular here.  Eighty-eight per cent of Canadians and nine-in-10 Quebecers do not believe the so-called ‘elites’ – defined as politicians, businesspeople, scientists and the media – because they all “have something to sell you”.

Fully 55 per cent said they agree “completely” or “very much” with this sentiment. In Quebec this number hits 58 per cent – a number that has risen pretty consistently since 2004, when it stood at 41 per cent. This echoes the findings of other studies such as the annual Edelman Trust Barometer, which found trust “in crisis” around the world – including Canada.  For the first time since Edelman began tracking trust in business, government, NGOs and media in 2012, Canada slipped to the “distruster” category.

Read the full article on iPolitics.

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