New study suggests public opinion about racism in Canada is changing
The findings signify a widespread shift in perception after years of mainstream denials that racism is a problem in Canada.
The murder of George Floyd and subsequent global anti-racism protests are changing perceptions about racism and discrimination in Canada, according to a new study conducted by the Environics Institute in collaboration with Vancity, Century Initiative, and the University of Ottawa.
The findings are based on the results of two public opinion surveys completed in August with 3,008 participants, and in September, with 2,000 participants.
The responses were then compared to data collected in 2019.
According to the survey:
The changes in perception appear to be taking place across the board, the study notes.
“Over the past decade, Canadians have also grown more supportive of racial minorities. A growing proportion agree that it is more difficult for non-white people to be successful in Canadian society, while fewer feel that ethnic and racial groups need to take more responsibility for solving their own economic and social problems,” reads an excerpt from the report.
Data from 2010 suggests confidence in local police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has also fallen. In 2010, 88 per cent of Canadians trusted local police and 84 per cent the RCMP. The new survey finds that 73 per cent of Canadians have lost some confidence in the police.
Men were much more likely to trust the police than women, at 63 per cent and 51 per cent respectively. About 72 per cent of Federal Conservative party supporters expressed confidence in police, compared to 52 per cent of Liberal supporters, 46 per cent of NDP supporters, and 41 per cent of Green party supporters.
The findings signify a widespread shift in perception after years of mainstream denials that racism is a problem in Canada. That’s despite the findings of a December 2019 national survey, which polled 3,111 Canadians aged 18 and included an “over-sample size” of participants identifying as Chinese, Black, South Asian, and/or Indigenous.
“Thank God we’re different than the United States, and we don’t have the systemic, deep roots they’ve had for years,” Ford previously said, distinguishing the supposed differences between the two countries as “night and day.”
Ford later said his comments were “spun out of context,” adding that Ontario has had systemic racism for “decades.”
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