One in Six Canadians Say They Have Personally Been the Victim Of Racism

Ipsos-Reid, Mar. 21

Toronto, Ontario—To mark International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the Dominion Institute’s Passages to Canada programme commissioned Ipsos-Reid to survey Canadians on their attitudes about discrimination and racism in their communities and in the workplace. The survey finds that one in six of Canadians adults (17% or approximately 4,000,000) report that they have personally been the victims of racism.

Approximately one in ten (13%) Canadians believe that racism has decreased in their community over the past five years. Two-thirds (65%) say it has neither increased nor decreased and 17% indicate that it has been on the rise. As for the groups that Canadians believe are most likely to be targeted in their community-Muslims/Arabs (38%), Aboriginals/First Nations (31%), Blacks (28%), East Indians (24%), Asians (14%), Jewish (11%), Hispanics (5%).

And, while most would welcome people, without reservation, from another race if they moved in next door (92%), might marry or have a relationship with someone of a different race (84%), or indicate that the colour of a person’s skin does not make a difference in the way they are treated in their pace of work (78%), there are groups of Canadians that think otherwise. Approximately one in ten (7% or 1,680,000 Canadian adults) would not welcome people from another race as next-door neighbours, 13% (3,120,000 Canadians) would never marry or have a relationship with someone of another race, and 15% (3,360,000 Canadians) say skin colour makes a difference in their workplace.

As for those groups or institutions Canadians believe would be most effective in promoting racial tolerance, schools (32%) and families/individuals (30%) top the list. Approximately one in ten cite community associations (13%), the media (13%), and the government (7%).

These are the highlights of an Ipsos-Reid poll conducted on behalf of The Dominion Institutes’ Passages to Canada programme—a national network of high achieving immigrants who volunteer their time to talk with schools and community groups about their experiences immigrating to Canada. The Dominion Institute is a non partisan national charity dedicated to the promotion of Canandian history and citizenship. Through its Passages to Canada programme, the Dominion Institute is sending hundreds of high achieving immigrants into schools across Canada on March 21 to share their stories of fighting against racism and discrimination, in Canada and in country of origin. Volunteer speakers with the Institute’s Passages to Canada programme include such noted immigrant leaders such as RCMP Sergeant Baltej Dhillon; Vietnam war survivor Kim Phuc; and Air India victims advocate Lata Pada. For more information on the Passages to Canada please visit: www.passages.ca.

Ipsos Reid surveyed a representative randomly selected sample of 1001 adult Canadians by telephone between March 15th to 17th, 2005. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult Canadian population been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were weighted to ensure the sample’s regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to the 2001 Census data.

One In Six Canadians Say They Have Personally Been The Victim Of Racism

One in six (17%) of Canadians adults agree (9% “strongly agree,” 8% “somewhat agree”) with the statement, “I have personally been the victim of racism.” Conversely, 82% of Canadians disagree (71% “strongly disagree,” 11% “somewhat disagree”) with the statement. Another 1% is unsure.

·Residents of Saskatchewan/Manitoba (27%) are most likely to agree with the statement “I have personally been the victim of racism” followed by residents of Ontario (19%), Alberta (16%), Quebec (15%), Atlantic Canada (15%), and British Columbia (13%).

·Canadians 18-54 years of age are more likely than their elders to agree that they have personally been the victims of racism (20% vs. 11%).

Most Canadians Think Racism In Their Community Has Neither Increased Nor Decreased

Approximately one in ten (13%) Canadians believe that racism has decreased in their community over the past five years. Two-thirds (65%) say it has neither increased nor decreased and 17% indicate that it has increased. The remaining 5% don’t know whether it has increased or decreased.

·Regionally, 18% of Quebecers, 17% of residents of Saskatchewan/Manitoba, 15% of Albertans, 13% of Atlantic Canadians, and 10% of residents of both British Columbia, and Ontario think racism has decreased in their community in the last five years.

·And, 22% of residents of Saskatchewan/Manitoba and Quebec, 17% of Albertans, 15% of British Columbians, 14% of Ontarians, and 10% of Atlantic Canadians think racism has increased in their community in the last five years.

·Canadians 18-54 years of age are more likely than their elders to think there has been a decrease of racism in their community in the past five years (16% vs. 7%).

Asked which groups (of a list) they believe are most likely to be targets of racism in their community, the responses are varied: Muslims/Arabs (38%), Aboriginals/First Nations (31%), Blacks (28%), East Indians (24%), Asians (14%), Jewish (11%), Hispanics (5%). One in ten (9%) name some other group and the same proportion (11%) doesn’t know.

·Residents of Quebec (47%) and Ontario (41%) are more likely to think Muslims/Arabs are most likely to be targets of racism in their community than residents of Saskatchewan/Manitoba (22%), Atlantic Canada (23%), Alberta (28%), and British Columbia (35%).

·Residents of Saskatchewan/Manitoba (76%) are more likely to think Aboriginals/First Nations are most likely to be targets of racism in their community than residents of Ontario (20%), Quebec (20%), Atlantic Canada (40%), Alberta (47%), and British Columbia (47%).

·Residents of Quebec (51%) are more likely to think Blacks are most likely to be targets of racism in their community than residents of Alberta (7%), British Columbia (13%), Saskatchewan/Manitoba (17%), Ontario (24%), and Atlantic Canada (34%).

·Residents of British Columbia (46%) are more likely to think East Indians are most likely to be targets of racism in their community than residents of Quebec (11%), Atlantic Canada (16%), Saskatchewan/Manitoba (23%), Ontario (25%), and Alberta (28%).

·Residents of British Columbia (24%) are most likely to think Asians are most likely to be targets of racism in their community, followed by residents of Alberta (19%), Saskatchewan/Manitoba (15%), Ontario (14%), Quebec (7%), and Atlantic Canada (6%).

·Canadians 18-34 years of age are more likely than their elders to say Muslims/Arabs (45% vs. 34%), East Indians (29% vs. 22%), and/or Asians (18% vs. 11%) are most targeted in their community.

Most Would Welcome Next-Door Neighbours From Another Race, Have A Relationship With Someone Of A Different Race, And/Or Say Skin Colour Doesn’t Make A Difference In Their Workplace

Most (92%) Canadians agree (74% “strongly agree,” 18% “somewhat agree”) with the statement, “I would welcome people, without reservation, from another race if they moved in next door to me.” However, approximately one in ten (7%) disagrees (4% “strongly disagree,” 3% “somewhat disagree”) with the statement.

·Quebecers (15%) are more likely than others to disagree with the statement, “I would welcome people, without reservation, from another race if they moved in next door to me”-4% of both Atlantic Canadians and Ontarians disagree, 5% of Albertans disagree, 6% of British Columbians disagree, and 8% of residents of Saskatchewan/Manitoba disagree.

Most (84%) Canadians disagree (66% “strongly disagree,” 18% “somewhat disagree”) with the statement, “I would never marry or have a relationship with someone of a different race.” However, one in seven (13%) agrees (6% “strongly agree,” 7% “somewhat agree”) with the statement. Another 2% don’t know.

·Canadians 55 years of age or older are more likely than those 18-54 years of age to agree with the statement, I would never marry or have a relationship with someone of a different race” (19% vs. 11%).

Most (78%) Canadians disagree (64% “strongly disagree,” 15% “somewhat disagree”) with the statement, “In my workplace, the colour of a person’s skin makes a difference in the way they are treated.” However, 15% agree (6% “strongly agree,” 9% “somewhat agree”) with the statement. A further 6% don’t know.

·Regionally, 24% of residents of Saskatchewan/Manitoba, 16% of Ontarians, 15% of Quebecers, 15% of Albertans, 14% of Atlantic Canadians, and 7% of British Columbians agrees with the statement, “In my workplace, the colour of a person’s skin makes a difference in the way they are treated.”

Which Groups Do Canadians Believe Would Be Most Effective In Promoting Racial Tolerance?

Asked, which one of a list of five groups they believe would be most effective in promoting racial tolerance, schools (32%) and families/individuals (30%) top the list. Approximately one in ten cite community associations (13%), the media (13%), and the government (7%). Another 2% say none of the above and the same proportion (3%) is unsure.

·Quebecers (21%) are less likely than others to think families/individuals would be most effective in promoting racial tolerance- Alberta (36%), Saskatchewan/Manitoba (35%), British Columbia (34%), Atlantic Canada (32%), and Ontario (31%).

·Canadians 55 years of age or older are slightly more likely than those 18-54 years of age to think community associations would be most effective (18% vs. 12%).

·Women are slightly more likely than men to think community associations would be most effective (16% vs. 10%).

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