Posted on December 1, 2021

Canadians Increasingly Pessimistic About Progress on Racism and Equity

Nick Boisvert, CBC, November 3, 2021

A growing number of Canadians say the state of race relations in the country is poor, with Black and Indigenous people the most likely to say issues around racism are worsening.

Those findings are among the results of a nationwide survey released today by the Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF), a Crown corporation dedicated to the elimination of racism.

The survey, conducted in partnership with the Environics Institute, found that 23 per cent of respondents chose “generally bad” when asked how well people of different races get along in Canada, up from 17 per cent when the CRRF conducted the same survey in 2019.

But a clear majority of respondents still maintain a more positive outlook: 64 per cent of respondents said the state of race relations in Canada is “generally good,” down from 71 per cent in 2019.

Thirteen per cent of respondents said they could not say if relations were good or bad.

“When we looked at the awareness around racism, we’ve seen that there’s a dramatic jump,” said Mohammed Hashim, executive director of the CRRF.

But increased awareness also means more people are confronting hard truths about the state of racism in Canada, he said. {snip}


The report also found that Canadians as a whole did not report more occurrences of racism and discrimination compared to 2019, suggesting it is the perception and dialogue around racism that has undergone the greatest change.


While events of the past two years are believed to have shifted larger public opinions on race, the CRRF survey suggests the effects are strongest among the groups most likely to be targeted by racism.

Among Black Canadians, just under half of respondents (49 per cent) said race relations in Canada are generally good, down from 72 per cent in 2019.

Only one in four Black respondents said “opportunities for everyone to succeed” have improved over the past decade, indicating most Black Canadians believe progress on racism and equity has either worsened or stagnated.

The response was similar among Indigenous people: 51 per cent said the state of race relations are generally good, down slightly from 56 per cent in 2019.