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Majority of Canadians feel prejudice is a 'serious problem' in this country, poll finds

Last Updated Jun 5, 2020 at 1:40 pm EDT

As protests over the death of George Floyd continue across the globe, here at home a new poll has found that most Canadians feel prejudice against visible minorities in our country is a “serious problem.”

In this poll, which was conducted by Dart and Maru/Blue, 69 per cent of respondents said prejudice is a “serious problem.” On the other spectrum, 31 per cent said they didn’t see it as a critical problem — with four per cent saying it isn’t a problem at all. This view was found more often in British Columbia and Quebec.

However, 70 per cent of those asked thought race relations are generally good throughout Canada, especially in their own neighbourhood and community or municipality. As well, 68 per cent surveyed said they believe race relationship with the local police department are also generally good.

“The issue that this poll really started to look at was – do Canadians overall see it? Do they feel it? Do they believe that it exists?” John Wright, a pollster for Dart and Maru/Blue, explained.

“They do believe it exists but they’re not experiencing it, they’re not feeling it, they’re not recognizing it in terms of where they are and I guess, some would say, that’s because they don’t come into contact with it. They’re relationships are different.”

Of those who said they believed race relations in Canada are “generally bad,” the majority (32 per cent) live in Alberta, followed by Atlantic Canada (27 per cent).

Ontario landed roughly in the middle when asked both questions, with 68 per cent saying “generally good” and 25 per cent saying “generally bad.”

But are we better in Canada than we were in 2010?

Only three out of 10 people asked said yes. One third said they felt race relations have improved in their municipalities and one third said they felt relationships with local police was better. The poll found the majority of those who voted positively lived in Quebec.

When it comes to police, Ontario is most likely to say race relations with local police is worse than it was 10 years ago, followed by Alberta.

Overall Quebec felt it has the best, and most improved race relations across the country while Alberta has the worst race relations.

As well, men aged 55 and up — who have a post-secondary school education and earn more than $100,000 a year — are more likely (55 per cent) to believe race relations were much better across Canada than younger Canadians between the age of 18 and 37, and women.

The survey was conducted among 1,525 randomly selected Canadian adults who are members of Maru/Blue’s online panel on June 3. It is considered accurate to within plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.

Race Relations Canada poll by CityNewsToronto on Scribd