A troubling study conducted by EKOS Politics reveals that Canadian citizens are increasingly racist and prejudiced towards visible minorities who immigrate to the country.
With immigration poised to become an election issue this fall, it seems that Canadian voters will be choosing their leaders based on how they feel about non-white immigrants. In fact, 40% of Canadians feel that there are too many immigrants coming into the country.
According to the poll, Canadian elections have never before been so influenced by immigration issues. They state that "there have been significant differences across partisan boundaries, but they have not shaped election outcomes in a significant manner. This may be changing in important ways that reflect broader shifts in public outlook."
The poll numbers also indicate that there is a huge gulf between Liberal and Conservative voters when it comes to immigration politics.
69% of Conservative voters believe there are too many immigrants compared to only 15% of Liberal voters. With elections on the horizon, Liberals are projected to lose a big number of supporters that side with the Conservatives on the immigration issue.
EKOS Politics surveyed more than 1,000 Canadians between April 3rd and 11th to collect the data. The rise of anti-immigration sentiment in Canada could be due to the rise in authoritarian populism across the globe.
In North America, authoritarian populism is otherwise known as the Trump effect. This should be alarming to Canadians as this might create serious problems for our future.
It is clear anti-immigrant sentiment has begun to infect the Canadian public discourse. Just last week, a viral Facebook post captured the phenomenon of racist social media comments that specifically targeted immigrants.
Canadians must be careful to not catch the Trump disease because many people in North American now feel more comfortable promoting long-held racist attitudes.
These numbers point to worrying trends in Canada and people must be careful to not let these racist policies take over our political environment.
As the far-right gains steam in the global context, Canadians have to establish what values we actually hold dear. The next election is looking to be an important one for Canadian history.
To read the full study, click here.