Racism north of the border: nearly 3 in 4 Canadians say it’s a serious problem

Graeme BruceBusiness Data Journalist
June 22, 2020, 3:44 PM UTC

As racial tension in the United States reaches a boiling point, Canada, its northern neighbor, is grappling with its own strained race relations. 

A new YouGov study of more than 1,000 Canadian adults shows nearly three-quarters (72%) agree with the statement “Racism is a serious problem in Canada. 

A quarter (25%) disagree. 

Protests in the US sparked by the recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Rayshard Brooks have prompted renewed calls from the black community and its allies to address systematic racism in Canada Conversations, columns and posts broadened to other racialized Canadians, particularly the country’s Indigenous population. 

YouGov data shows attitudes toward racism in Canada is split between gender lines: women (81%) are much more likely than men (64%) to agree that racism is a serious problem in Canada. None-white Canadians (including Black, Asian, Hispanic, Middle Eastern and Aboriginal/Indigenous Canadians) are more likely (79%) to agree that racism is a serious problem compared to white Canadians (72%). 

In separate YouGov study conducted in February 2020, we laid out several situations and asked Canadians if they thought each was racist or not racist. 

Most Canadians say using racial slurs is racist, but are divided on things such as imitating an accent associated with another racial group (54% say it’s usually or always racist) or assuming someone’s race based on their name alone (48% say it’s usually or always racist). 

Methodology: Data regarding the statement "Racism is a serious problem in Canada” is based on a sample size was 1.050 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between June 10 – 17, 2020.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Canadian adults. See full results 

Data regarding racist scenarios is based on a sample size was 1016 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between February 6 – 16, 2020. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Canada adults. See full results 

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