More than two-thirds of Canadians believe discrimination is common in the country and another 61 per cent think systemic or institutional racism exists in Canada.
The poll from Abacus Data examined the way Canadians see discrimination and racism, as anti-Black racism protests continue across the globe in response to the death of George Floyd.
In Quebec and the Atlantic provinces, just over 50 per cent think systemic racism exists in Canada, meaning there are barriers or obstacles for people of some races that don’t exist for others. While in Ontario and Alberta, the number was higher at around 65 per cent.
The poll found respondents think Muslims, Black people, Transgender and Indigenous people were most likely to experience discrimination with over 75 per cent of Canadians believing they experience discrimination in society.
The Abacus Data survey randomly sampled 1,750 Canadian adults between June 5-10 and is considered accurate to within plus or minus 2.31 percentage points.
A similar poll was conducted back in 2016 and since then, those thinking Black people were likely to experience “a lot of” discrimination increased by nine per cent, Indigenous people by seven per cent, and people of Asian descent increased six per cent. Those thinking Muslims were likely to experience “a lot of” discrimination decreased by nine per cent.
Premier Doug Ford recently came under fire for comments that Canada doesn’t have the “systemic, deep roots” of racism that the U.S. does. He later walked back on those remarks, acknowledging systemic racism exists in Ontario and across the country.
Anti-Black racism protests have been happening around the world, including multiple demonstrations in Toronto, since the death of George Floyd, who died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into his neck for over eight minutes, even after he stopped moving.