Canadians Express Lukewarm Support for Multiculturalism

Two-in-five Canadians think that racism has become a more significant problem in Canada over the past two years.

Vancouver, BC [February 8, 2019] – Many Canadians are tepid supporters of the concept of multiculturalism and a sizeable proportion is expressing concerns about racism, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 62% of Canadians think multiculturalism has been “very good” or “good” for Canada, while 33% believe the policy has been “bad” or “very bad”.

 “Strong endorsement for multiculturalism stands at roughly the same level as strong rejection (13% and 14% respectively),” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Most Canadians feel the policy has been positive, but few of them are willing to say it has been overwhelmingly beneficial.”

Across the country, 41% of Canadians believe racism has become a more significant problem over the past two years. 

Residents of Manitoba and Saskatchewan are the most likely to believe racism is on the rise (55%), while only 37% of Quebecers concur with this assessment.

When asked to select between two different policies, almost half of Canadians (49%) say that Canada should be a “melting pot” and want immigrants to assimilate and blend into Canadian society. 

A smaller proportion of respondents (42%) think that Canada should be a “mosaic” and say cultural differences within Canadian society are valuable and should be preserved.

Men (53%), Quebecers (also 53%), respondents aged 55 and over (61%) and Conservative Party voters in the 2015 federal election (62%) are more likely to express a preference for the “melting pot”.

Conversely, Canadians aged 18-to-34 (60%), British Columbians (52%) and those who voted for the Liberal Party (59%) or the New Democratic Party (NDP) (56%) in the last federal ballot endorse the concept of the “mosaic.”


Results are based on an online study conducted from January 14 to January 17, 2019, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.1 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

Photo Credit: Drfunko

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.