Race Relations Improving for More than Two-in-Five Canadians

More than three-in-five Canadians have witnessed behaviour on social media that they would consider racist.

Vancouver, BC [June 9, 2023] – The proportion of Canadians who believe race relations are on the mend has risen since 2021, even if specific groups recall being targeted by racist behaviour in particular settings, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 45% of Canadians believe race relations in Canada have improved over the past two years, up four points since a similar Research Co. survey conducted in July 2021.

More than a third of Canadians (37%, +1) think race relations have worsened over the past two years, while 18% (-4) are undecided.

Almost half of British Columbians (48%) believe race relations have degraded. The numbers are significantly lower in Ontario (40%), Alberta (36%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (35%), Quebec (33%) and Atlantic Canada (24%).

Majorities of Canadians whose ancestry is African (71%, +18), South Asian (57%, -1) and Southeast Asian (54%, +11) feel race relations are better now than in 2021. The proportions are lower among respondents of First Nations (48%, -5), European (41%, +7) and East Asian (40%, -1) origins.

More than two-in-five Canadians say they have personally endured racism on social media (47%, -2), on day-to-day social interactions (46%, -3) and at work (42%, +1).

Fewer Canadians have personally experienced racism at work (39%, -1), during interactions with police or law enforcement officers (33%, -2) or during interactions with the health care system (32%, =).

“Just under four-in-five Canadians of East Asian origins (78%) have experienced racism during day-to-say social interactions,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Canadians of First Nations descent are significantly more likely to have endured racism at work (59%) or when dealing with the police (also 59%).”

When asked about behaviour they have witnessed in Canada, there are increases in the number of Canadians who have been exposed to racism on social media (63%, +5), on day-to-day social interactions (58%, +5) and at school (50%, +3).

Fewer than half of Canadians report seeing racist behaviour at work (45%, +2), engaging with police and law enforcement officers (42%, =) and dealing with the health care system (41%, +5).

Methodology: Results are based on an online survey conducted from May 19 to May 21, 2023, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Canada. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.1 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our data tables here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.


[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

Photo Credit: Kenny Louie