Most Canadians are fed up with hate and discrimination online and want Parliament to act, new poll finds

Canadians seem to be on the same wavelength when it comes to tackling issues of discrimination and they want Parliament to take action, according to a national poll released Tuesday.

The poll, conducted by Nanos Research for the Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF), assessed how Canadians feel about hate online, employment equity, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and RCMP reform. The majority of Canadians surveyed expressed support for action on the four priorities, and they also weighed in on seeing greater diversity in arts and culture, and the impacts of climate change on racialized communities.

One of the strongest responses was about combating hate online and offline, which comes as no surprise to Mohammed Hashim, executive director of CRRF, a state-owned company.

“They see it challenging their sense of identity and increasing polarity in a very negative way. There is a real impact and damage that has been created, ”he told The Star.

Almost four in five Canadians support the creation of legislation by the government to address serious types of harmful online content, according to the poll. About three in four respondents support strengthening the Canadian Human Rights Act and Criminal Code to more effectively tackle hate online and nearly the same number want social media platforms to be legally responsible for verification extremist and hateful posts before they are widely viewed.

And about 70% expressed concern about the rise of right-wing extremism and terrorism as well as growing polarization.

In its last Forum on Minority Issues at the end of last year, the UN noted minorities are more vulnerable to hate speech online, especially minority women. They represent three quarters of the victims in many countries.

Responses also showed that two-thirds of Canadians want the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s calls to action to be implemented soon on behalf of Indigenous peoples, and an overwhelming majority want safe drinking water. for all indigenous communities.

The poll also suggested that Canadians want employment equity addressed by the federal government, but there has been a less consistent response regarding the underlying actions, such as management’s accountability for goals. equity or increased funding for Employment Equity Act initiatives.

With respect to RCMP oversight, 58 percent support the creation of an independent civilian body and about 53 percent support the collection of race-based data relating to health, employment, and policing; the same proportion, 53 percent, want mounted police not to be allowed to use excessive force to control crowds.

The statements for which the survey sought responses came from a combination of community groups, previous surveys conducted by the CRRF, and political party platforms.

Hashim said these actions are not at all far-fetched. There is movement in Parliament on some of these issues, he said: “It’s all in the realm of the possible. “

Nanos conducted a representative online survey of 2,018 Canadians, aged 18 and over between November 3 and 8, and weighted by age, gender and geography to be representative of the country. Nanos says no margin of error applies to this research.


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