A new poll found that more than half of its Asian Canadian respondents believe that racism and discrimination remain a problem in Canada today, with the country’s political tensions with China “evidently contributing to sustaining this abuse.”
Key details: The poll, which was conducted by the nonprofit Angus Reid Institute in partnership with the Canadian Race Relations Foundation and published on Wednesday, asked 884 Asian Canadians of various backgrounds to answer an online survey between Feb. 27 and March 6.
Racism and discrimination: According to the poll results, 56% of Asian Canadians believe that racism and discrimination are still a problem for many in Canada
, and 21% believe the problem requires serious attention.
Meanwhile, 45% of the representative sample of 1,625 Canadian adults — referred to as the general population — who answered the survey agreed that racism and discrimination are relevant issues, while only 16% noted the problems require serious attention.
The survey noted 48% of Chinese and other East Asian respondents, which accounts for 528 respondents in the sample groupings, said they had experienced a form of negative reaction as a result of political events involving the Chinese and Canadian governments over the past year.
Among those, 6% reported experiencing negative reactions “all the time,” while 14% reported experiencing them “often” and 29% responded “occasionally.”
Poor and unfair treatment: At least one-quarter of the poll’s Asian respondents reported facing discrimination or harassment over the past year.
Compared with the 2021 result, the latest poll shows an increase in incidents, notably with the Chinese respondents — 415 in total — being treated with less respect (11% in 2021 as compared to 15% in 2023), called names or insulted (8% compared to 15%), threatened or intimidated (6% as to 12%), avoided by friends or colleagues (4% as to 10%) and physically attacked by strangers (3% in 2021 and 9% in 2023).
Reporting anti-Asian incidents: Of the 233 Asian Canadians surveyed, 39% said that they never reported the anti-Asian incidents they have encountered. Only 15% said they reported their experiences to the police and 7% noted that they “tried to find other services or resources.”
Mostly pessimistic outlook: Regarding their overall view on whether anti-zAsian discrimination in the country has gotten better or worse over the past year, 46% of the 829 Asian Canadian respondents said they believe it is getting worse, while 37% noted it is improving.