Most Canadians favour values test for immigrants: poll
Three Canadians out of four believe immigrants to this country should be tested for “anti-Canadian” values, a survey conducted for Radio-Canada suggests.
The findings of the survey, carried by the CROP polling for the French-language service of the CBC, indicate that despite criticism from the media and within political circles, the controversial position taken by Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch that immigrants be tested for an appreciation of “Canadian” values has traction with 74 per cent of Canadians. Inside Quebec, support for testing immigrants stood at 75 per cent.
The poll also suggests that 60 per cent of Canadians — and 67 per cent of those polled in Quebec — believe immigrants should put aside their own cultures and adopt that of Canada once they settle here.
The online survey of 2,513 respondents — 1,024 of them in Quebec — was conducted between Jan. 27-30, a time frame that in a grim coincidence includes the Jan. 29 attack on a Quebec City mosque that left six worshippers dead.
The poll also suggests that nearly one out of four Canadians (23 per cent) would favour a ban on Muslim immigration to this country, a level of support that rises to 32 per cent in Quebec.
While the survey found that 46 per cent of Canadians believe that immigrants make Canada “a better place to live” and 33 per cent of respondents didn’t believe the presence of newcomers had any bearing on the issue, the poll suggests clear trends of a lack of comfort with Muslim immigrants.
Despite most Canadians approving of Canada’s decision to welcome Syrian immigrants (60 per cent Canada/58 per cent Quebec) Muslim immigrants polled lowest on the question of which groups were best integrated into Canadian society, garnering 42 per cent compared with 72 per cent for Jewish immigrants, 82 per cent for Haitians, and 87 per cent for Asians.
Interestingly, the same question posed to Quebecers before the mosque attack found only 38 per cent per cent felt Muslims were well integrated into Quebec society, a number that rose to 44 per cent in the wake of the shootings.
Meanwhile, most respondents (51 per cent Canada/57 per cent Quebec) felt the presence of Muslims in this country made them somewhat or very worried about security.
And in a finding that is sure to stoke the embers of the identity debate in Quebec, the poll suggests that while most Quebecers (65 per cent) don’t believe wearing religious symbols in public should be banned, 66 per cent believe such a ban should apply to educators, 76 per cent believe religious symbols should not be worn by persons in authority and 67 per cent believe such a ban should apply to the all public servants.