GSS – Social Identity, 2020: A snapshot of pride in Canadian achievements among designated groups

Some of the more interesting and revealing findings for me:

  • Recent immigrants have more favourable views than longer term immigrants;
  • Children of visible minorities have less favourable views than than their parents;
  • Visible minorities have more pride in Canada’s treatment of all groups in society than non visible minorities, with differences between groups;
  • Visible minorities have more pride in how democracy works in Canada;
  • Indigenous peoples have the least pride in how Canada treats all groups and how democracy works; and,
  • Young people have less pride in how Canada treats all groups and how democracy works.

In one sense, this represents integration, as the initial reactions change with the lived experience and immigrants over time, along with their children, move closer to the non-immigrant, no-visible minority population:

“Today’s Daily article presents a snapshot of results from the General Social Survey – Social Identity (GSS SI). This first release focuses on the pride that Canadians feel for selected Canadian achievements and how it is similar or different across diverse population groups. The survey asked respondents about their pride in 13 different Canadian achievements. For this analysis, three Canadian achievements were chosen because of their relevance to the COVID-19 pandemic. These are pride in Canada’s health care system, pride in the way democracy works in Canada and pride in Canada’s treatment of all groups in society.

As part of the data pillar of Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy, Canadian Heritage sponsored an oversample of six population groups designated as visible minorities for the latest cycle of the GSS SI. This oversample will allow data users to further disaggregate data to better represent the unique experiences of different groups of Canadians.

Canadians are most proud of Canada’s health care system

At a time when Canada’s front-line workers were treating COVID-19 patients in clinics, emergency rooms and hospitals, Canadians were most proud of their health care system. The highest share (74%) of respondents who said that they were very proud or proud of an achievement reported feeling proud of Canada’s health care system. People who belong to population groups designated as visible minorities were especially proud, with 82% reporting feeling proud of Canada’s health care system, compared with 71% of non–visible minorities. Among the different visible minority groups, Filipino (96%) and South Asian (87%) respondents were the most likely to report being very proud or proud of Canada’s health care system.

Almost half of Canadians report feeling proud of Canada’s treatment of all groups in society

COVID-19 shone a light on the systemic inequities that many people in Canadian society experience—the health, social and economic impacts of the pandemic were not experienced equally by all Canadians. In addition, movements such as Black Lives Matter brought greater attention to the systemic inequities and racism faced by Black Canadians and other population groups designated as visible minorities. Against this backdrop, 49% of the population expressed pride in Canada’s treatment of all groups in society. However, there were differences among Canadians who belong to population groups designated as visible minorities; 64% of respondents who belong to population groups designated as visible minorities felt pride in Canada’s treatment of all groups in society, compared with 44% of individuals not in a visible minority group. Canadian-born respondents who belong to population groups designated as visible minorities were less likely than respondents in groups designated as visible minorities who immigrated to Canada to report pride in Canada’s treatment of all groups in society (45% compared with 68%).

It is important to note that there are differences between population groups designated as visible minorities. A lower proportion of Black (52%) and Chinese (57%) respondents expressed pride in Canada’s treatment of all groups in society. This contrasts with West Asian (77%), Filipino (73%), Arab (72%) and South Asian (70%) respondents, who were more likely to report pride in Canada’s treatment of all groups in society. This could be partly attributable to experiences with discrimination, which were particularly high for some population groups designated as visible minorities during the pandemic. For example, crowdsourcing data collected in August 2020 by Statistics Canada indicated that Korean (64%), Chinese (60%) and Black (55%) participants were more likely to report experiencing discrimination or being treated unfairly during the pandemic (see the publication “Experiences of discrimination during the COVID-19 pandemic“).

Chart 1  
Pride in Canada’s treatment of all groups in society among population groups designated as visible minorities, Canada, 2020

Chart 1: Pride in Canada's treatment of all groups in society among population groups designated as visible minorities, Canada, 2020

Men were more likely than women to report feeling pride in Canada’s treatment of all groups in society—52% of men compared with 46% of women. Pride in Canada’s treatment of all groups in society is the achievement with the biggest gender difference, with only minor differences between men and women for the other Canadian achievements included in the survey.

Canadians are generally proud of the way democracy works in Canada, and this is especially the case for many people who belong to population groups designated as visible minorities

Almost 7 in 10 Canadians (68%) said that they felt pride in the way democracy works in Canada. This increased to close to 8 in 10 (79%) for respondents who belong to population groups designated as visible minorities, compared with 64% of those who did not belong to a visible minority group. Some visible minority groups had a high proportion of respondents reporting pride in the way democracy works in Canada, with 80% or more of West Asian, Filipino, Latin American and South Asian respondents reporting pride in this Canadian achievement.

Canadian-born respondents who belong to population groups designated as visible minorities were less likely to report pride in the way democracy works in Canada, with 65% reporting pride in this achievement, compared with 82% of respondents in groups designated as visible minorities who immigrated to Canada. Similar to Canadian-born respondents belonging to groups designated as visible minorities, 62% of Canadian-born respondents not belonging to a visible minority group were proud of the way democracy works in Canada.

Immigrants who arrived to Canada within the past five years are more likely to feel pride in how Canada treats all groups in society

Immigrant respondents (63%) were more likely than Canadian-born respondents (43%) to be proud of Canada’s treatment of all groups in society. For immigrants, pride in how Canada treats all groups in society is connected to the time since their arrival in Canada; the longer they have been in Canada, the lower their pride in how Canada treats all groups in society. Nearly 8 in 10 immigrants who arrived in Canada 5 years ago or less (78%) expressed pride in this achievement, compared with 65% of immigrants who arrived 6 to 10 years ago and 60% of immigrants who arrived more than 10 years ago. However, regardless of the time since their arrival to Canada, the immigrant population was more likely than the non-immigrant population to report pride. 

The different levels of pride between immigrant respondents and Canadian-born respondents were observed not only for how Canada treats all groups in society but also for the health care system (79% versus 72%) and the way democracy works in Canada (81% versus 62%).

Indigenous respondents also report feeling the most pride in Canada’s health care system but are less likely to report pride in how Canada treats all groups in society and the way democracy works in Canada

As with non-Indigenous respondents, Indigenous people also reported feeling the most pride in Canada’s health care system. Among the Indigenous population living off reserve, 67% were proud of Canada’s health care system. This was the case for 63% of First Nations people living off reserve and 69% of Métis. This compares with 72% of non–visible minority, non-Indigenous respondents. Because of the small number of Inuit respondents, estimates for Inuit are not available. It is important to note that the GSS SI did not collect information for people living on reserve. Thus, the information for Indigenous people reflects only the answers of respondents who live off reserve, which may be different from those of people who live on reserve.

Close to one-third (31%) of Indigenous people living off reserve reported feeling pride in how Canada treats all groups in society, compared with 43% of non–visible minority, non-Indigenous Canadians. Indigenous people were also less likely to report feeling pride in how democracy works in Canada. Overall, just over half (52%) of Indigenous people living off reserve felt proud of the way democracy works (46% of First Nations people and 56% of Métis), compared with 63% of non–visible minority, non-Indigenous Canadians.

These results partly reflect the historical and ongoing impacts of colonization, as well as the long-standing historical inequities experienced by Indigenous people in Canada, including social, democratic and economic inequities. As well, other achievements not listed in the survey may be more relevant to Indigenous respondents.

A slightly lower percentage of persons with disabilities report pride in Canada’s health care system 

Persons with disabilities were most proud of Canada’s health care system (72%), lower than what was reported by persons without disabilities (76%). This could be attributable to barriers that persons with disabilities experience trying to access health care services. For example, slightly over three-quarters (77%) of crowdsourcing participants with long-term conditions or disabilities reported that they required a health care service but were unable to access it because of the COVID-19 pandemic (see the publication The changes in health and well-being of Canadians with long-term conditions or disabilities since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic). Results are based on participants in the 2020 crowdsourcing initiative Impacts of COVID-19 on Canadians – Living with Long-term Conditions and Disabilities (Impacts of COVID-19 on Canadians: Data Collection Series).

Persons with disabilities were also less likely than persons without disabilities to report pride in the way democracy works in Canada (64% compared with 71%). Regarding pride in the treatment of all groups in society, persons with disabilities were less likely than persons without disabilities to express pride in this achievement (43% compared with 53%). Many persons with disabilities have experienced barriers in society, including in the workplace, or have experienced discrimination. For example, almost half (48%) of participants with disabilities in the 2020 crowdsourcing initiative Impacts of COVID-19 on Canadians – Living with Long-term Conditions and Disabilities reported that they were discriminated against during the COVID-19 pandemic, compared with 25% of those without disabilities (see the publication The changes in health and well-being of Canadians with long-term conditions or disabilities since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic).

Younger Canadians are less likely to be proud of Canada’s treatment of all groups in society and the way democracy works

While similar proportions of Canadians of all ages were proud of the health care system, Canadians aged 15 to 34 were less likely than those aged 35 and older to report pride in the way democracy works in Canada and pride in Canada’s treatment of all groups in society. While 62% of Canadians aged 15 to 34 reported pride in the way democracy works, 70% of those aged 35 and older reported feeling proud. Canadians aged 15 to 34 were also less likely than older Canadians to be proud of the way all groups in society are treated, with 43% of 15- to 34-year-olds saying they were proud of this, compared with 53% of people aged 35 to 54 and 50% of people aged 55 and older. “

Source: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/210928/dq210928c-eng.htm?CMP=mstatcan

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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