ICYMI: Canadians divided on Ottawa’s plan to admit more immigrants: poll

Interesting how the housing aspects of immigration are showing up in a number of polls. Leger/ACS bundled housing, social services and healthcare in their prompt. Housing emerged as an unprompted concern in the recent Environics Focus Canada. Leger/ACS also prompts on levels by citing the numbers which likely accounts for greater discomfort with the planned increases.

Unprompted responses are IMO more revealing as it is always easier to respond to an existing question or point rather than filling in a blank:

A new poll suggests the vast majority of Canadians are worried about how the federal Liberal government’s plan to dramatically increase immigration levels over the next few years will affect housing and government services.

The poll, conducted by Leger and the Association of Canadian Studies, also found many respondents hesitant about the use of the notwithstanding clause, which lets legislatures override parts of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms for five years.

Based on an online survey of 1,537 Canadians polled between Nov. 11 and 13, the results come about two weeks after Ottawa unveiled plans to admit 500,000 immigrants per year starting in 2025 to address a critical labour shortage across the country.

The government and industry have described the new targets, which represent a significant increase over the 405,000 immigrants admitted last year, as critical for filling about a million job vacancies across the country and to offset Canada’s aging workforce.

Yet 75 per cent of poll respondents agreed that they were very or somewhat concerned that the plan would result in excessive demand for housing as well as health and social services.

That is despite Immigration Minister Sean Fraser having suggested that the new workers could actually enable the construction of more homes by addressing a shortage of tradespeople, along with an increase in federal support and settlement services.

Leger executive vice president Christian Bourque suggested that the poll results reflect the pressures many Canadians are feeling because of a lack of affordable housing and inflation rates driving up prices.

“There’s a heightened sense of concern over stretching our tax dollar and stretching our dollar,” he said.

“In good, positive economic times before the pandemic hit, these numbers might have been different. But now I think there’s a growing concern of how far and how much we can afford.”

The government might need to do a better job explaining the benefits of immigration to average Canadians, Bourque suggested.

Opinions were more divided over the number of immigrants the government plans to admit, with 49 per cent saying it was too many versus 31 per cent who felt it was the right number. Five per cent said it was not enough, while the rest didn’t know.

While opinions were largely the same across different parts of the country, respondents who identified as Conservative, Bloc Quebecois and People’s Party of Canada supporters were more likely to say the target was too high.

“I was not surprised to see a left-right, cleavage on this issue, it’s the same in the United States and the same in Europe,” Bourque said. “Slowly but surely, the issue of immigration levels is becoming political.”

The poll, whose results cannot be assigned a margin of error because internet-based polls are not considered random samples, also asked Canadians about their views on the notwithstanding clause.

The question followed the Ontario government’s decision to include the notwithstanding clause in legislation that imposed a new contract on 55,000 education workers. The province later rescinded the law, which had effectively banned workers from striking.

It found that 48 per cent of respondents agreed with the statement that it was a bad idea for Ottawa or the provinces to shield some of their laws from the Charter, while 19 per cent said it was a good idea. The remaining 33 per cent did not know.

While Quebec has a long history of debate over the notwithstanding clause, and recent events in Ontario have awoken some people to it as well, Bourque said that many Canadians remain unaware of its existence.

“It basically says this is not really a hot button, politically,” he said. “Even with the recent events in Ontario, they don’t really seem to care. Or not that they don’t care, but it’s something that’s a bit beyond what their primary concerns are in national politics.”

Source: Canadians divided on Ottawa’s plan to admit more immigrants: poll

Nicolas: Les mythes et réalités de la loi 21

Good analysis and observations regarding this ACS/Leger study (see earlier New research shows Bill 21 having ‘devastating’ impact on religious minorities in Quebec [particularly Muslim women]):

Pendant qu’on débat pour la millionième fois sur le port du hidjab au Québec — cette semaine à cause de réactions à une publicité de HEC Montréal —, une nouvelle étude sur la Loi sur la laïcité de l’État vient d’être publiée.

Produite par l’Association des études canadiennes, en collaboration avec SurveyMonkey et la firme de sondage Léger, cette étude a été menée auprès de 1828 adultes québécois, dont 632 musulmans, 165 juifs et 54 sikhs. Léger a utilisé les données de Statistique Canada pour que l’échantillon sondé soit représentatif de la population étudiée.

L’étude confirme que la majorité de la population (63,7 %) appuie la « loi 21 ». Ce chiffre tombe à 60 % si on inclut l’option « je ne sais pas », et à 57 % si l’on spécifie « telle qu’elle s’applique aux enseignants ».

Mais l’étude innove en comparant les arguments souvent entendus pour défendre la Loi sur la laïcité de l’État avec les données amassées. L’effet de contraste est saisissant.

D’abord, on avance souvent que la « loi 21 » est « neutre » — c’est-à-dire qu’elle ne vise aucune religion en particulier — et que ses appuis ne sont pas liés à une animosité particulière envers une religion ou une autre. Or, l’étude calcule que 75 % des partisans convaincus du texte législatif ont une opinion négative de l’islam ; 66 % du sikhisme ; 49 % du judaïsme ; 36,5 % du christianisme.

Il se dégage donc ici, selon la chercheuse principale de l’étude, Miriam Taylor, une « hiérarchie de négativité » envers les religions particulièrement marquée.

Parallèlement, la proportion des opposants convaincus à la Loi sur la laïcité de l’État qui ont une opinion négative de ces quatre mêmes religions oscille entre 18 % et 20 %, sans conviction que certaines valent mieux que d’autres.

Ensuite, on dit souvent que les appuis à « loi 21 » sont motivés par une méfiance particulière envers la religion en général ; l’étude a par conséquent voulu mesurer si les personnes elles-mêmes peu religieuses étaient plus nombreuses à soutenir cette législation. Or, on n’a trouvé aucun lien majeur entre la religiosité des répondants et leur appui ou opposition à la loi. Même qu’au contraire, les Québécois qui s’identifient comme catholiques seraient « légèrement plus favorables » à la loi que ceux qui se disent athées.

Fossé hommes-femmes

Par ailleurs, on entend souvent que la Loi sur la laïcité de l’État québécois est profondément féministe, et que c’est au nom de l’égalité hommes-femmes qu’elle a été mise en avant. L’enquête s’est donc intéressée à l’écart dans les appuis à la loi selon le genre.

On a calculé que 68,5 % des hommes et 59 % des femmes au Québec appuieraient la loi, un écart de près de 10 points de pourcentage. Chez les plus jeunes, l’écart est encore plus marqué : 51,7 % des hommes de 18 à 24 ans appuient la loi, alors que seulement 31,5 % de leurs consoeurs font de même. Seules les femmes de 75 ans et plus sont plus favorables à la loi que les hommes de leur groupe d’âge.

L’étude avance également que les femmes québécoises sont plus nombreuses à trouver que « la loi est discriminatoire envers les femmes », que les femmes sont « plus touchées » par cette mesure législative, et que la loi « divise les Québécois ». Les femmes seraient aussi moins nombreuses à trouver que les Québécois qui s’opposent à la Loi sur la laïcité de l’État sont « déloyaux » et à souhaiter qu’une personne qui ne s’y conforme pas perde son emploi.

Existe-t-il une seule autre politique publique dite « féministe » moins appuyée par les femmes que par les hommes ? Ou serait-ce que, dans ce cas-ci, les femmes savent moins bien discerner que les hommes ce qui est bon pour elles ?

Vivre-ensemble

De plus, on répète souvent que la « loi 21 » exprime une volonté collective, et donc que les tribunaux ne devraient pas se « mêler » des décisions de l’Assemblée nationale sur la question.

Pourtant, 64,5 % des Québécois sondés croient qu’il serait important « que la Cour suprême émette un avis sur la question de savoir si la loi 21 est discriminatoire », et seuls 46,7 % des répondants continueraient à l’appuyer si les tribunaux « confirment » qu’elle « viole les chartes des droits et libertés ». On parlerait donc ici d’une chute de 18 points de pourcentage dans les appuis en cas d’une décision négative des tribunaux sur la question.

Finalement, la Loi sur la laïcité de l’État est souvent présentée comme un outil favorisant l’harmonie sociale et le vivre-ensemble.

Or, en sondant spécifiquement les Québécois musulmans, juifs et sikhs, l’étude a trouvé qu’une majorité dans les trois groupes rapporte « un déclin dans leur sentiment d’acceptation en tant que membres à part entière de la société québécoise » depuis l’adoption du texte législatif. Quelque 64 % des femmes musulmanes, 67 % des hommes sikhs et 87,5 % des femmes sikhs qui ont participé à l’étude ont dit avoir senti leur capacité à participer à la vie sociale et politique du Québec se détériorer depuis 2019. Et 67 % des femmes musulmanes, 50 % des hommes juifs et 67 % hommes sikhs ont aussi déclaré avoir été exposés à des incidents et à des crimes haineux.

Cette portion de l’étude inclut d’ailleurs des témoignages qui donnent froid dans le dos. Bien qu’il s’agisse de la plus vaste enquête sur cette question conduite auprès des minorités religieuses québécoises depuis l’adoption de la loi, l’échantillon total reste modeste.

Espérons que d’autres recherches encore plus ambitieuses seront mises en avant pour faire la lumière sur ces enjeux cruciaux.

Source: Les mythes et réalités de la loi 21

New Leger Poll says 30% of young new Canadians could leave in the next two years

Interesting data, worth looking at the detailed breakdowns by age, education, income etc and significant concerns particularly among the younger and university cohorts.

Data on the number of immigrants who actually emigrate is imperfect but this 2018 Statistics Canada study, Measuring Emigration in Canada: Review of Available Data Sources and Methods, provides estimates for all Canadians, not just immigrants, ranging from 150,000 (using tax data, likely the best indicator) to 450,000.

The Annual Demographic Estimates: Canada, Provinces and Territories, 2021, however, indicates about 37,000 in 2019-20.

Earlier studies by Statistics Canada indicate that recent immigrants, young adults and more highly educated individuals are more likely to emigrate.

Given that our selection criteria are biased towards the younger and more highly educated, a certain amount of “churn” is to be expected:

A new national survey conducted by Leger on behalf of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) — Canada’s leading citizenship organization and the world’s foremost voice on citizenship and inclusion — challenges some cherished Canadian assumptions about immigration and citizenship.

“Canada is a nation of immigrants — and one of the stories we tell ourselves is that we are welcoming to new immigrants, wherever they may be from,” says ICC CEO Daniel Bernhard. “But while this may be generally true, new survey data points to the fact that many new Canadians are having a crisis of confidence in Canada — and that should be ringing alarm bells all over Ottawa.”

Survey findings include:

  • 30% of 18–34-year-old new Canadians and 23% of university-educated new Canadians say they are likely to move to another country in the next two years.
  • While most Canadians and new immigrant Canadians alike believe that Canada provides immigrants with a good quality of life, Canadians have a much more positive outlook on Canada’s immigration policy compared to new Canadian immigrants.
  • New Canadian immigrants are more likely to believe that Canadians don’t understand the challenges that immigrants face and feel the rising cost of living will make immigrants less likely to stay in Canada.
  • Immigrants with university degrees tend to have less favourable opinions on matters related to fair job opportunity and pay than other immigrants.
  • Among those who would not recommend Canada as a place to live, current leadership and the high cost of living were the top two reasons

The full survey data is available here.

“The data suggest that younger, highly skilled immigrants in particular are starting to fall between the cracks,” said Dave Scholz, Executive Vice-President at Leger. “We need to continue working hard to ensure that we are welcoming newcomers with the resources they need to succeed, and that we continue to be a country that provides opportunity.”

Source: New Leger Poll says 30% of young new Canadians could leave in the next two years

As Tories review election loss, weak support in immigrant communities a crucial issue

Article over-dramatises even if there is a need for a review.
Margins in many of these ridings were relatively small. Moreover, in Ontario, the provincial conservatives swept most of the same seats and, as the article notes, active outreach by Conservatives allowed them to make inroads.
But beyond the 41 ridings, there are an additional 93 ridings with between 20 and 50 percent visible minorities which should also be looked at:
The Conservative Party is only beginning to sift through the data from the 2021 election, but there is at least one warning light flashing red on the dashboard: the party has been nearly wiped out in Canadian ridings where visible minorities form the majority.

Of the 41 ridings in Canada where more than half the population is racialized, the Conservatives won just one in the 2021 election — Calgary Forest Lawn — despite winning 119 seats overall.

Source: As Tories review election loss, weak support in immigrant communities a crucial issue

U.S. election results one factor that could impact immigration to Canada next year

Will likely be more analysis and commentary once the results are known and how that affects or not the forthcoming immigration levels plan:

After four years of Canada positioning itself as a more welcoming destination than the U.S. for new immigrants, the upcoming presidential election could change that dynamic.

But as the Liberal government prepares to lay out its immigration targets for the coming year, the domestic discourse on the issue appears to be changing as well.

A new poll by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies suggests Canadians are feeling skittish about any planned increases to immigration next year, after months of low numbers of new arrivals due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fifty-two per cent of those polled this week say they want the levels to stay low for the next 12 months, a figure that can be pegged to the pandemic, said Jack Jedwab, the president of the Association for Canadian Studies.

“When health authorities are telling you that one of the principal causes of the virus is migration — they’re not saying international migration, just people moving in general — and they are telling you not to go abroad, you’re going to conclude to some degree that immigration carries a risk right now,” said Jedwab.

The survey polled 1,523 Canadians between Oct. 23 and Oct. 25. It cannot be assigned a margin of error because online surveys are not truly random.

Border closures, civil servants working from home, flight cancellations and vanished job opportunities have all had an impact on the immigration system: estimates suggest that as of August, immigration levels were down 43.5 per cent versus last year and the government’s plan to welcome 341,000 newcomers in 2020 is out the window.

While the Liberal government has maintained a pro-immigration stance throughout and has begun easing restrictions on who is allowed into Canada, what the Liberals think immigration overall could look like next year will be clearer later this week.

Despite some Americans’ “If Trump wins, I’m moving to Canada” line, the U.S. election might not affect the total numbers for new arrivals.

But it could affect the demographics of who arrives.

Upon assuming the presidency in 2017, Donald Trump immediately moved to impose restrictions on immigration, and Canada’s messaging immediately went in the other direction.

The most public response was Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s #WelcomeRefugees tweet, posted after Trump’s first changes were announced.

Meanwhile, Trump’s travel bans on certain countries, crackdowns on temporary visas issued to citizens of others, and efforts to make it harder for highly skilled workers to get visas would go on to have a trickle-up-to-Canada effect.

How so became tragically clear earlier this year when Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 was shot down just after taking off from Tehran.

Upwards of 130 people on the flight were headed to Canada. With Iran on the U.S. blacklist, the Iranian diaspora in Canada had swelled.

The tech sector as well began actively promoting Canada as a place to move as the U.S. made it harder for skilled workers to get visas.

A study earlier this year by the international real estate company CBRE concluded that Toronto had seen the biggest growth in technology jobs in the last five years, outpacing hot spots like Seattle and San Francisco.

Should Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden win the election, it’s expected that U.S. immigration policy will shift, said Andrew Griffiths, a former director general of citizenship and multiculturalism at the Immigration Department.

How far is hard to know: Trump made a lot of changes, he said.

“It’s going to take a major effort to go through them one by one and make changes and there may not be political will to reverse them all,” he said.

But there is one area where there could be a quick change.

Since 2017, nearly 60,000 people have crossed into Canada from the U.S. at unofficial border points to seek asylum in Canada.

The reason is the Safe Third Country Agreement, which doesn’t allow for asylum claims at land border points, on the grounds that both countries are safe, and someone must ask for refugee status in the first safe country he or she reaches.

Canada has been trying to renegotiate, and if there’s a change in power, the dynamics of those talks could shift as well.

On the other hand, points out Griffiths, it could also result in the number of people seeking to cross into Canada that way declining markedly. One “push factor” sending asylum-claimants north has been a U.S. crackdown on visa renewals by people from certain countries.

The political dynamic in the U.S. will always have a strong and vocal anti-immigrant component that doesn’t exist at the same level in Canada, Griffith said.

If Trump loses, the more “outrageous” aspects of his approach might disappear, he said.

“A Biden administration would reduce the strength of the Canadian advantage that we had in all our messaging, but it won’t completely eliminate it.”

Source: U.S. election results one factor that could impact immigration to Canada next year

People don’t see difference between multiculturalism, interculturalism: poll

Largely, because the differences are small and nuanced. Both are policies that aim to facititate integration while recognizing identities, the major difference being that interculturalism makes explicit reference to integrating into Quebec francophone society whereas multiculturalism aims at integrating into either (or both) anglophone or francophone society:

Fully agree with Jack here. Debate is more semantics rather than substance:

Canadians, including Quebecers, do not see the difference between multiculturalism and interculturalism, a poll shows.

Even if Quebec’s Liberal youth wing this weekend will attempt to make interculturalism party policy, leading to an eventual provincial law should they take power, for most people it’s just semantics.

“People don’t understand this stuff and are not making the distinction,” said Jack Jedwab, president of Association for Canadian Studies, which commissioned the poll back in May.

“The Liberal youth will make no traction whatsoever on this. You are not going to distract people with academic rhetoric and lofty terminology to try and rebrand yourself.

“This is nothing more than intellectual camouflage. It’s a lot of semantics.”

According to the poll, conducted by Léger, relatively few Quebecers and other Canadians see the difference between the two concepts.

If you ask Quebecers their views of the terms, a total of 66.2 per cent they have a “very or somewhat positive,” perception of the term interculturalism.

But a total of 72.3 per cent also have “very or somewhat positive,” view of multiculturalism.

On the other hand, people who don’t like muliculturalism don’t like interculturalism either, the data reveals.

And whether the person is for multiculturalism or interculturalism, the views on immigration or issues like the wearing of the hijab (the Muslim head covering) are the same.

The data arrives just as the Liberal youth wing enters its annual summer policy convention in Quebec City this weekend.

Up for debate is a plan to ditch the concept of multiculturalism and pledge support for a plan to enshrine interculturalism in a law should the Liberals take power.

Interculturalism would become the guiding principle the government would use to welcome and integrate new arrivals.

While multiculturalism refers to a society in which people of different cultural backgrounds live side by side without much interaction, the youth say interculturalism would specify the existence of a francophone majority in Quebec.

Critics of the plan — which the youth hope will improve the party’s nationalistic branding in the eyes of francophones — have complained it would create a hierarchy of citizens and condemn minorities to assimilation.

The Léger poll is based on a web survey of 1,212 Quebecers 18 years or older. It was conducted from May 3 to May 7, which was before the youth wing made public their vision.

While the focus of the convention has been about multiculturalism, the youth wing also wants to pass a motion saying Quebec should write up its own constitution.

Part of that document should specify Quebec’s economy is green, the youth wing says.

Source: People don’t see difference between multiculturalism, interculturalism: poll

Chris Selley: Evidence of a nationwide immigrant backlash is flimsy at best

Good piece by Selley on the narrative.

I tend to place more weight on the Focus Canada long-term polling on attitudes towards immigration (key findings above), given their methodological soundness (not just because I am a fellow of the Environics Institute):

When Canadian media get hold of a bone, it can be awfully difficult to pry our jaws loose. The ongoing narrative that Canada is in the midst of a historic turn of public opinion against immigration, driven by malign political forces both at home and abroad, is a perfect example.

Readers likely caught wind of an Ekos poll released in April, which featured one genuinely remarkable finding: that 69 per cent of Conservative-supporting respondents felt too many visible minorities were immigrating to Canada. That was up from 47 per cent in 2013, whereas among Liberal supporters the number had fallen from 34 to 15 per cent.

Most reports included at least some of the important caveats: The total sample size of this poll was 507; the 2013 sample was six times larger. The number of Conservative supporters polled was just 180, with an attached margin of error of 7.3 per cent. But it certainly suggested public opinion may be polarizing on a specific immigration-related question.

Many reports went further, though. Huffington Post noted that as many respondents felt there were too many visible minority immigrants as felt there were too many immigrants overall. “That is something new,” it reported — “a pretty clear measure of racial discrimination,” Ekos pollster Frank Graves suggested, and perhaps evidence of “some contagion effect from the Trump show.”

Except it’s not new at all. The gap between “too many immigrants” and “too many visible-minority immigrants” in 2013 was all of three per cent, with a margin of error of 1.8 per cent; six years later it was one percent, with a margin of error of 4.2 per cent.

The Canadian Press, meanwhile, reported that “the share of people who think there are too many visible minorities in Canada is up ‘significantly.’” The poll showed nothing of the kind. The percentage expressing that opinion was actually down a point from a 2015 survey, long before Donald Trump threw American politics into chaos. Moreover, according to the Ekos data, the number of people who think there are too many immigrants, and the number who think there are too many visible-minority immigrants specifically, have plummeted in tandem since the pollster began reporting in the mid-90s.

In short, to the extent there’s anything historically new and negative here when it comes to tolerance for visible minorities, it seems to be confined within Conservative supporters and based on a single poll with a small sample size. And it’s certainly not unprecedented in recent times: An Angus Reid analysis released last year notes that the current public opinion environment looks much like it did in 1995, “the year that Jean Chrétien announced a ‘landing fee’ for new immigrants and a plan from the federal government to reduce in immigration overall.” No federal party leader save Maxime Bernier is promising anything of the sort.

There was nothing wrong with Graves’ poll; people were just overenthusiastic in interpreting it. Over the weekend, though, Léger Marketing and Canadian Press teamed up for a master class in how not to report public opinion. The headline finding, per CP: “63 per cent of respondents … said the government should prioritize limiting immigration levels because the country might be reaching a limit in its ability to integrate them. Just 37 per cent said the priority should be on growing immigration to meet the demands of Canada’s expanding economy.”

Bernier and other anti-immigration types turned cartwheels on social media. Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen blamed Conservative leader Andrew Scheer for “taking a stance that is rooted in misinformation and conspiracy theories” — one that risked “a corrosive effect on our social fabric.”

A few problems, though: Léger’s respondents weren’t offered a chance to say they think immigration levels are just about right, which is always the most or second-most popular option. Nor were they allowed to support hiking immigration for reasons other than economic, or to support lowering it for reasons other than integration concerns. And anyway, it’s hardly controversial to “limit immigration” lest it exceed Canadian communities’ capacities. There’s a housing crisis on, in case you hadn’t noticed. Indeed, presumably that’s one of the reasons Hussen himself is “limiting immigration,” just like every other immigration minister does.

None of this is meant to rubbish the idea that an immigrant backlash could take hold in Canada. It certainly could. In recent years the Conservatives have pushed some new rhetorical boundaries, notably on “barbaric cultural practices” and the UN Global Migration Compact — and Bernier is miles further out there than that. Canadians have stayed remarkably calm while watching tens of thousands of people stream unchallenged across the U.S. border, and being called racist for expressing misgivings, but that mightn’t last forever. Anti-immigrant sentiment often correlates with economic downturns, and Alberta is in the midst of a whopper. Quebec has been on a nativist bender for more than a decade.

As yet, though, there simply isn’t the data to back up the claim of a backlash. And the last thing Canada needs, as Hussen and his fellow Liberal Cabinet ministers will ever-so-earnestly tell you, is a fact-free discussion about immigration.

Source: Chris Selley: Evidence of a nationwide immigrant backlash is flimsy at best

Laïcité: plusieurs Canadiens appuient le projet de loi du Québec, dit un sondage

On-line, thus less reliable than other surveys, but nevertheless captures regional differences:

Le Québec a eu bien mauvaise presse au Canada anglais depuis le dépôt du projet de loi qui interdit le port de signes religieux à certains employés de l’État. Mais voilà qu’un sondage révèle qu’ils sont nombreux dans le reste du pays à partager l’opinion de la majorité des Québécois en faveur du projet de loi 21 du gouvernement Legault.

Le sondage Léger effectué pour La Presse canadienne a interrogé un échantillon non probabiliste de 1522 Canadiens. L’exercice s’est fait en ligne du 18 au 22 avril.

Ils seraient donc 46 % au Canada – en tenant compte des réponses des Québécois – à appuyer le projet de loi et 42 % seraient contre.

À la question « Êtes-vous en faveur ou opposé au fait de bannir le port des signes religieux visibles pour les employés du secteur public en position d’autorité (policiers, juges et enseignants du primaire et du secondaire) dans votre province ? », ils étaient 66 % au Québec à être « plutôt en faveur » ou « totalement en faveur ».

Ailleurs au Canada, ils sont toujours plus nombreux à s’opposer à l’idée mais, à part en Alberta, l’écart entre les pour et les contre n’est pas très remarquable.

Ainsi, en Ontario, 42 % appuieraient l’interdiction, 47 % s’y opposeraient. Dans les Prairies, ils seraient 41 % pour, 44 % contre. En Colombie-Britannique, le sondage a relevé 41 % en faveur de l’interdiction à comparer aux 45 % qui s’y opposeraient. Et puis dans les provinces atlantiques, ils seraient 41 % prêts à appuyer pareil projet de loi et 50 % qui n’en voudraient pas.

L’Alberta sort donc du lot avec un plus grand écart entre les pour et les contre : 34 à comparer à 53.

« Il serait faux de prétendre que tous les Québécois sont racistes parce qu’ils sont en faveur et que tous les autres sont très vertueux parce qu’ils seraient tous contre », en conclut Christian Bourque, vice-président exécutif et associé de Léger.

M. Bourque, se fiant à la couverture médiatique du projet de loi 21 s’attendait à des résultats plus « blanc et noir ». « On pense que tous les Québécois sont en faveur et on pense que tous les autres Canadiens seraient contre. Et ce n’est pas […] ce qu’on voit dans le sondage », constate-t-il.

« On est plus dans les nuances de gris », ajoute-t-il.

La différence à noter entre le Québec et les autres provinces, cependant, c’est qu’il y a une « majorité suffisante » au Québec – 66 contre 25 – qui appuie l’interdiction alors qu’ailleurs, on est beaucoup plus divisé sur la question.

Cette division se reflète aussi dans l’arène politique fédérale. Quelques élus conservateurs ont appuyé publiquement le projet de loi 21 tandis que leur chef Andrew Scheer exprime son opposition du bout des lèvres.

Chez les libéraux de Justin Trudeau, on condamne le projet de loi d’une seule voix, mais on refuse encore de dire comment on entend y répondre.

Pas si chiâleux que ça, les Québécois

Autre correction dans le sondage, ce ne sont pas les Québécois qui se plaignent le plus du gouvernement fédéral.

« La grogne est essentiellement dans les provinces atlantiques, dans les provinces des Prairies et en Alberta où de fortes majorités disent: “non, je n’obtiens pas ma juste part d’Ottawa” », note M. Bourque en analysant une autre question du sondage.

À cette question sur la « juste part », il n’y a que les Ontariens qui sont plus satisfaits d’Ottawa que les Québécois.

Ainsi, ils ont été 68 % en Alberta à répondre « non », 64 % dans les prairies, 58 % dans les provinces atlantiques, 49 % en Colombie-Britannique, 42 % au Québec et 37 % en Ontario.

« On semble vraiment être dans un cycle “western alienation” (sentiment d’aliénation présent dans l’ouest du Canada) », estime M. Bourque.

Source: Laïcité: plusieurs Canadiens appuient le projet de loi du Québec, dit un sondage