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