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