A startling result from a new poll conducted by CROP for Radio-Canada between January 27-29 revealed that, in spite of heavy criticism from the Liberals and some Conservatives, 74 per cent of 2,513 people surveyed said they are in favour of screening potential immigrants for “Canadian values” as was proposed by Conservative leadership hopeful MK Kellie Leitch. In Quebec, the number of those in favour stood at 75 per cent.
These numbers are even higher than the ones revealed in a similar poll conducted by Forum Research for the Toronto Star last September. The Forum poll showed that 67 per cent of those polled (87 per cent Conservative, 57 per cent Liberals and 59 per cent NDP) agreed with Leitch who vowed that, if elected, she will put forward a policy that will screen candidates for immigration to Canada for values such as intolerance towards other religions, cultures and sexual orientations.
In addition to supporting the “Canadian values” test, 60 per cent of Canadians in the CROP poll believe that immigrants should adopt the local cultures and put their own cultures aside after immigrating.
Other key findings:
23 per cent (rising to 32 per cent in Quebec) would favour a ban on Muslim immigration to Canada.
On the question of which groups best integrated into Canadian society, Muslim immigrants polled the lowest in Quebec at 42 per cent compared with 72 per cent for Jews, 82 per cent for Haitians and 87 per cent for Asians.
Roughly half of the respondents said that presence of Muslims in Canada made them “somewhat” or “very” worried about security.
In early March, Leitch released a list of potential questions potential immigrants should be asked in a in a face-to-face interview with an immigration officer when they are screened for “Canadian values”.
“Are men and women equal, and entitled to equal protection under the law?”
“Is it ever ok to coerce or use violence against an individual or a group who disagrees with your views?”
“Do you recognize that to have a good life in Canada you will need to work hard for yourself and your family, and that you can’t expect to have things you want given to you?”
These questions, Leitch wrote, “ascertain whether or not their values are consistent with our way of life. And I envision that they would be challenged on their answers.”
Ilana Shneider is the co-editor of CIJnews and the founding executive director of Canada-Israel Friendship Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the mutually beneficial, long-standing diplomatic, economic and cultural ties between Canada and Israel. She can be reached at [email protected]