According to a new survey released on March 15, 2017 by Corporate Research Associates, one of Canada’s leading public opinion and market research companies, 68 per cent of Canadians in Atlantic Canada support the screening of prospective immigrants to Canada for Canadian values, an opinion consistent across all Atlantic provinces.
The results are similar to a poll conducted by CROP for Radio-Canada between January 27-29, which 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, an idea proposed by Conservative leadership hopeful MK Kellie Leitch.
In addition to supporting the “Canadian values” test, 60 per cent of Canadians in the CROP poll said that immigrants should adopt the local cultures and put their own cultures aside after immigrating. Other key findings showed that 23 per cent of Canadians (rising to 32 per cent in Quebec) would favour a ban on Muslim immigration to Canada and roughly half of the respondents said that presence of Muslims in Canada makes them “somewhat” or “very” worried about security.
The results of the polls conducted in 2017 show a slight increase from last year. In September 2016, a poll conducted by Forum Research for the Toronto Star found that 67 per cent of those polled (87 per cent Conservative, 57 per cent Liberals and 59 per cent NDP) supported Leitch’s plan to screen immigrants for anti-Canadian values such as intolerance towards other religions, cultures and sexual orientations.
In early March, Leitch released a list of potential questions she believes all 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]