New Poll Shows Emerging Trump Phenomenon in Canada

REUTERS/Carlos Barria

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief

A new CROP poll released Monday indicates growing support for a “Trump-style” populist candidate in Canadian politics as well as a growing suspicion of Muslim immigrants.

The internet poll surveyed 2,513 people across Canada, including 1,024 Quebecers, and was conducted over four days in January, including the day of the infamous Quebec City Mosque shooting.

The good news for Conservative Party of Canada leadership candidate Kellie Leitch and her “Canadian values” campaign: three-quarters of those polled are in favor of vetting new immigrants with a Canadian values test to determine their ideology on basic equality issues.

The Canadian mainstream media and even some of Leitch’s Conservative colleagues consistently suggest that Leitch is “extreme” or out of step with mainstream Canadians with her values test. Just last week, Calgary Member of Parliament Deepak Obhrai said he was “outraged” over Leitch’s equality questions and suggested that it created “a dangerous environment.”

In an interview with the The Daily Caller on Tuesday, Leitch said the poll demonstrates “that I’m in touch with the average Canadian and the mainstream media is out of touch. These are issues that matter to Canadians and I think it provides a clear path to victory over [Prime Minister] Justin Trudeau. He’s the fringe candidate,” Leitch said.

Leitch noted that support for a values test has increased from 67 to 74 percent since she first raised the issue late last summer.

The poll indicates increasing Canadian support for assimilation over multiculturalism when the immigrants in question are not of European origin, with 60 percent of those responding being completely or somewhat in favour of immigrants adopting Canadian culture and customs when they become citizens. That number was 67 percent in Quebec.

CROP president Alain Giguère also says the results indicate the inevitable emergence of a Trump-style, populist politician in Canada because so many parts of the country feel like their concerns are not addressed by the status quo.

“In Canada, we haven’t found it yet but there’s room for that,” Giguère said. “Someone will come one day, that’s for sure.”

Although Canadians surveyed continued to indicate their traditional support for refugees and multiculturalism, with 60 percent seeing refugees as positive and 83 per cent believing that other cultures “enrich” Canadian society, those attitudes are changing when religion becomes an issue and particularly the Muslim religion.

One-quarter of Canadians and 32 percent of those living in Quebec would support a complete ban on Muslims immigration while only 40 percent of Quebec respondents would want a Mosque to open in their neighborhood.

About 50 percent of those asked were not concerned if the Quebec City Mosque shooting discouraged Muslims from immigrating to Canada.

Some of the other findings

  • About half of Canadians have a negative perception of the Muslim veil, or hijab, as a sign of submission;
  • Almost 50 percent of Canadian say Muslims are “poorly” or “somewhat poorly” integrated into Canadian society.

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