A flag used at a Canadian Walk Against Racism event in 2017. (CBC)

Putting some figures on racism in Canada

A new report examining racism in Canada has been published, confirming what a lot of people already knew from first-hand experience.

The report, based on a survey by Environics Institute for Survey Research was publicly released today.

It finds that one in five Canadians experiences discrimination regularly, or from time to time.

The survey found that just under 40 per cent of racist incidents reported took place on the street.

An equal number of incidents took place in the workplace.

Environics says the race relations survey is the first of its kind in Canada to examine Canadians’ experiences, attitudes and perceptions at the national level.

Lead researcher Keith Neuman told CBC News’ Mark Gollom on Monday that “one of the unexpected results was a significant proportion of Canadians across all racial groups acknowledged that racism is a reality in Canada.”

Neuman added that “a significant proportion of white respondents” agreed.

“I think it is notable, maybe a bit surprising, because there’s this notion that non-racialized Canadians don’t think there’s a problem,” Neuman told Gollom.

The survey found that discrimination can take many forms in day-to-day experiences, involving subtle slights or insults, such as being treated as being not as smart or mistaken for someone who serves others.

One person well acquainted with the ill-effects of racism is Montreal community activist and McGill law student, Balarama Holness.

Last year, Holness was instrumental in collecting over 22,000 signatures, obligating the City of Montreal to hold public consultations on systemic racism and discrimination.

I spoke with him Tuesday about the Environics report.


With files from CBC News (Mark Gollom)

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