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Racism a ‘big problem’ in Saskatchewan: poll

Gerald Stanley pleads not guilty in shooting death of Colten Boushie as hundreds rally outside of North Battleford, Sask., provincial court.
Racial tensions in Saskatchewan have been high since the shooting death of Colten Boushie on a farm near Biggar, Sask. Ryan Kessler / Global News

A new poll is shedding light on how people perceive racism in Canada – and Saskatchewan.

According to the NRG Research Group and Peak Communications poll, 77 per cent of Canadians still see racism as a problem in the country, with 29 per cent saying it is a big problem.

READ MORE: Colten Boushie’s death continues to cause social media firestorm

The number was highest in Saskatchewan, where 46 per cent said racism is a big problem. Only four per cent said there was no problem in the province.

The poll was conducted days after Colten Boushie, 22, was fatally shot on a farm near Biggar, Sask.

Gerald Stanley, 54, is charged with second-degree murder in Boushie’s death and is out on bail.

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READ MORE: Racism not unique or more prevalent in Saskatchewan: Brad Wall

Racial tensions in Saskatchewan have been high since the shooting.

“People responded to the survey just after the devastating death of Colten Boushie in Saskatchewan that sparked racial tension,” said Roland Pajares, the lead researcher of the study.

“Three in ten residents of the Western Prairies (Saskatchewan and Alberta) specifically said race relations in their community had deteriorated over the last ten years.”

That compares to 22 per cent of people across the country who believe tensions between racial and ethnic groups have increased over the same time frame.

READ MORE: Sask. RCMP say online comments about Colten Boushie shooting could be criminal

The provincially-representative cross-Canada poll of 1,000 online people was conducted on Aug. 9-10.