March 13, 2017 5:44 pm
Updated: March 13, 2017 6:00 pm

Majority of Canadians want a ‘Canadian values’ screening test for immigrants: poll

The issue of testing immigrants and refugees for “Canadian Values” was first brought up by Conservative Leadership candidate Kellie Leitch.


Two in three Canadians say they would support screening new immigrants for Canadian values, according to a new poll.

The poll, titled, Les Canadiens, le populisme et la xenophobie (or Canadians, populism and xenophobia), was conducted for Radio-Canada and looked at Canadian sentiments towards migrants as well as Quebec specific sentiments.

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When asked about a “Canadian values” test for migrants, 35 per cent of respondents said they strongly agreed with the idea, while another 39 per cent said the idea was “mostly favourable.”

READ MORE: Newcomers need to learn Canadian values: focus groups

Quebec sentiment was similar, with 75 per cent of Quebec respondents agreeing.

The issue of testing immigrants and refugees for “Canadian Values” was first brought up by Conservative Leadership candidate Kellie Leitch, who recently released a video calling for face-to-face interviews for anyone who wanted to come to our country.

Despite the call for a values test, other Canadian sentiments toward refugees and immigrants were favourable.

The majority of Canadians (58 per cent) said they consider refugees a strength rather than a burden, four of 10 respondents said having a growing number of ethnicities in Canada makes the country greater. (Twenty-two per cent said it made our country worse, while 35 per cent said it didn’t have an effect.)

WATCH: Kellie Leitch reaffirms ‘Canadian Values’ test following mosque attack

Pollsters compared the Canadian response to other Western countries, and found we’re more forgiving than most European countries.

For example, data from Pew research showed that around three quarters of people in those two countries found refugees to be a burden, rather than a strength.

And nearly half of Italian respondents to a Pew poll thought refugees were more likely to be criminals that other groups, whereas only 21 per cent of Canadians had the same thought.

Muslim sentiment unfavourable

While overall sentiment was favourable, there was a lower acceptance of Muslim values than other religions.

While nearly three quarters of Canadians (74 per cent) viewed the construction of a Catholic church as favourable, only 58 per cent said the same about the construction of a Mosque. The number drops to only 40 per cent when you isolate Quebecers.

READ MORE: Kellie Leitch roasted on social media for ‘bizarre’ Canadian Values video

Forty-seven per cent of respondents are also worried that Muslims weren’t integrating into society properly. When isolating Quebecers, that number jumps to 57 per cent.

Poll timing

The online survey was conducted between Jan 27-30. It included 2,513 respondents, 1,024 of whom were from Quebec.

Six people were killed when a gunman opened fire on a Mosque in Quebec City on January 29.

Alexandre Bissonnette, 27, was charged with six counts of first degree murder and five counts of attempted murder.


© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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