It seems racism is still alive and well in one of Canada’s foremost provinces, British Columbia. According a to a new survey commissioned by Vancity Credit Union, 82 per cent of the visible minorities in B.C. have experienced some form of racism. And 56 per cent of people surveyed indicated that they have overheard racist comments made towards others.
Furthermore, 33 percent reported that they were the subject of abuse while 20 per cent indicated that they faced discrimination because of their name.
When it comes to names, various reports in the past have highlighted that Indian and Chinese names on resumes have close to 39 per cent less chance of getting a call back for a job interview.
Some 82 per cent in the survey indicated that multiculturalism has been good for Canada. And just over 25 per cent felt immigration should increase, while 75 per cent felt immigration should stay at the current level. Last year Canada took in 321,000 immigrants.
Racism attitudes have always been present, but they were subtle instead overt. One of the reasons racism attitude might be on the rise is perhaps what is happening in Europe, backlash of refugees flocking in from the Middle East due to civil war. And hostile attitude from south of the border where protectionist policies in conjunction with keep out the Muslim population.
Despite the alarming number of people encountering racism, but I still believe at least Canada is moving ahead unlike many other nations: two steps forward and one back.
I say this because about fifteen years ago, B.C. had a premier of South Asian descent. In addition, Canada’s current Defence Minister is Harjit Sajjan of Sikh faith and Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice, who is of Aboriginal descent.
Furthermore, half of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet is made up by women. When asked by a reporter to comment on the gender issue, Trudeau replied, “..it is 2015”, meaning times have changed.