Anti-Asian Racism Won’t Go Away After COVID-19

·2 min read

Most Canadians polled by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada in its annual opinion survey say that anti-Asian racism existed in Canada before the pandemic, while more than half of them feel that it won’t go away after the COVID-19 virus is defeated.

The poll of 3,519 Canadian adults on their perceptions of the current and future state of Canada-Asia relations also found overwhelming support for policies that address racial crime as punishable offences.

In addition to posing new questions on topical issues, particularly around COVID-19, this year’s Asia Pacific Foundation (APF) of Canada National Opinion Poll tracked legacy questions from the past 16 years on the warmth of feelings toward Asia, the perceived economic importance of Asia for the future of Canada, support for free trade agreements, and provincial policies to foster better relations with Asian counterparts.

“Given the current global geopolitical climate and the devastating impacts of the pandemic, it is perhaps not surprising to find Canadians’ perceptions of China and the United States at historic lows,” said APF Canada President and CEO, Stewart Beck.

“But what is encouraging is that Canadians recognize the growing importance of Asia to our country’s future economic success,” said Beck. “They are keen for their governments to explore new partnerships, engage more vigorously in multilateralism and areas of mutual benefit like public health, climate change, and cybersecurity, and to encourage investment from Asia that would benefit this country.”

“Canadians clearly hold the view that Canada must move forward in Asia, but in a way that upholds our core values, respects human rights and sustainability, and provides economic benefits to all Canadians,” he said.

The APF poll comes in the wake of the federal government dramatically increasing its immigration quotas for the next three years which could see more than a million newcomers arrive at Canadian ports of entry.

Highlights of the APF survey about Canadian Views on Asia include:

, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Canadian Media