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Canadians’ views on racism unchanged, despite ‘difficult’ conversations in 2019: poll – Global News

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Racism often captured headlines and took up space in public discourse in 2019 — but a new poll shows those discussions didn’t necessarily change Canadians’ opinions.

An Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Global News found 49 per cent of Canadians don’t think racism is a serious problem in the country, while 43 per cent do.

Those numbers are similar to April findings, when 46 per cent said racism was a serious problem.

Sean Simpson, the vice-president of public affairs at Ipsos, told Global News that the poll was conducted to see whether key Canadian news events this year — including the federal election, videos and photos of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wearing blackface and Sportsnet’s firing of Don Cherry — changed opinions.

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“It’s both good news and bad news,” Simpson said.

“The good news is that things don’t seem to be getting worse. The bad news is that there hasn’t been a lot of improvement.”

Simpson also pointed to the poll’s finding that nearly four in 10 Canadians feel that “white Canadians are under threat from immigration” — a number that’s unchanged from April.

“I think people hold their opinions and things that they see and hear from leaders or celebrities reinforces their own positions,” Simpson said.

“Either they agree with what’s being said, or they disagree with what’s being said, but it doesn’t necessarily have impact or sway their own point of view.”

However, changing opinions on racism won’t happen overnight, noted Kathy Hogarth, an associate professor at the University of Waterloo, whose work focuses on marginalized populations in Canada.

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READ MORE:
37% in Ipsos poll say immigration is a ‘threat’ to white Canadians — what’s the threat?

“We can’t lose hope because our numbers aren’t changing as quickly as we want them to change,” she said.

“We need to continue having the conversation, and we cannot let the resistance to changing attitudes derail the attitudes about racism.”

Hogarth said Canadians have only begun to question issues such as racism in the justice and child welfare systems, and there’s much more to do.

“We’re only scratching the surface. We need to dig deeper to what are the pillars, what are the policies that are holding and breeding racism in place.”

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Don Cherry claims he wanted to apologize for controversial comments


Don Cherry claims he wanted to apologize for controversial comments

Amira Elghawaby of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network added there needs to be systemic change in order for the country to truly understand and eradicate racism.

“We know that in our education system, there is not enough work being done to really understand Indigenous experiences in the this country,” she said.

“We’ve seen cutbacks in different provinces around funding and supporting Indigenous study, as well as looking at various forms of discrimination — Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and anti-Black racism.






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Federal Election 2019: Trudeau says he recognizes ‘how wrong’ brownface, blackface incidents were


Federal Election 2019: Trudeau says he recognizes ‘how wrong’ brownface, blackface incidents were

“We need to have more in our curricula that reflects these experiences; they can’t sort of be tacked on as an afterthought.”

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Elghawaby said that efforts to eliminate racism need to be supported by all level of government, citing the federal anti-racism strategy, which advocates will be closely monitoring.

“At the city level, as well, there’s much that can be done to ensure barriers to services, barriers to employment, and any type of hate that’s going on in our communities, we’re looking for solutions.”


READ MORE:
Racism can become a political flashpoint — advocates say it needs to be a conversation

An ongoing conversation

Conversations about racism need to go beyond just high-profile news events, both Elghawaby and Hogarth agreed.

“I think that in our media, we need to consistently and continually have these conversations,” Elghawaby said, noting Canadians did have meaningful conversations after the blackface and brownface incident and after Cherry’s firing — but then it faded.

“It sort of winds up being only when such a high-profile situation happens. It captures people’s attentions over a news cycle or two, then it fades from public consciousness.”






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Poll: Racism is less of a problem now than before


Poll: Racism is less of a problem now than before

“We need to talk about these issues — and they are difficult conversations, but we still need to be having them,” Elghawaby said.

Hogarth added having ongoing conversations on racism would also help tackle the issue of polarization.

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“When we begin to take an issue that’s really impacting the lives of a minority of people and make it a discussion point, people feel threatened, they feel the need to get defensive,” she said.

“We need to keep the conversation going because we need to understand that it’s not only a Black issue, it’s not a brown issue, it’s not an Indigenous issue. It’s all of our issue.”

Even beyond news events, she noted, conversations need to happen throughout the year — not just focused on specific months, such as Black History Month.

“The conversation must remain alive,” she said.

This Ipsos poll on behalf of Global News was an online survey of 1,002 Canadians conducted between Dec. 3-5, 2019. The results were weighted to better reflect the composition of the adult Canadian population, according to census data. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is considered accurate to within plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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New migrant caravan in Mexico pushes past blockade to head north

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Several thousand migrants from Haiti, South America and Central America set off from southern Mexico headed north on Saturday, clashing with law enforcement trying to hold the caravan back.

Some people among the latest mass movement of migrants trying to pass north through Mexico said they hoped to eventually reach the U.S. border, where the number of migrants trying to gain entry was already hitting new records.

Some 3,000 people, including families with young children, began trekking on foot on Saturday from the city of Tapachula near the Guatemala border toward Mexico’s capital.

One of the caravan’s organizers, Irineo Mujica, said he was leading the group to Mexico City in protest of the lack of government assistance in the south, where officials have attempted to contain thousands of migrants https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/this-is-prison-mexico-struggles-hold-migrants-far-us-border-2021-09-21, and to demand legal documents that would let migrants move freely in the country.

A highway checkpoint in Tapachula with some 400 law enforcement officers aimed to block their path, but many migrants managed to break past. A Reuters video showed people carrying backpacks and with children on their shoulders pushing through a cluster of officers in anti-riot gear who attempted to contain the crowd.

One family, including a woman and small children, were knocked to the ground in the crush of people, their belongings scattering.

Some migrants who attempted to leave Tapachula in September to head north were subject to brutal treatment by Mexican officials, and the government’s National Migration Institute condemned incidents of violence captured on video. https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/mexico-condemns-violent-actions-by-migration-agents-caught-video-2021-08-30

U.S. authorities arrested more than 1.7 million migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border this fiscal year, the most ever recorded https://www.reuters.com/world/us/biden-under-pressure-us-mexico-border-arrests-reach-record-highs-2021-10-20.

 

(Reporting by Jose Torres, Additional reporting by Lizbeth Diaz, Writing by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by David Gregorio)

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Seven prisoners found dead in Ecuador jail affected by riots

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Ecuador‘s SNAI prison authority has found the bodies of seven prisoners in the same jail where violence between gangs lead to the deaths of 119 inmates last month, it said on Saturday.

The seven bodies were found in the Penitenciaria del Litoral, located in the southern city of Guayaquil, which has become Ecuador’s most violent prison.

The riot at the end of last month also left dozens of prisoners injured.

The seven prisoners discovered dead on Saturday were found in a pavilion used for conjugal visits, the SNAI authority said in a Twitter message without elaborating.

The deaths of four other prisoners in the jail during October are also under investigation.

The SNAI will work alongside police and prosecutors as it investigates the inmates’ deaths, it said.

Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso declared a state of emergency for the country’s penitentiaries last month in order to free up resources and increase control inside prisons.

Members of the military have also been brought in to help control prisons across the country.

Officials say gangs have alliances with transnational criminal groups and are battling over drug trafficking routes.

Since the beginning of the month Ecuador’s police have brought violence in Penitenciaria del Litoral under control, it said, adding that other prisons were also under control.

 

(Reporting by Alexandra Valencia; Writing by Oliver Griffin, Editing by Franklin Paul)

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Spain vows to speed up aid to volcano-hit La Palma

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Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Spain would speed up aid to the hard-hit agriculture and fishing industries on the island of La Palma, where part of the volcano’s cone collapsed on Saturday and red hot lava continued to flow over a month after the eruption began.

Lava has covered almost 900 hectares of land, destroying over 2,000 buildings and many banana plantations. More than 7,000 people have had to leave their homes since the eruption started on Sept. 19.

“At the cabinet meeting next Tuesday we are going to make a budgetary modification to accelerate the arrival of economic resources for both the Employment Plan and aid for the entire agriculture and fishing sector,” Sanchez said at a press conference during his fifth visit to the island since the eruption began.

In early October, Sanchez announced 206 million euro ($239 million) in government funding for the island to rebuild infrastructure and boost employment, agriculture and tourism. [L1N2QZ06F]

The Canary Islands Volcanology Institute said that part of the main cone had collapsed on Saturday morning. It tweeted footage of dark ash clouds billowing from the volcano.

Reuters footage showed lava engulfing buildings and a dog who appeared to have had a narrow escape after running away from the fast-moving flow.

The eruption has been devastating some of the island’s banana crops, which account for around half its economic output. [L8N2QQ2J0]

Sanchez paid tribute to all those working to tackle the eruption, which has caused no deaths.

 

(Reporting by Antony Paone; Writing by Jessica Jones; Editing by Christina Fincher)

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