The hypocrisy of religious tolerance in Quebec

A new study has found that Quebecers largely expect religious tolerance from newcomers to the province. So why don’t they hold their government to the same standard?

A study by Léger has assessed Canadians’ views on diversity and tolerance in Canada, in light of the conflict between Hamas and Israel. The study found that a majority of people in Quebec (57%) believe that governments should do more to encourage religious tolerance among newcomers to Canada, as well as the tolerance of other races and sexual orientations.

Interestingly, according to a separate study earlier this year by the Angus Reid Institute, 57% is also the percentage of Quebecers who support Bill 21, a bill which by definition discourages religious tolerance, as it prohibits the wearing of religious symbols like hijabs, yarmulkes, turbans and crosses by public servants in Quebec.

Therefore, while a majority of Quebecers understandably expect religious tolerance from immigrants in the province, it’s also very clear that an equal number hold their government to a much lower standard.

In the Rest of Canada (ROC), a lower percentage, 49%, agree that governments should do more to encourage religious tolerance and other Canadian values.

“Canadians aged 55+ (vs. younger), Quebecers (vs. the ROC), those who identify as Caucasian (vs. BIPOC), and college-educated respondents (vs. lesser or more educated) believe governments and institutions should do more to ensure newcomers accept Canadian values. Those aged 18-54 feel they should do less, or admit they just don’t know.”

The hypocrisy of religious tolerance in Quebec

The Léger web survey was conducted from November 17 to 19, 2023, with 1,531 Quebecers, 18 years of age or older, randomly recruited from LEO’s online panel.

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