According to the survey, Canadians are becoming more divided over Covid-19 and politics

Regina –
A new study suggests that as more Canadians become more divided, some problems have reduced their contact with friends or family.

The national phone survey was conducted between March 7 and March 24 by the Canadian Hub for Applied and Social Research at the University of Saskatchewan. It asked 1,011 people what problems divided them the most.

Three out of four respondents said they believe society has become more polarized.

The majority said the Covid-19 epidemic (72 percent) and the 2021 federal election (73 percent) were the two most divisive issues in the past year.

About 40 percent of those surveyed said they lost contact with friends or family to discuss the epidemic or politics.

“There’s been a lot of rhetoric in the last two years since the epidemic began, and a lot of rhetoric has really worked to divide people – that division is real or just felt,” said research director Jason Disano. The Canadian Press in a phone interview from Saskatoon.

Disano said the respondents’ answers seemed to be influenced by their political leanings.

In the province of Prairie, for example, respondents responded in a way that was in line with conservative policy, Disano said.

The survey suggests that people in the Prairie believe more than any other region that fighting climate change and banning weapons of mass destruction is dividing Canadians. In Central Canada, however, respondents did not view the arms embargo as a divisive issue.

“We see a lot of identity politics taking hold in Canada, which has held up in the United States, especially in the last five to six years,” Desano said. “And we’re seeing that carrier in Canada. And that’s a problem. “

Quebec respondents were more likely than other regions to believe that society was less polarized. Disano attributed this result to a more moderate or liberal outlook.

Residents of Quebec who took part in the survey also said that people in western Canada, including British Columbia, were less likely to lose contact with friends or family because of their different views.

“We are seeing these regional differences, which are largely informed by the political inclinations of the residents of those different regions,” Desano said.

“Unfortunately, what we are seeing is politicians who are using that division for political gain when those leaders want to unite us and not divide us.”

When it came to uniting Canadians, respondents said the provision of international aid (55 percent) and ethnic diversity (53 percent) was a matter of uniting them.

The survey was reliable between a plus or minus three percent with a confidence level of 95 percent.

This report was first published in the Canadian Press on April 4, 2022.

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