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Le Canada a pris des engagements fermes en faveur du pluralisme, mais leur mise en œuvre laisse souvent à désirer.

Groupes Évalués

  • Communautés autochtones
  • Minorités ethnoraciales
  • Québécois

Le Canada est un pays diversifié qui a pris des engagements fermes en faveur du pluralisme. En 1971, le gouvernement canadien a adopté le multiculturalisme en tant que politique officielle visant à reconnaître la diversité culturelle comme un élément du tissu social du Canada. Bien que de nombreuses mesures juridiques aient été prises pour promouvoir la position multiculturelle du pays, le Canada n’a pas beaucoup progressé dans la résolution des enjeux touchant les groupes autochtones et peine à intégrer pleinement les personnes d’origines diverses dans la société. En réalité, les communautés autochtones sont toujours confrontées à des désavantages hérités de la période coloniale et à des degrés inférieurs d’appartenance à la société. La représentation des groupes racialisés dans les médias reste inégale. De plus, les disparités économiques entre ces différentes communautés persistent. En mettant l’accent sur les expériences des Québécois, des minorités ethnoracialisées et des peuples autochtones, le Moniteur mondial du pluralisme : Canada souligne qu’il reste du travail à faire pour concrétiser les promesses du pays quant à la réalisation d’un avenir plus pluraliste. Cet evaluation été achevée en 2021.


Address concerns raised by the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Commission about the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act

Canada must address concerns raised by the UN Human Rights Committee over the lack of legal regulations and due process in counterterrorism legislation. This should be done by reviewing the procedural safeguards in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. Additionally, the federal government should reconsider Canada’s reliance on immigration legislation to deal with terrorism, rather than relying on Criminal Code sanctions.

Resolve disputes with Indigenous Peoples regarding land claims

Canada has failed or has significantly delayed commitments to negotiate land claims agreements with Indigenous Peoples. Following through with these processes is challenging due to lengthy procedures. Federal and provincial governments should make a greater effort to resolve disputes with Indigenous Peoples regarding land claims and resource development projects.

Address xenophobic subculture in Canada

Federal and provincial governments should carefully monitor the threat to public safety posed by white supremacists and ethnonationalist organizations. These organizations often target ethnoracialized minorities, religious minorities and Indigenous Peoples with violence.

Adjust policies and practices on healthcare delivery

Provincial governments should review and adjust their policies and practices on health care delivery. This should be done to address concerns of systemic racism within the healthcare system. Particular attention must be paid to access to healthcare for ethnoracialized minorities and Indigenous Peoples, as well as the way that healthcare providers treat these groups.

Improve data collection on hate crimes

To respond to the increase in hate crimes, data collection must be improved. This must be done by accounting for which crimes can be motivated by identity-based hate. The police should report on the number of people victimized by hate crimes, the number of hate crimes committed and record the multiple motivations for hate crimes when these exist.



International Commitments

Note moyenne:6.5

Canada has ratified 10 major UN human rights treaties but has not ratified treaties by the Organization of American States (OAS). These international commitments apply differently across groups. They mostly deal with racialized and Indigenous communities, and not the Québécois. Canada has accepted in full the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Unfortunately, Canada has made little efforts to resolve issues impacting Indigenous groups.

National Commitments

Note moyenne:6.5

The decentralized federal system provides Québec with many privileges. This includes the right to self-determination and their own social and immigration policies. For example, this includes their intercultural model of integration policies, which seeks to integrate newcomers into the Québécois language and culture. Interculturality stands in contrast to Canada’s federal multicultural approach. Multiculturalism, for example, seeks to build a more inclusive nationalism. This has greatly benefited ethnoracialized communities by prohibiting hate speech and creating social protections for these groups. In contrast to Quebec, colonial era laws continue to significantly disadvantage Indigenous nations.

Inclusive Citizenship

Note moyenne:9

In terms of inclusive citizenship, Quebecois and francophone Canadians hold the same status as anglophone Canadians. Access to citizenship for ethnoracialized immigrants varies widely. Access to citizenship for permanent residents is straightforward. Citizenship application processes are more complicated and lengthier for those on work permits. Indigenous individuals, although considered citizens, sometimes do not define themselves as Canadian citizens. Today, the relationship between Indigenous Peoples and Canadian citizens remains complicated.


Policy Implementation

Note moyenne:6.5

Despite an inclusive policy framework, policy implementation sometimes veers towards discrimination.  For example, Québec has restrictions on provincial public servants’ right to wear religious symbols. This policy significantly impacts veiled Muslim women. In 2015, the federal government passed the Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act. This Act restricted Muslim women from wearing Niqabs in citizenship ceremonies. Although repealed, racialized stereotypes and Islamophobia persist. Finally, despite commitments to reconciliation, Canadian governments are reluctant to acknowledge Indigenous sovereignty claims.

Data Collection

Note moyenne:6.5

The Canadian census collects extensive data related to pluralism. Data collection during the COVID-19 pandemic helped track health inequities. It also shed light on race-based social determinants of health in Canada. However, data collection processes are highly problematic when it comes to Indigenous communities. Indigenous data collection is inconsistent and does not differentiate whether individuals live on or off-reserve. Poor data collection, for example, has hindered progress in the investigations around Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG). As a result of the poor data on Indigenous Peoples, many of the scores in this report that rely on data about Indigenous Peoples should be regarded critically.

Claims-making and Contestation

Note moyenne:6.5

The Québec government acts as an advocate for Québécois

concerns. This results in Québécois

interests playing a role in intergovernmental politics. Ethnoracialized minorities, on the other hand, advance their claims through electoral and judicial strategies. Indigenous claims-making is a mix of formal negotiations, litigation and protest politics. Notably, blockades and demonstrations occur to protest development on disputed lands. Protests tend to be contentious, whether carried out by Indigenous or ethnoracialized groups. They often result in forceful opposition from the police and, sometimes, the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police).

Leadership for Pluralism

Political Parties

Note moyenne:8

Québec contains a majority of seats in Canadian parliament, so parties tend to be responsive to Québécois interests. As such, all political parties try to ensure there is Québécois representation in their parties. However, parties also have a strong interest in appealing to ethnoracialized minorities. This is due to the large population of racialized immigrants. Political party responsiveness to Indigenous groups remains weak. This has led to failed promises to Indigenous groups, such as lifting boil advisories.

News Media: Representation

Note moyenne:7.5

Canadian media is not only bilingual, but also aims to reflect the multicultural and multiracial reality of Canada. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) has recently come under scrutiny. Indigenous peoples and racialized minorities are underrepresented in CBC’s workforce. Additionally, their coverage of issues impacting these groups tends to be limited. Overall, diverse news perspectives tend to be siloed, with ethnic or Indigenous media reporting mostly on stories impacting their groups.

News Media: Prominence of Pluralistic Actors

Note moyenne:4.5

Media in Canada is unequal in their presentation of multicultural diversity. For example, English coverage of Québec tends to involve problematic stereotypes of the Québécois. Additionally, immigrant minorities are depicted in negative contexts, such as stories about crime or deviance. Economic migrants (those who have immigrated for financial reasons), receive the most sympathetic coverage. Indigenous Peoples are both underrepresented and misrepresented in mainstream media. Issues related to MMIWG receive very little coverage. Indigenous groups are often negatively portrayed, undermining Indigenous political advocacy.

Civil Society

Note moyenne:7

Civil society operates differently across the country. Québec, for example, is home to many organizations focussed on the protection of Québécoisidentity. Civil society is supportive of pluralism and has played a key role in shaping multiculturalism policy. Indigenous civil society organizations have also played a prominent role in reconciliation. The Assembly of First Nations (AFN), for example, has engaged in political lobbying in response to land disputes.

Private Sector

Note moyenne:5

Although the private sector sees pluralism as an asset, businesses tend to be less engaged in debates about the issue. There is still discrimination in the Canadian labour market. For example, employers are more likely to interview individuals with English-sounding names. Across Canada, there is a lack of diversity in corporate leadership and on boards. In recent years, Indigenous entrepreneurship has grown significantly. This is due to federal programs that provide funding to Indigenous individuals seeking to start a business.

Group-based Inequalities


Note moyenne:7

Political representation in Canada differs among various groups. Québec residents have guaranteed representation at the federal level, but their share has decreased over the years due to a shrinking population. Ethnoracialized minorities have experienced increasingly better representation overall, but disparities exist within different minority groups. Indigenous Peoples are underrepresented in federal politics, with limited Cabinet representation. Data on provincial and municipal levels are limited, and Indigenous voter turnout tends to be lower than the general population.


Note moyenne:5

The pervasive economic gap between francophones and anglophones in Québec is almost closed, but overall economic disparities persist in Canada. Québec’s economy tends to lag behind the national growth rate. Recent immigrants are highly educated and experience little difference in unemployment rates across different generations of immigrants. However, these groups face an income penalty, demonstrating Canada’s inability to fully utilize their skills. Racialized minorities experience variations in unemployment rates and household incomes, illustrating systemic discrimination across the Canadian labour market. Indigenous Peoples face significant inequalities in unemployment rates, median income and access to land and resources. These inequalities have remained for decades and have yet to be resolved.


Note moyenne:6

Universal education and healthcare programs include the entire population, but differences in access and social outcomes persist. Québec stands out with a more expansive welfare state and lower inequality levels. Immigrants in Canada have good access to healthcare and education. First-generation immigrants often educationally outperform native-born Canadians. However, racialized minorities, particularly Black Canadians, face educational and healthchallenges, including high dropout rates and disparities in cancer screening. The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected racialized minorities and Indigenous Peoples, especially those on reserves. Indigenous Peoples face significant barriers to accessing critical services, such as clean drinking water and quality education, and they face significant health disparities such as lower life expectancy. Forced and coerced sterilization of Indigenous women continues and Indigenous children are disproportionately represented in the child welfare system.



Note moyenne:6.5

The Québécois language and culture are protected through federal and provincial guarantees. Federal protections include the Official Languages Act, while the province of Québec has its own language policies. Canada’s multicultural program promotes cultural diversity and supports activities such as anti-racism programs. However, discrimination and intolerance persist. Indigenous Peoples have faced cultural inequalities due to past assimilation efforts, including the suppression of languages and cultural practices. While the government now supports Indigenous languages and cultures, constitutional protection for Indigenous cultures has limitations.

Access to Justice

Note moyenne:5.5

Canada has an independent judiciary that protects the rights of ethnoracialized minorities, official language communities and Indigenous Peoples. Francophones have language rights in federal courts and most provinces. Non-citizens enjoy some Charter rights, and there are legal aid services for immigration and refugee cases. However, systemic racism exists in the criminal justice system, particularly in policing, leading to disparities in arrests, charges and incarcerations of racialized individuals. Access to justice for Indigenous Peoples differs between the northern territories and the rest of Canada, with evidence of systemic racism in law enforcement. Indigenous Peoples also face disproportionate incarceration rates.

Intergroup Relations and Belonging

Intergroup Violence

Note moyenne:7

Hate crimes in Canada are generally low, but Muslim, Black and Jewish Canadians experienced a rise in 2017. Despite low overall numbers, ethnoracialized and religious minorities still face threats, with limitations in hate crime data collection. The COVID-19 pandemic saw increased hate crimes, with East Asian individuals disproportionately targeted. Violence against Indigenous Peoples is a significant issue, stemming from the colonial legacies of the residential school system and ongoing violations of treaty rights. Indigenous Peoples are overrepresented as survivors of hate crimes, especially Indigenous women. Marginalization contributes to the alarming number of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

Intergroup Trust

Note moyenne:7.5

Limited evidence suggests that intergroup distrust between English Canadians and Québécois not prevalent in contemporary Canada. Positive attitudes exist between the two communities, with increasing positivity over the past 25 years. Trust levels in Canada overall are high, including trust toward different religions, ethnicities and immigrants. Levels of trust towards Indigenous Peoples are generally positive, but more research is necessary.


Trust in Institutions

Note moyenne:6

Trust in political institutions varies among different linguistic and ethnic groups in Canada. Francophones generally have higher levels of trust compared to anglophones and other minorities. Residents of Québec express more confidence in the police and justice systems, but lower trust in the health system and judiciary compared to the rest of Canada. Immigrants and ethnoracialized minorities have high trust in institutions, except for the police. Discrimination further reduces trust among Indigenous communities.

Inclusion and Acceptance

Note moyenne:6

Québec’s relationship with the rest of Canada complicates our understanding of acceptance and belonging. While Québécois

view themselves as distinct, they still maintain some attachment to Canada. Emotional attachment and perceptions of strong ties differ between Québec and the rest of the country. Immigrants generally feel a strong sense of belonging to Canada, but experiences of discrimination impact this perception. Indigenous Peoples often experience unfair treatment and discrimination rooted in prejudice. Limited data suggest that Indigenous Peoples feel excluded and have a lower sense of belonging compared to other groups.


Shared Ownership of Society

Note moyenne:6.5

Québécois individuals have a shared sense of ownership in Québec society but feel less ownership towards Canada as a whole. Still, many Québécois acknowledge they have a large say in Canadian political institutions. A majority of Canadians support immigrants’ rights to participate in decision-making.  Two-thirds of those surveyed indicated that naturalized citizens were ‘real’ Canadians, though the score was considerably lower when asked about legal and undocumented non-citizens. Indigenous Peoples hold little confidence in Canada’s political institutions. They are routinely delegitimized by many Canadians.