Canada is a ethnically and racially diverse society, with more than four in ten of the country’s population either first or second generation in the country. In comparative terms, Canada is among the most welcoming of countries when it comes to acceptance of such diversity. The latest Gallup World poll puts Canada at the top of 140 countries in citizens rating their community as a good place for individuals for ethnic and racial minorities. And in historical terms, race relations in Canada are by far the most positive in the country’s history, a far cry from previous eras which included explicit discrimination against those who were not white Protestant establishment, be it Irish, Chinese, Jewish, East Indians, Black people, and of course the land’s Indigenous Peoples.
But in 2019, racism and discrimination against those who look different remains an underlying reality in Canada. People with racialized identities and backgrounds face ongoing challenges, both at a personal level and at an institutional level.