Monday, June 17, 2024

Justin Trudeau’s ruling party loses traction across all religious groups in Canada: Survey

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Toronto: A majority of Hindus and Sikhs in Canada plan to vote for the opposition Conservative Party in the next elections, as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s ruling Liberal Party loses traction across all religious groups, according to a new survey.

Hindu support for the Conservatives is at 53%, just a point lower than the figure for Sikhs in Canada. “The opposition Conservatives lead in vote intention among decided and leaning Canadian Christian, Hindu, Jewish and Sikh voters, and those with no religious identity,” the non-profit, non-partisan Angus Reid Institute or ARI noted in the poll released on Thursday.

The Liberals have the support of 22% of Hindus, and 21% of Sikhs.

The level of momentum for the Conservatives within these faith communities is significant as they form significant voting blocs in major urban areas in the Greater Toronto Area, Metro Vancouver and Calgary, which could prove decisive in the next elections, scheduled for October next year.

In fact, both groups support the Conservatives in larger numbers than the overall national picture, where the Pierre Poilievre-led party enjoys the backing of 43%, which still makes for a hefty 20% lead over the incumbent.

Meanwhile, as the situation in Gaza and Rafah play out after the terror attacks targeting Israel in October last year, and the Trudeau government attempts to maintain balance in the conflict, it appears to be losing out with both the Jewish and Muslim communities. Muslims prefer the New Democratic Party (NDP) over the Liberals, with 41% and 31% support respectively. Canada’s Jews opt for the Conservatives with 42% support, nine per cent more than their liking for the Liberals. In fact, with just 15% support, Muslim are the one major religious grouping that the Conservatives have failed to capture.

According to a report from Statistics Canda in 2022, based on the 2021 Census, there were approximately 830,000 Hindus in the country, or around 2.3% of the population, with their numbers more than doubling over the last 20 years. Similarly, the Sikh population has also more than doubled over the past two decades and numbers about 770,000. However, those figures were based on 2021 data and since then these numbers will have grown as India has been the largest source country for immigrants to Canada in recent years.Immigrants from India comprise nearly 30% of newcomers in most categories. In 2022, they comprised 118,224 or nearly 27% of the total 437,539 of permanent residents admitted. The percentage climbs in temporary categories: According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) data, till the end of November 2023, Indian nationals accounted for 215,910 out of the total of 579,075, over 37%, of those with study permits. Till October 2023, there were 828,335 temporary work permits issued, with Indians making for 247,495, or about 30%.

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