Diversity, multiculturalism, and openess are values that define what it means to be Canadian. But Andrew Scheer’s  Conservative party are increasingly using fear-mongering around issues such as immigration and asylum seekers as a short-term tactic to win elections. We see similar language and policies employed by right-wing leaders around the world, from Donald Trump in America to Victor Orban in Hungary.

But is this an aberration? Do Conservative voters actually hold such backward beliefs? The answer, unfortunately, is that in many cases they do.

Polling released from Abacus Data in December (links here, here and here) show large numbers of Conservative voters hold troubling views about diversity, Muslims and LGBTQ people.

Here are the top five most troubling findings from the poll.

1. 42% believe diversity is making Canada a worse place to live

This could be attributed to the large uptick in recent years of Conservative politicians embracing anti-immigrant, anti-diversity policies and rhetoric to win over right-wing voters.

Over 1/4 of Conservative MPs appeared on the far-right Rebel Media, including Andrew Scheer who was previously interviewed by white nationalist Faith Goldy.

Scheer and his party continue to spread numerous lies about Canada’s immigration policy. Even a former Conservative cabinet minister chastised Scheer for spreading misinformation. At one point they were forced to delete a racist tweet featuring a black man crossing the border.

Recently, Conservatives were forced to take down an ad that spread lies about Canada’s border policies.

2. Only 59% think gay people have suffered discrimination that must end

LGBTQ people have and continue to suffer from hatred and persecution. But when asked if hatred towards LGBTQ must end, only 59% of Conservative voters agreed.

Conservative leaders throughout Canada have a history of embracing anti-LGBTQ policies to further their political agenda.

Andrew Scheer, Doug Ford and Jason Kenney have all relied heavily on far-right religious voters — many of whom espouse anti-LGBTQ beliefs — to win their respective party’s leadership campaigns.

Doug Ford’s allies include homophobic Christian fundamentalist Charles McVety. Ford stood side-by-side with McVety while praising his government’s decision to cancel Ontario’s new sex-ed curriculum, which included the removal of important provisions that helped LGBTQ students.

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer voted against legalizing gay marriage and continues to oppose gay marriage.

Jason Kenney has a history of undermining LGBTQ rights. He previously bragged about preventing LGBTQ couples suffering from AIDS from visiting each other. Kenney also refused to terminate John Carpay’s United Conservative Party membership after Carpay compared the gay pride flag to swastikas.

3. 35% believe Canada would be better off with no Muslims

All across the western world, right-wing parties are increasing their attacks on minorities, and especially Muslims.

The connections between Canada’s anti-Muslim movement and the Conservative Party are only growing.

One of Andrew Scheer’s leadership advisers helped found an anti-Muslim organization which argues Sharia Law is taking over Canada.

Seven Conservative leadership candidates, including Andrew Scheer, gave interviews to Kevin J Johnston, an anti-Muslim YouTube personality. Johnston has been charged with promoting hatred targeting Muslims.

And Scheer hired a co-founder of Rebel Media to run his leadership and election campaign.

All of this is taking place while anti-Muslim sentiment and hate crimes rise throughout the country.

4. 26% believe being gay is a choice that should be discouraged

Of course, it’s not a choice. But that doesn’t stop Conservative voters from believing it.

5. 32% believe Canada would be better off if it was more white

Bad news for Conservatives who oppose diversity: Canada’s diversity and multicultural society will only continue to grow.

Approximately 22% of Canada is currently made up of visible minorities. This varies by province with British Columba (27%) and Ontario (26%) having the largest percentage. By 2031 it is expected one-in-three Canadians will be a visible minority.

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