Political society

Saskatoon study highlights divisions in society

Canadians are increasingly divided over a litany of issues including politics, COVID-19 and climate change, according to a Saskatoon researcher.

The findings come from a survey conducted by the Canadian Hub for Applied and Social Research at the University of Saskatchewan.

1,011 Canadians contacted by landline and cell phone between March 7 and March 24 responded to the survey, conducted for the Canadian Press.

“The key question is not whether the divide between Canadians is real or perceived,” director Jason Disano said in a press release.

“The simple fact that people perceive that we are becoming increasingly divided in Saskatchewan and in Canada is a major concern that government officials and politicians need to be mindful of.

“Now more than ever, we see politicians using this division for political gain when these leaders should seek to unite us, not divide us.”

75% of respondents nationally and 83% in the Prairies said the country had become more polarized over the past year, the release said.

The survey also found that 40% of respondents had reduced contact with a family member or friend due to differences in views or opinions in the past year.