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Cost of living, Systemic racism, Affordable housing are issues facing Black voters in Canada

Updated: Sep 14

9th September 2021-

When it comes to winning the Black vote during this election, leaders and political parties should actually speak to not one but three constituencies within the Black community: those who identify as African, Afro-Caribbean, and Black Canadian.

While these communities agree on the top issues facing them, namely high cost of living, system racism and, affordable housing, they are facing other issues that are community-specific. For example, Immigration is an equally important issue for those who identify as African while it is not as important for those who identify as Afro-Caribbean or Black Canadian.

When it comes to their performances over the past 5 years, Black voters give low to average marks to the government and Justin Trudeau’s liberal party. Even though a good proportion of Black voters surveyed say they will support the Liberal party, they feel that they have a choice during this election and some of them have not made up their mind yet.

Lastly, for Black voters, representation matters and can translate into actual votes. In a tight election where every vote matters, the Black vote has never been so critical and, political parties and leaders must listen and act.

The top issues facing black voters are

  • High cost of living, systemic racism, Affordable housing are top issues but.. 

  • For those who identify as African, discrimination in the workplace, availability of jobs, and immigration challenges are equally important 

  • For those who identify as Afro Caribbean, availability of jobs, health, and financial challenges are also important 

  • For those who identify as Black Canadian, availability of jobs, discrimination in the workplace, and racial profiling by police are equally important

Black voters on current leadership

  • The current government gets a below-average mark while the Liberal party gets a passing grade 

  • 46% of the black voters are satisfied with the way the government is leading the country 

  • And even more, 53% of the black respondents are satisfied with the way Justin Trudeau's party is leading the country 

  • Whilst the government and Liberal party receive higher grades amongst those who identify as African

Voters intention

  • Election turnout is expected to be high amongst black voters 

  • Lack of interest in politics is the main reason for not voting  Liberals have a strong lead amongst the black voters 

  • 39% of black voters say they will pick the Liberal party, a 23-point lead on the NDP, and a 29-point lead on the Conservatives. 12% are undecided 

  • Voters are still prone to change their minds even though more than half say their decision is final.

On the winner and black leadership

  • The liberal party is seen as the winner of the upcoming election 

  • 46% of the respondents pick the Liberals, followed by the Conservative (17%) and the NDP (15%) 

  • Party leadership has a major influence on voter decision 

  • Despite showing a low appetite for voting Green this year, voters believe the leader of the Green party who is a black woman, may convince more black to vote for the Green party

  • In such a tight election, each vote is a potential deal-breaker. The black vote has never been so important

Download the full report here



The survey was conducted with 387 Canadian adults of Africa descent (Black) from August 24 to September 9, 2021. A random sample of panelists were invited to complete the survey from a set of partner panels based on the Cint platform. These partners are typically double option survey panels, blended to manage out potential skews in the data from a single source.

The margin of error for a comparable probability-based random sample of the same size is +/- 1.8%, 19 times out of 20. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to methodological change, coverage error, and measurement error.


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