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Poll: Canadians reject Donald Trump’s rhetoric on Muslims


Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump talks about his tax plan during a news conference Sept. 28  in New York. Trump has called for a temporary halt to Muslims entering the United States. (Julie Jacobson/AP)

In the race for the presidency, Donald Trump still leads the Republican field by a wide margin, and has garnered support from admirers overseas —  including Russian President Vladimir Putin. But north of the border, at least, he's not that popular.

A new survey by the Angus Reid Institute, a Canadian public opinion polling firm, found that a significant majority of Canadians disapproved of Trump's divisive politics, including a call to halt all arrivals of Muslims at U.S. borders out of security concerns.

A majority of Canadians also believe that the conversation about Muslims spurred by Trump's rhetoric is bad for society.

The poll, based on interviews with more than 1,500 Canadian respondents, found that a majority of Canadians living in the country's major urban centers wanted Trump's name removed from properties associated with his businesses in the country. Trump, perhaps unsurprisingly, had more support from Canadians living in rural areas than in major cities.

Of course, how people elsewhere view an American presidential candidate is not particularly important, especially at this stage of the election cycle. For what it's worth, 74 percent of Canadians think Trump receives too much attention in general.

But the sentiment in Canada reflects an important distinction between the two North American neighbors. As the political discourse around Muslims and refugees in the U.S. has grown darker in recent weeks, Canada's new Liberal government, led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, has gone out of its way to preach a message of tolerance and inclusiveness, highlighted by Trudeau's recent reception of Syrian refugees at an airport in Toronto.

"This is something that we are able to do in this country because we define a Canadian not by a skin color or a language or a religion or a background," Trudeau explained then, "but by a shared set of values, aspirations, hopes and dreams that not just Canadians but people around the world share."

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