Social values vary across Canada

Nov 19, 2013

Canada: true north, strong and free. But how strong are our beliefs? How free are our citizens? It depends where you live. According to a national survey led by researchers at Concordia University, the importance of providing assistance to those in need, and the importance of Aboriginal self-governance varies across the country.

A team of researchers from Concordia University recently partnered with the Trudeau Foundation and the Environics Institute for Survey Research to conduct a national poll* on responsible citizenship. The survey focused on two themes:

1. What is society's responsibility to address the social and economic welfare of those in need?

2. What is society's responsibility to address the aspirations of the country's Aboriginal peoples?

Providing assistance to those in need

  • A clear majority (65 per cent) of Canadians want to ensure that the country's social and economic assistance programs are available to everyone. But the public is quick to express clear priorities on which groups should get greater governmental assistance.
  • Seven out of ten Canadians think families with children living in poverty should be the top priority—rather than young adults having difficulty finding their first job, or people who have been unable to find work for more than a year.
  • Impressions are mixed about the concept of a guaranteed annual income as a way to reduce poverty. Opinions are divided with a slightly larger proportion who favour such a policy (46 per cent) than who oppose it (42 per cent).
  • Support for a guaranteed annual income is the majority view in Quebec and among Canadians with lower levels of education and income, while most strongly opposed by Albertans and high-income Canadians.

Aboriginal self-governance

  • Almost six in 10 (58 per cent) Canadians believe that the country's Aboriginal peoples should have some form of self-government—an opinion that has gradually strengthened over the past two decades. This is the majority view across the country, except in Saskatchewan and Alberta, where support has declined sharply since 1997.
  • Canadians are most likely to say that Aboriginal peoples should have the powers comparable to a municipality (i.e., still subject to provincial and federal laws), rather than the powers of a province or a nation.
  • By a two-to-one margin (58 per cent versus 29 per cent), Canadians say the current federal government has a moral responsibility to honour existing First Nations treaties, regardless of what this might cost. This is a majority view across the country, except in the Prairies, where opinion is divided.

Explore further: New research shows sportswomen still second best to sportsmen... in the press

More information: Tenth Annual Trudeau Foundation Conference www.fondationtrudeau.ca/en/2013conference

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New poll shows Canadians want to make family a priority

Feb 08, 2012

Canadians want to make family a priority – 85 per cent want to spend more time with their families and 60 per cent want governments to support policy changes that make it easier to raise a family, according to a national ...

Pipeline protest mentality is big in B.C.

Oct 21, 2013

A new working paper produced by a Simon Fraser University researcher reveals that most environmental protesters attempting to block oil pipeline projects, such as those proposed by Northern Gateway and Kinder Morgan, aren't ...

Recommended for you

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

COCO
1 / 5 (2) Nov 20, 2013
Canadian apartheid policies wrt to designated groups remains a hallmark of all levels of government - with no end in site . This 'research' is both derivative and insipid - typical unfortunately.
VendicarE
not rated yet Nov 21, 2013
There are no apartheid policies in Canada of course. Those of aboriginal lineage may move anywhere in the country and are free do anything they like within the law that limits the behaviour of all Canadians equally with some exceptions granted to aboriginals resulting from treaty agreements.

For examples, aboriginals get tax breaks on purchases that are not available to the General Public.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.