TORONTO, Feb. 16, 2012 /CNW/ - New national public opinion research
reveals Canadians believe citizenship is more than having a passport
and obeying the law.
While these things are important, when asked what makes someone a good
citizen, Canadians also emphasize: treating men and women equally
(95%); accepting those who are different (82%); protecting the
environment (80%); respecting other religions (65%); and, actively
participating in one's local community (51%).
Canadians on Citizenship is the first national survey to ask what it means to be a Canadian citizen,
polling 2,376 Canadians from across the county.
It reveals that most Canadians (89%) believe that everyone - regardless
of whether they're Canadian or foreign-born - can be a good citizen.
This reflects the experience of newcomers: foreign-born citizens are as
likely as native-born citizens to fully feel like a good citizen in
this country (75% versus 78%), and are even prouder to be Canadian (88%
"The results couldn't be more Canadian - we share an overwhelming consensus of what it means to be a good
Canadian citizen," said Michael Adams, President, Environics Institute.
"Obeying the laws and paying taxes are important, but they're not
enough. All Canadians are embracing active participation in the
community, simple acts of kindness, respect, openness, compromise and
environmental stewardship are fundamental components to today's current
definition. This is why the world wants the Canadian experiment to
Other key findings from the survey:
A majority are comfortable with citizenship requirements, with most
endorsing the current residency (69%) and language (86%) requirements.
Two-thirds (65%) believe citizenship in Canada today strikes the right
balance between rights and responsibilities.
Canadians expect newcomers to adapt to become good citizens (obeying the
law, learning about history and culture, accepting Canadian values),
but many (44%) also believe society needs to do more to help newcomers.
Most do not feel Canadian citizenship is threatened by globalization.
Clear majorities believe living abroad is good thing (64%), and that
dual citizenship should be allowed (70%).
"Our work with Canada's newest citizens allows us to hear their views on
Canada and feeling Canadian firsthand," said Gillian Hewitt Smith,
Executive Director & CEO, Institute for Canadian Citizenship. "We're
excited by the fact that what we hear is reflected in the survey: a Canadian population united by a
commitment to community and to Canada. It's a powerful statement about
the nation we've become, and our potential for future success."
Ratna Omidvar, President, Maytree, agrees. "Canadians can be proud of
what these results say about us as a society. We know that by treating
each other with respect and participating in our communities we can
make the country stronger."
Canadians on Citizenship is the result of a collaboration between the Environics Institute, the
Institute for Canadian Citizenship, the Maytree Foundation, the CBC and
RBC to further the national dialogue on citizenship (join the
conversation on Twitter #goodcdncitizens).
More information about the survey, including a summary report and an
infographic illustrating key insights, can be found here: icc-icc.ca/en/news/citizens.php
ABOUT THE ENVIRONICS INSTITUTE
The Environics Institute for Survey Research was established by Michael
Adams in 2006 to promote relevant and original public opinion and
social research on important issues of public policy and social change.
The focus of the Institute's mandate is to survey individuals and
groups not usually heard from, asking questions not normally asked.
The Institute pursues this mission by: a) sponsoring survey research on
issues of public importance not being addressed by other organizations;
b) actively disseminating its sponsored research to encourage informed
public discourse and policy impact; c) promoting the role of survey and
social research in public policy and democracy through outreach
activities (e.g., publications, public commentary); and d) serving as a
centre of excellence for responsible public opinion research methods
and application, through education, training and consulting. For more
information, see environicsinstitute.org.
ABOUT THE ICC
The Institute for Canadian Citizenship is a national, non-profit
organization that engages Canadians in citizenship through innovative
programs, campaigns and partnerships designed to ensure new citizens
are welcomed and included as equals, to create meaningful connections
among all Canadian citizens, to foster a culture of active, engaged
citizens and to celebrate what it means to be Canadian. Our Building
Citizenship program brings together new and established Canadians at
community citizenship ceremonies; our Cultural Access Pass (CAP) offers
new citizens the chance to visit more than 1,000 attractions across
Canada for free for a full year from the time they're sworn in; and our
annual LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium fosters a debate on the future of
Canada's civic culture. The ICC was founded and is co-chaired by the
Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson and John Ralston Saul. The ICC is
supported by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). For more
information, visit icc-icc.ca.
ABOUT MAYTREE FOUNDATION
Established in 1982, Maytree promotes equity and prosperity through its
policy insights, grants and programs. The organization has gained
recognition for its expertise in developing, testing and implementing
programs and policy solutions related to immigration, integration and
Royal Bank of Canada (RY on TSX and NYSE) and its subsidiaries operate under the master
brand name RBC. One of the largest banks in the world, based on market
capitalization, the company offers personal and commercial banking,
wealth management services, insurance, corporate and investment banking
and transaction processing services on a global basis. RBC employs
approximately 74,000 full- and part-time employees who serve close to
15 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients
through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 56 other countries. As one of
Canada's largest corporate donors, RBC supports a broad range of
community initiatives, through donations, sponsorships and employee
volunteer activities. In 2011, RBC contributed more than $98 million to
community causes worldwide, through donations of more than $64 million,
and an additional $34 million in sponsorship of community events and
ABOUT CBC NEWS
CBC News is the source Canadians turn to, to keep them informed about their
communities, their country and their world. Through regional and
national programming on multiple platforms, including CBC Television,
CBC News Network, CBC Radio, CBCNews.ca, mobile and on-demand, CBC News
and its internationally recognized team of award-winning journalists
deliver the breaking stories, the issues, the analyses and the
personalities that matter to Canadians.
Image with caption: "Canadians on Citizenship Infographic (CNW Group/Institute for Canadian Citizenship)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120216_C4676_PHOTO_EN_10126.jpg
SOURCE Institute for Canadian Citizenship
For further information:
Keith Neuman, Ph.D.
(416) 593-6998 ext.225
(416) 944-2627 ext. 284
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