How Polite Are Canadians? - Moncton, Calgary and Vancouver shine in our cross-Canada Test!

    MONTREAL, Oct. 18 /CNW Telbec/ - Last year, Reader's Digest conducted the
world's biggest real-life test of common courtesy, with surveys conducted in
35 countries. When the results were in, Torontonians ranked proud third. That
got our editors wondering - how would the rest of Canada rank in a similar
test? Our researchers packed their bags and headed off to 15 of the biggest
cities in Canada to answer the question How Polite Are Canadians? The results
are in the November issue of Reader's Digest!
    As with last year's global test, this was not a scientific survey - more
of a snapshot of a day in the life of the city. We sent pairs of undercover
reporters (men & women) to assess the behaviour of citizens in our largest
cities with three tests:

    1-We walked into public buildings behind people to see if they would hold
      the door for us.
    2-We bought small items from 10 stores and recorded whether the sales
      assistants said thank you.
    3-We dropped a folder full of papers in 10 busy locations to see if
      anyone would help pick them up.

    So, did Toronto maintain its top-seated position? Alas, Toronto must have
been having a bad day, going from third position from the top in last year's
global test, to third from the bottom in Canada! Moncton topped the charts
with an impressive score of 80 percent. Calgary and Vancouver tied for second
with a score of 77 percent. And Montreal has made great strides from the
previous test (where it came in 21st place) to 5th in the country! And the
dubious distinction of least polite Canadian city tested, was...Ottawa! When
asked why she didn't stop to help our tester pick up his dropped papers, one
woman replied, "He could have been a politician, so I thought, 'Screw you!'"
    Also in this issue is our growing reliance on technology making us a less
polite society? We had Léger Marketing conduct a survey to find out what
annoyed Canadians most about today's wired world - from loud cell phone
conversations in restaurants to executives checking their PDA's during
meetings. For the results, check out the November issue of Reader's Digest.
You can also visit us online at to take our interactive survey,
watch videos of our courtesy testers at work, have your say on the state of
common courtesy in Canada and read the behind-the-scenes story on our
cross-Canada test.

    A Canadian institution for 60 years, Reader's Digest Canada is a
pre-eminent publisher and direct marketer of magazines, books, music and DVDs.
Reader's Digest and Sélection du Reader's Digest magazines reach 8.1 million
readers every month in Canada. Visit our Website at

    Footage of the tests in Montreal, Quebec, Toronto, Vancouver, Halifax and
Calgary is available upon request.

For further information:

For further information: Sherry Naylor, Meisner Publicity, Toronto,
(416) 368-8253,; Marilou Hamer, Communications
Coordinator, Reader's Digest Canada, (514) 940-7328,

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