Eight in Ten (80%) Call Themselves a "Canadian Nationalist", Up 8 Points from One Year Ago

Olympics Inspire Sizeable Increase in Quebec as Majority (63%) of Quebecers Now Call Themselves "Canadian Nationalists", Up 16 Points

Toronto, ON - The Vancouver 2010 Games appear to have brought Canadians closer together in their common national identity, according to a new Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of The Historica-Dominion Institute and fielded in the days following the Closing Ceremonies. Eight in ten (80%) Canadians now `agree' (37% strongly/44% somewhat) that they are a `Canadian nationalist', up 8 points from an identical poll fielded one year before the end of the Olympics. In fact, a majority of Quebecers (63%) now agree that they are a Canadian nationalist, an increase of 15 points from last year.

The data have also revealed that Canadians' pride and confidence in the country's abilities has increased in all sorts of ways, likely a result of the tremendous showing at the Olympics, both by athletes and organizers alike:

  • Two in three (63%) `agree' (10% strongly/53% somewhat) that `when Canada speaks the world takes notice', up 13 points.
  • Nine in ten (88%) `agree' (34% strongly/54% somewhat) that `Canada plays a positive role in international affairs', up 6 points.
  • Nine in ten (88%) `agree' (28% strongly/60% somewhat) that `people in other countries look to Canada as an example', up 5 points.
  • Nine in ten (88%) `agree' (51% strongly/38% somewhat) that they are `patriotic', up 4 points.
  • Nine in ten (93%) `agree' (48% strongly/45% somewhat) that `Canada is a desirable destination for international tourists', up 3 points.
  • Nine in ten (90%) `agree' (61% strongly/29% somewhat) that they `have a strong sense of belonging to Canada', up 3 points.
  • Nine in ten (94%) `agree' (67% strongly/27% somewhat) that they are `proud' of their country, up 2 points.
  • Nine in ten (90%) `agree' (59% strongly/31% somewhat) that if they `could choose to live in any country in the world' they would `choose Canada', up 2 points.
  • Three quarters (76%) `agree' (25% strongly/51% somewhat) that they are `prepared to pay more for a product that is "made in Canada", up 1 point.

Interestingly, this increased sense of national pride and patriotism does not yet appear to be spilling into more formal forms of citizen participation in this country. Just two in three (68%) `strongly agree' that they will `definitely vote in the next federal election', unchanged from the 68% who said the same one year ago.

Canadian Olympians Prove to Country that They're The Best...

During the Vancouver 2010 Games, Canadian Olympians were not only trying to prove to other countries that they are among the best athletes in the world, but to Canada's as well. The results of the medal standings and this poll reveal that our athletes succeeded on all fronts as nine in ten (91%) now `agree' (47% strongly/44% somewhat) that `Canadian athletes are among the best in the world', up from 63% who agreed to an identical poll fielded one year before the Olympics. Nine in ten (93%) `agree' (67% strongly/26% somewhat) that at the Olympics they were `more likely to cheer for an athlete if he or she is Canadian', up 3 points.

Further, the success of Canadian Olympians appears to have had a profound impact on many households as eight in ten (83%) `agree' (34% strongly/48% somewhat) that `Canada's Olympic athletes inspire' them and members of their family, an increase of 16 points from one year ago.

The record gold-medal haul that Canada won at the Games has likely changed the minds of Canadians when it comes to assessing whether or not Canada supports its athletes to the extent that it should. In fact, three quarters (73%) now `agree' (24% strongly/49% somewhat) that `our Olympic athletes receive the support they need from their country for their training and endeavours', a significant increase of 26 points from last year. Despite the success of our Olympians, one quarter (27%) still `disagrees' (4% strongly/23% somewhat) that our Olympians get the support they need from Canada.

These are some of the findings of two Ipsos Reid polls conducted between March 16 to 23, 2009, and March 1-2, 2010, on behalf of The Historica-Dominion Institute. For these surveys, a national sample of 1,011 adults and 1,013 adults, respectively, from Ipsos' Canadian online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/-3.1 percentage points 19 times out of 20 of what the results would have been had the entire population of adults in Canada been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

Major Shift in Quebecers' Views...

It appears that the Vancouver 2010 Games have brought Canadians closer together, especially in the province of Quebec where the biggest change has been recorded. Those in Quebec are feeling much closer to Canada and have an improved assessment of Canada's athletes and its place in the world now that the Games are over:

  • Two in three (63%) Quebecers agree that they are a `Canadian nationalist', up 15 points.
  • Two in three (65%) Quebecers agree that `when Canada speaks the world takes notice', up 28 points.
  • Eight in ten (84%) Quebecers agree that `Canada plays a positive role in international affairs', up 16 points.
  • Eight in ten (76%) Quebecers agree that they're `patriotic', up 11 points.
  • Nine in ten (85%) Quebecers agree that `people in other countries look to Canada as an example', up 10 points.
  • Eight in ten (77%) Quebecers agree that they `have a strong sense of belonging to Canada', up 8 points.
  • Prior to the Olympics just 49% agreed that Canadian athletes were among the best in the world. Now nine in ten (88%) feel that Canadian athletes are among the best in the world, a staggering increase of 39 points.

For more information on this news release, please contact:
John Wright
Senior Vice President
Ipsos Reid Public Affairs
(416) 324-2002
[email protected]

Andrew Cohen
The Historica-Dominion Institute
(613) 875-2576
[email protected]

About Ipsos Reid

Ipsos Reid is Canada's market intelligence leader, the country's leading provider of public opinion research, and research partner for loyalty and forecasting and modelling insights. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos Reid employs more than 600 research professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in the country, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and online panels. Ipsos Reid's marketing research and public affairs practices offer the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada, all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, Ipsos Reid offers syndicated information or custom solutions across key sectors of the Canadian economy, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, automotive, retail, and technology & telecommunications. Ipsos Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group.

To learn more, please visit www.ipsos.ca .

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