Toronto, ON, July 27, 2020 – Canadians are split on whether to defund the police, according to a new Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Global News. One of the legacies of the George Floyd tragedy is that it has renewed calls to defund the police -- meaning to take funds away from local police budgets and give them to other government services such as social workers and mental health supports. This idea is now gaining traction in Canada.
One half (51%) of Canadians support (19% strongly/32% somewhat) the idea of defunding the police and redirecting these funds to other local government services. The other half (49%) of Canadians oppose (24% strongly/25% somewhat) the idea. Strong opposition (24%) slightly outweighs strong support (19%) for defunding the police.
Clearly there is no consensus on the issue, and Canadians are significantly divided along generational lines. While a majority of Gen Z (77%) and Millennials (63%) are supportive of reallocating police budgets, a minority of Gen X (47%) and Boomers (39%) are similarly supportive.
Support for the idea is slightly stronger in BC (56%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (56%) and Quebec (54%) than it is in Atlantic Canada (51%), Ontario (49%) or Alberta (48%). While provincial boundaries aren’t a driving factor influencing one’s position on the issue, Canada’s urban-rural divide is once again at play. While 51% of urban Canadians support a move to defund the police, only 40% of rural Canadians feel the same way.
About the Study
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between July 8 and 10, 2020, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 1,000 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed online. Quotas and weighting were employed to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the Canadian population according to census parameters. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians aged 18+ been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.
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