When Awarding Government Security Contracts, Canadians Prioritize Fairness, Transparency and Price

Fair Hiring Practices to Promote Diversity and Inclusion and Ensuring Jobs for Veterans are Also Among the Priority List

The author(s)
  • Sean Simpson SVP, Canada, Public Affairs
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Toronto, May 25, 2022 — When it comes to the Government of Canada awarding security contracts, fairness, transparency and price are of paramount importance, according to a recent Ipsos survey on behalf of Prospectus. The study found that Canadians rank promoting fair competition among Canadian security service companies as the first priority (89%), followed by openness and transparency (88%) and providing the best service at the best price for the Canadian taxpayer (87%), followed closely by administering fair hiring practices that promote diversity and inclusion in its workforce culture, including hiring women, Indigenous, and members of visible minorities (83%). Prioritizing jobs for veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces, and of the RCMP and their spouses is a priority for 69% of Canadians.

Mental health programs seen as biggest opportunity for the Government of Canada to support veterans transitioning to civilian life

Ninety-four per cent (94%) of Canadians express support for mental health programs that help veterans cope with PTSD, depression, anxiety, and other challenges as a means to assist in the transition of veterans to civilian life. Implementing programs that encourage all Canadian businesses to hire veterans was also largely supported by 84% of Canadians, while eight in ten (80%) supported the assurance that any Government security services contract includes incentives to hire veterans. Fifty-six per cent (56%) of Canadians back the idea that all Government security services contracts should be directed to one company in exchange for a commitment that they will hire as many veterans as possible.

Slim majority of Canadians support Right of First Refusal for Commissionaires in Awarding Security Contracts

Seven in ten (72%) of Canadians say they are unaware of the Commissionaires, formerly known as The Corps of Commissionaires. When described its history and function, particularly around the Right of First Refusal agreement that ensures Commissionaires has first right of refusal before the contract can be offered to any other security guard suppliers, over half of Canadians (55%) say they strongly (16%) or somewhat (38%) support this provision, while 29% oppose it.

The Right of First Refusal on security contracts is not the best way for the government to support veterans in their transition to civilian life, according to 77% of Canadians

In deciding whether the government giving the Right of First Refusal to one company is the most effective way to help veterans transition to civilian life, 77% of Canadians say there are better ways to do so, while 23% say it was the best way.

Asked whether knowing certain aspects about the First Right of Approval program impacts their view of it either way:

  • Six in ten (62%) Canadians say Commissionaires receiving ~$300 million in annual revenue through contracts with the federal government would have no impact on their views.
  • Over half (54%) of Canadians are more likely to oppose the Right of First Refusal when a 15% charge above security providers’ average rates, costing Canadian taxpayers an additional ~$50 million each year; 34% say it has no impact on their views of the program.
  • Nearly half (46%) of Canadians are more likely to oppose the agreement if it goes against fairness and open competition in awarding Government of Canada contracts (with 41% having no impact on their perspectives).
  • Half (51%) of Canadians say the Right of First Refusal guaranteeing a constant stream of work that provides employees to some 5,000 veterans has no impact on their perception; 40% are more likely to support the Right of First Refusal upon knowing this.
  • Fifty-six per cent (56%) of Canadians say there would be no impact on their perception of the agreement if the main reason for the Right for First Refusal no longer exists (i.e., the dwindling number of veterans of working age that represent 2% of the Canadians worker population, and that most of today’s veterans have broad career options, 53% of which have a post-secondary education).


About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between January 14 and January 17, 2022, on behalf of Prospectus Associates. For this survey, a sample of 1,000 Canadians +18 from Ipsos’ online panel was interviewed. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to 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. 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 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.

For more information on this news release, please contact:


Sean Simpson
Senior Vice President, Ipsos Global Public Affairs
[email protected]


Lisa Byers
Account Manager, Ipsos Global Public Affairs
[email protected]


About Ipsos

Ipsos is the world’s third largest market research company, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people.

Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. We serve more than 5000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions.

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The author(s)
  • Sean Simpson SVP, Canada, Public Affairs