Toronto, Canada – How do Canadians as individuals relate to the broader world? What do they see as the top global issues? How do they view Canada’s role in world affairs, and what do they think it could be?
Today, the Environics Institute for Survey Research, the Canadian International Council, Simon Fraser University Public Square and the Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary Research released a report on a national survey that examines how Canadians see their place in the world and that of their country.
This study is a 10-year follow up to the ground-breaking Canada’s World Survey 2008 with research based on a national public opinion survey conducted by telephone with a representative sample of 1,501 Canadians (18 years and older), between October 23 and November 26, 2017. The results from a survey of this size drawn from the population would be expected to provide results accurate to within plus or minus 2.5 percentage points in 95 out of 100 samples (the margin of sampling error will be larger for specific subgroups of the population).
The report’s key insights include:
Canadians increasingly define their country’s place in the world as one that welcomes people from elsewhere. Multiculturalism, diversity and inclusion are increasingly seen by Canadians as their country’s most notable contribution to the world. It is now less about peacekeeping and foreign aid, and more about who we are now becoming as a people and how we get along with each other.
Canadians’ views on global issues and Canada’s role in the world have remained notably stable over the past decade. This is despite 2018 being a very different world than the ones Canadians experienced in 2008; before the global financial meltdown, the spread of social media, the disruptions in democracies in many parts of the world, and Donald Trump’s America. This consistency notwithstanding, Canadians have been sensitive to the ebb and flow of international events and global trends.
Young Canadians’ views and perspectives on many aspects of world affairs have converged with those of older cohorts, but their opinions on Canada’s role on the world stage have become more distinct when it comes to promoting diversity. Youth continue to be the most likely of all age groups to believe Canada’s role in the world has grown over the past 20 years, and are now more likely to single out multiculturalism and accepting immigrants/refugees as their country’s most positive contribution to the world.
Foreign-born Canadians have grown more engaged and connected to world affairs than native-born Canadians, and are more likely to see Canada playing an influential role on the global stage.
Education is a defining factor in how engaged Canadians are with the world, and in their views of Canada’s position in addressing global issues. University graduates follow world issues and events more closely than others, particularly as they relate to politics, the environment, and human rights. They also remain the most active travelers, more likely to travel abroad as tourists or volunteers and also express greater levels of interest in traveling abroad for work, study, volunteering, or living in another country to learn another language or culture.
Keith Neuman (The Environics Institute for Survey Research) and Mark Sedra (Canadian International Council) are available for discussions or interviews. To make arrangements, please contact Keith at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.