According to a new poll from Nanos Research, a majority of Canadians support calling on Queen Elizabeth II to apologize for the Church of England’s role in the residential school system.
Commissioned by CTV News, the nationwide public opinion poll also found respondents were mostly split over their support for the British monarchy, with four in 10 wanting to sever ties.
RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL APOLOGY
Queen Elizabeth is the supreme governor and head of the Church of England, which ran about three dozen boarding schools in Canada between 1820 and 1969, second only to the Roman Catholic Church. Having served on the throne since 1952, Queen Elizabeth is the longest serving monarch in British history. From Thursday, the UK celebrates its platinum jubilee with four days of festivities.
“Canadians are twice as likely to support rather than oppose Queen Elizabeth II, as monarch of Canada and head of the Church of England, apologizing for her role in the system of residential schools in Canada,” the Nanos report said.
Sixty-two percent of respondents were in favor or somewhat in favor of asking the Queen of Canada to apologize. Only 30 percent opposed or somewhat opposed the proposal. Respondents from Ontario and British Columbia were more likely to support it than those from the Prairies and Quebec.
CANADA AND THE MONARCHY
When it came to Canada’s longstanding ties to the monarchy and its representative, the Governor General, Canadians were much more divided.
“Canadians are divided over their support for Canada to cut its ties with the monarchy, but change the governor general from a representative of the monarchy to an independent Canadian head of state appointed by the government,” the statement said. Nanos study.
Countries with similar systems are Austria, Israel, Italy and Turkey.
Forty-two percent of respondents supported or somewhat supported the idea, compared to 48% who opposed or somewhat opposed. Residents of Quebec were nearly three times more likely to indicate support than those in the Prairies.
The Nanos survey also asked questions about establishing something like an American-style presidential system.
“Canadians are slightly more likely to oppose or oppose rather than support or somewhat support Canada by cutting its ties with the monarchy and having the Prime Minister become both the leader of the government and the head of state replacing the governor general,” the poll said. .
Fifty-one percent opposed or somewhat opposed, compared to 43% who supported or somewhat supported. Canadians aged 55 and over were more than twice as likely to oppose as younger Canadians.
It was unclear whether respondents supported opening up the constitution to discuss severing ties with the monarchy, which has long been a hot topic in Canadian politics.
“Canadians are divided on whether now is a good or bad time for Canada to discuss severing ties with the British monarchy, with around four in ten each saying it’s a very good/good or bad /very bad time to do so,” the report said.
Support for the Commonwealth was much stronger than support for the monarchy itself. More than three in five respondents, or 61%, opposed or somewhat opposed the withdrawal of the 54 members of the Commonwealth, which are mostly former British colonies like Canada.
Many members, such as Barbados and Sri Lanka, maintain Commonwealth ties despite becoming republics and deposing Queen Elizabeth as head of state. Respondents from Quebec were more likely to support such a measure than those from the Prairies, British Columbia and Ontario.
Nanos conducted the hybrid random telephone and online survey of 1,001 Canadians, ages 18 or older, between May 26 and May 30, 2022 as part of an omnibus survey. Participants were randomly recruited by telephone using live agents and completed an online survey. The sample included landlines and cellphones across Canada. The results have been statistically verified and weighted by age and gender using the latest census information, and the sample is geographically stratified to be representative of Canada. The margin of error for this survey is ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
If you are a distressed former residential school survivor or have been impacted by the residential school system and need help, you can contact the 24 hour residential school crisis line: 1-866-925-4419
Additional mental health support and resources for Indigenous people are available here.