1. General Support for Bilingualism

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Bilingualism for all of Canada?

Q.4 - Are you personally in favour of bilingualism for all of Canada?

Agree:

72%

Disagree:

26%

 

 

 

General Support for Bilingualism in Canada
Q.4 Are you personally in favour of bilingualism for all of Canada?

 

  • Strongest support, in terms of region, is found in Quebec (91%) and Atlantic Canada (77%).
  • The lowest level of support is found in Alberta (58%). Yet even there, close to 6 in 10 Albertans are in favour of bilingualism for all of Canada.
  • Younger Canadians between the ages of 18 and 34 are the most supportive of all age groups (82% and 81% respectively), whereas the eldest age cohort (55+) exhibit the lowest level of support (65%).
  • 90% of Francophones** are in favour of bilingualism for all of Canada, compared to 65% of Anglophones**.
  • Furthermore, women (76%) are more supportive than men (68%).

*Canada, except Quebec.
**Anglophones and Francophones are defined on the basis of their mother tongue, meaning their first language learned and still understood.

Bilingualism for all of Canada?
% in favour (by region), 1988-2006

 

Percentage change in favour of bilingualism for all of Canada:

 

2003 to 2006

 

Canada

+16%

(56% to 72%)

By region:

 

QC

+2%

(89% to 91%)

 

Atl

+23%

(54% to 77%)

 

BC

+22%

(46% to 68%)

 

ON

+21%

(45% to 66%)

 

AB

+17%

(41% to 58%)

 

MB/SK

+24%

(42% to 66%)

Percentage of people in favour of bilingualism for all of Canada
Q.4 Are you personally in favour of bilingualism for all of Canada?

 

In 2003, support was above 50% only in Atlantic Canada and in Quebec. The strength of the affirmative response in Quebec (89%) brought the Canadian average of those in favour above 50%.

In 2006, however, the gap had narrowed and the level of support in the rest of Canada is substantially higher.

*Manitoba/Saskatchewan figures for all years except 2006 are combined averages of Manitoba and Saskatchewan. As such, they are un weighted.

Bilingualism for all of Canada?
% in favour (by language), 1988-2006

Bilingualism for all of Canada - % in favour (by language), 1988-2006
Q.4 Are you personally in favour of bilingualism for all of Canada?

 

  • The gap between Anglophones and Francophones' support for billingualism for all of Canada has gradually diminished over the years.
  • It should be noted that from 1991 to 2003 (a period of 12 years), support among Anglophones increased by 14%. In contrast, from 2003 to 2006, it grew by a robust 19%.
  • Political factors may explain the restrained growth of the earlier period as well as the increase in the last 3 years.
    • The late 1980s and 1990s were a turbulent time in Canadian politics. For example, the two failed constitutional amendments, Meech Lake Accord [1987] and Charlottetown Accord [1992], the election and subsequent re-election of a PQ government in Quebec, and a second Quebec referendum.
    • The election of a Liberal government in Quebec in 2003 may have eased relations between Quebec and the rest of Canada onto a more cooperative track.
  • Since young Anglophones are more favorably inclined towards bilingualism than older Canadians, support for bilingualism for all of Canada may continue to increase.

Source: Environics Focus Canada / Canadian Opinion Research Archive, Queen's University/Decima 2006

Bilingualism for your province?

Q.5 - Are you personally in favour of bilingualism for your province?

Agree:

70%

Disagree:

28%

Are you personally in favour of bilingualism for your province?
Q.5 - Are you personally in favour of bilingualism for your province?

 

  • The highest level of support is found in QC (85%) and Atlantic Canada (79%).
  • The youngest age groups show the strongest support (76% for the 18-24 age cohort / 80% for the 25-34 age cohort).

  • 64% of Anglophones are in favour of bilingualism for their province, compared to 84% of Francophones. While lower than the level of total support (70%), a clear majority of Anglophones are in favour of bilingualism for their province. Furthermore, it is almost identical to Anglophones' support with respect to bilingualism for all of Canada (65%).
  • Furthermore, women (73%) are more supportive of bilingualism than men (66%).

*Canada, except Quebec.

Bilingualism for your province?
% in favour, 2000, 2003, 2006

Since 2003, there has been a 13% jump in support for provincial bilingualism. That is in line with the 16% increase in support of "bilingualism for all of Canada."

A majority of respondents in all regions are in favour of bilingualism for their province.

Percentage change, 2003-2006

 

Canada 

+13%

(57% to 70%)

By region: 

 

Atl 

+16%

(63% to 79%)

 

QC 

+2%

(83% to 85%)

 

ON 

+14%

(52% to 66%)

 

MB/SK 

+17%

(46% to 63%)

 

AB 

+14%

(39% to 53%)

 

BC 

+18%

(41% to 59%)

Respondents per region, in favour of bilingualism for their province
Q.5 - Are you personally in favour of bilingualism for your province?

 

Going back to 2000, Quebecers have been the most consistent and the most favorably inclined in their views on this issue, regardless of which provincial party was in power.

There has been a marked increase everywhere, except in Quebec. British Columbia is leading with an 18% increase.

Source: Environics Focus Canada / Canadian Opinion Research Archive, Queen's University/Decima 2006

Bilingualism for your province?
% in favour (by language), 1988-2006

Bilingualism - % in favour (by language), 1988-2006
Q.5 - Are you personally in favour of bilingualism for your province?

 

  • The dramatic growth in support among Anglophones (19% between 1988 and 2006) in response to this question is similar to the support exhibited in response to the question of bilingualism for all of Canada, which increased by 21%.
  • Political factors may explain the restrained growth of the earlier period as well as the increase in the last three years.
    • The late 1980s and 1990s were a turbulent time in Canadian politics. For example, the two failed constitutional amendments, Meech Lake Accord [1987] and Charlottetown Accord [1992], the election and subsequent re-election of a PQ government in Quebec, and a second Quebec referendum.
    • The election of a Liberal government in Quebec in 2003 may have eased relations between Quebec and the rest of Canada onto a more cooperative track.
  • Since young Anglophones are more favorably inclined towards bilingualism than older Canadians,support for bilingualism may continue to increase.

Source: Environics Focus Canada / Canadian Opinion Research Archive, Queen's University/Decima 2006



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