Remembrance Day (65%) Still Holds More Personal Meaning For Canadians than September 11th (33%) . . .

Half (52%) Say They Will Attend a Formal Remembrance Day Service This Year (Down from 58% Last Year)

Three-Quarters (75%) Agree With Minister of Defense That Canadian Military Budget Needs to be Increased

A Majority (53%) Want Military to be Better Funded and Equipped All Purpose Armed Force As Opposed to Other Options

Monday, November 11, 2002

Toronto, ON – According to a new Ipsos-Reid poll conducted on behalf of The Dominion Institute, two-thirds (65%) of Canadians say that Remembrance Day November 11th has a greater meaning for them personally than does September 11th – the anniversary of terrorist attacks in the United States.

With the arrival of Remembrance Day, half (52%) of Canadians say they will attend a formal Remembrance Day service this year. This is down slightly from the number who indicated that they would attend a formal service last year (58%). At the same time, eight in ten (84%) say that Canadians should do more to honour those who have fought and those who have died in war.

When asked a number of questions on 20th Century Canadian military history, two-thirds (64%) were able to correctly identify the Battle of Vimy Ridge as Canada’s most famous single victory during the First World War in which they captured a key ridge on the Western European Front. By comparison, only one-third (31%) were able to name Dieppe as the French seaside town in which almost 1,000 World War II Canadian soldiers lost their lives during a raid on August 19th, 1942.

As for the future of Canada’s military, three quarters (75%) of Canadians express agreement with the view of John McCallum, Canada’s current Minister of Defense, who recently indicated that the budget of the Canadian military needs to be increased. One-quarter (23%) disagrees with this view. When given a series of policy areas of the federal government to transfer money to the defence budget, those who agree to increase spending are least likely to target from healthcare (only 5% would approve of taking funds from this area to increase the budget of the military), while the most favoured areas to divert money from for the military are multiculturalism (51%) and immigration (47%).

Asked further about the what form of military Canada should adopt, a majority (53%) would opt for a better funded and equipped all-purpose armed force capable of undertaking traditional defense and combat roles at home and abroad. Of the other options tested, one-third (32%) say that the Canadian military should be downsized and reconfigured as a small but well-equipped peacekeeping and disaster assistance force ready to be deployed anywhere in the world on short notice, while one in ten (13%) say the Canadian military should be reduced in size and refocused around specialized combat roles such as military engineering, snipers or special forces only, and be supplied with the best equipment available for these roles.

However much support Canadians show for the military, only one-third (33%) say that they can foresee any international conflict that would personally compel them to volunteer for military service, including a possible combat role. Fifty-six percent say they cannot foresee such a situation while 11% say they would not be able to serve due to age or handicap.

And finally, seven percent of Canadians indicate that someone in their immediate family is currently serving in the forces or reserves – mostly from Quebec (13%), Ontario (12%) and Atlantic Canada (12%).

These are the findings of an Ipsos-Reid conducted on behalf of The Dominion Institute between November 5th and November 7th, 2002. The poll is based on a randomly selected sample of 1,002 adult Canadians. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within ± 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult Canadian population been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were statistically weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to the 2001 Census data.

Remembrance Day (65%) Still Holds More Personal Meaning For Canadians than September 11th (33%)

Half (52%) of Canadians Say They Will Attend a Formal Remembrance Day Service This Year

Two-thirds (65%) of Canadians say that Remembrance Day November 11th has a greater meaning for them personally than does September 11th – the anniversary of the terrorist attacks in the United States.

  • Residents of British Columbia (81%) are the most likely to say that November 11th has a greater personal meaning for them than September 11th, while Quebecers (45%) are least likely to say this. Conversely, Quebecers (53%) are the most likely to say that September 11th has greater meaning for them personally compared to 26% for the rest of Canada.
  • Older (74%) Canadians are more likely than their middle aged (64%) or younger (58%) counterparts to choose Remembrance Day over September 11th. Younger (40%) and middle aged (34%) Canadians are more likely to say September 11th has a greater meaning for them personally than older (24%) Canadians.
  • Eight in ten (83%) of Canadians who have family in the Canadian Armed Forces or Reserves (7% of population) indicate that Remembrance Day has a greater meaning for them personally compared to the views of those without family members in the Canadian military (64%).

With the arrival of Remembrance Day, half (52%) of Canadians say they will attend a formal Remembrance Day service this year. This is down slightly from the number who indicated that they would attend a formal service last year (58%).

  • Residents of Atlantic Canada (72%) are the most likely to indicate that they will attend a Remembrance Day service this year. In total, 58% of Canadians outside of Quebec say they will attend a Remembrance Day service compared to 33% within Quebec.
  • Men (56%) are more likely to say they plan on attending a formal service this Remembrance Day than are women (47%).
  • Older (59%) Canadians are more likely than their middle aged (49%) or younger (47%) counterparts to indicate this.
  • Canadians in lower income households (59%) are more likely to say they will attend a formal service than those in upper income households (47%).

At the same time, eight in ten (84%) say that Canadians should do more to honour those who have fought and those who have died in war, while 15% hold the opposing view.

  • Regionally, residents of Atlantic Canada (90%), Ontario (88%), and Alberta (88%) are more likely than those in Quebec (74%) to say that Canadians should do more to honour those who have fought and those who have died in war. In total 87% of Canadians outside of Quebec agree with this view.
  • More men (87%) than women (80%) express this view.
  • Canadians with family in the Armed Forces or Reserves (91%) are more likely than those without family in the military (83%) to feel this way.

Two-Thirds (64%) Identify Vimy Ridge as Canada’s Most Famous Victory in WWI, 31% Can Name Dieppe As French Town Where A Thousand Canadians Killed in 1942 Raid

When asked a number of questions on 20th Century Canadian military history, only two-thirds (64%) were able to correctly identify the Battle of Vimy Ridge as Canada’s most famous single victory during the First World War in which they captured a key ridge on the Western European Front. One in ten (12%) wrongly identify the Battle of Vichy as this military victory, while the Battle of Ortona is selected by 4%. One-fifth (20%) of Canadians say they ‘don’t know’.

  • Quebecers (34%) are the least likely to correctly identify the Battle of Vimy Ridge. This compares to the results in Atlantic Canada (82%). In general, three-quarters (75%)of Canadians outside of Quebec were able to correctly identify this victory. Quebecers are the most likely to have identified this victory as the Battle of Vichy (26%), or to say they don’t know (38%).
  • Canadians with a university degree (73%) and those with some university or other post-secondary education (65%) are more likely than those with only a high school diploma (57%) or without a high school diploma (54%) to correctly identify the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
  • Those from upper (71%) and middle (64%) income households are more likely to answer correctly than those from lower income households (54%).
  • Younger (25%) and middle aged (21%) Canadians are more likely than older (14%) Canadians to say they ‘don’t know’.

In comparison, only one-third (31%) were able to name Dieppe as the French seaside town in which almost 1,000 Canadian soldiers lost their lives during a raid on August 19th, 1942. One-fifth (22%) named some other location, while just under half (47%) say they ‘don’t know’.

  • Men (38%) are more likely than women (24%) to correctly name Dieppe. Over half of women (55% versus 39% of men) say they ‘don’t know’.
  • A higher proportion of older (38%) and middle aged (34%) Canadians are able to name Dieppe than younger (18%) Canadians. Six in ten (59%) of those between 18 and 34 say they ‘don’t know’.
  • Canadians with a university degree (42%) are more likely than those with some university or other post-secondary education (29%), those without a high school diploma (24%) or those with a high school diploma (22%) to correctly name Dieppe.
  • Canadians from upper income households (36%) are more likely than those from lower income households (24%) to name Dieppe.

Three-Quarters (75%) Agree With Minister of Defense That Canadian Military Budget Needs to be Increased

As for the future of Canada’s military, three quarters (75%) of Canadians express agreement with the view of John McCallum, Canada’s current Minister of Defense, who recently indicated that the budget of the Canadian military needs to be increased. One-quarter (23%) disagree with this view.

  • Residents of Quebec (53%) are less likely than Canadians from any other region to agree with the view that the budget of the Canadian military needs to be increased compared to the views of those in the rest of Canada (82%). Conversely, Quebecers (44%) are most likely to disagree with this view versus 16% of the rest of Canada.
  • Older (82%) Canadians are more likely than their younger (69%) counterparts to agree with increasing the military budget. Of those who agree with this position, the least favoured area to take money from to go to the military is healthcare (5%), while the most favoured areas are multiculturalism (51%) and immigration (47%). In between these extremes are aboriginal affairs (38%), regional development (31%), transportation (26%), social programs (17%) and the environment (13%).
  • Of those who agree that the military budget should be increase, residents of Atlantic Canada (62%) are more likely that those in Ontrario (48%), British Columbia (44%), Saskatchewan/Manitoba (44%) or Quebec (38%) to say they would favour taking money from immigration. Resident of Saskatchewan/Manitoba (55%) are more likely than those in Alberta (38%), Atlantic Canada (34%) or Ontario (29%) to say that they would favour funds being taking from Aboriginal affairs. Residents of Saskatchewan/Manitoba (29%) are also more favourable to taking money from social programs than are residents of Ontario (17%), Quebec (14%) and British Columbia (13%). Quebecers (24%) are more likely than those in any other region to say that they would favour taking funds from agriculture to increase funding of the military.
  • Middle aged (58%) and older (54%) Canadians who agree that the military budget should increase, are more likely than their younger (38%) counterparts to say they would favour taking funds from multiculturalism to increase the budget for the military.
  • Canadians from lower income households (10%) who agree that the military budget should be increased are more likely than those from middle (4%) or upper (3%) income households to say they would favour taking funds from healthcare to increase the military budget. Canadians in upper income households are more likely to approve of taking funding from multiculturalism (61%) and aboriginal affairs (47%) than are those in middle (multiculturalism 46%; aboriginal affairs 34%) or lower (multiculturalism 45%; aboriginal affairs 31%) income households.
  • Canadians with family in the military who agree that the military budget should increase are more likely than their counterparts without family in the military to favour taking funds from multiculturalism (67% versus 50%), regional development (46% versus 29%), and the environment (24% versus 12%).

A Majority (53%) Want Military to be Better Funded and Equipped All Purpose Armed Force

Asked further about the what form of military Canada should have, a majority (53%) would opt for a better funded and equipped all-purpose armed force capable of undertaking traditional defense and combat roles at home and abroad. Of the other options tested, one-third (32%) say that the Canadian military should be downsized and reconfigured as a small but well-equipped peacekeeping and disaster assistance force ready to be deployed anywhere in the world on short notice, while one in ten (13%) say the Canadian military should be reduced in size and refocused around specialized combat roles such as military engineering, snipers or special forces only, and be supplied with the best equipment available for these roles.

  • Regionally, support for an all-purpose army is strongest among residents of Alberta (67%), Ontario (64%), Atlantic Canada (61%) and British Columbia (50%), while support for the peacekeeping option is highest among residents of Quebec (48%). Residents of Saskatchewan /Manitoba are split between the two options (all-purpose 43%; peacekeeping force 43%).
  • Older (57%) and middle aged (56%) Canadians are more likely than their younger (46%) counterparts to express support for an all-purpose armed force, while younger (38%) are more likely than are middle aged (38%) and older (28%) Canadians to indicate support for a peacekeeping force.

Only One-Third (33%) Can Ever Foresee an International Conflict that Would Compel Them to Volunteer for Military Service

Only one-third (33%) of Canadians say that they can foresee any international conflict that would compel them to volunteer for military service, including a possible combat role. Fifty-six percent say they cannot foresee such a situation while 11% say they would not be able to serve due to age or handicap.

  • Regionally, those who say that they can foresee an international conflict that would compel them to volunteer for military service is led by residents of Ontario (37%) and British Columbia (37%), followed Alberta (32%), Atlantic Canada (31%), Quebec (28%) and Saskatchewan/Manitoba (22%). Quebecers (66%) are more likely than those in Ontario (52%), Alberta (50%) and British Columbia (48%) to say that they cannot foresee such an international conflict.
  • Men (43%) are more likely than women (23%) to answer yes.
  • Not surprisingly, younger (38%) and middle aged (35%) Canadians are more likely than their older (25%) counterparts to indicate that they could foresee such a situation that would compel them to volunteer for military service.
  • Of Canadians with family in the military or reserves, 40% say they can foresee a situation that would compel them to volunteer for military service, compared to 32% of those without family in the military.

To view the release and tables, please open the attached PDF files.



For more information on this news release, please contact:

John Wright
Senior Vice-President
Ipsos-Reid Public Affairs
(416) 324-2900

Rudyard Griffiths
Dominion Institute
(416) 737-9626 (cell)


Remembrance Day (65%) Still Holds More Personal Meaning For Canadians than September 11th  (33%) . . .

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