Greater % in Quebec proud to be Canadian than Americans are proud to be American (to say nothing of Alberta)!

Jul 8th, 2020 | By | Category: In Brief
“Jean Chretien addresses the nation after 1995 Quebec referendum.”

RANDALL WHITE : In all this early summer 2020 heat and coronavirus worry, I am struggling in spare moments with my Long Journey to a Canadian Republic chapter on the Chrétien (and then Martin) years in Ottawa (1993—2006) – with special reference to the almost big surprise of the second Quebec sovereignty referendum on October 30, 1995.

Dwelling on this at the time quite unsettling Canadian political history a quarter of a century ago also makes some reporting in Philippe J. Fournier’s latest summer 2020 Maclean’s piece especially intriguing : “The CAQ is in landslide territory despite the province’s severe outbreak–and Quebecers are feeling as good as ever about being Canadian.”

If you recall that the age of the second Quebec referendum was also the golden age of Preston Manning’s Reform Party in Ottawa, some of M. Fournier’s reporting on how proud Albertans are to be Canadians in 2020 (“WEXIT” notwithstanding) only thickens the intrigue.

Dominico Field at Christie Pits in Toronto – in other years home of the Toronto Maple Leafs in Southern Ontario’s Intercounty Baseball League. Photo by prize-winning Toronto artist Michael Seward, July 2020.

Especially in this summer heat the managing editor is urging all of us who post on this site to aim for more marketable shorter pieces. So here quickly are the numbers I’ve found so striking, especially as viewed from back in the mid 1990s.

According to a Léger poll, June 27—29, 2020, among a representative sample of 1,524 Canadians, when asked “Are you proud of being Canadian” 90% of all Canadians, coast to coast to coast, answered Yes!

According to Léger here, this compares with only 74% of Americans who are currently proud to be American. (And note that in a Gallup survey last year only 70% of Americans reported being either “Extremely or Very Proud” of being American.)

The Canadian regional results on these pride statistics are almost more provocative. The largest percentage of Canadians proud to be Canadian at the end of June 2020 – 97% – are in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. They are followed by Atlantic Canada (96%), Ontario (93%), Alberta (92%), BC (89%), and Quebec (80%).

As Philippe J. Fournier suggests : “While some will notice that Canadian pride is lowest in Quebec with 80 per cent, Jean-Marc Léger himself noted this was the highest level for Quebec since his firm began polling this question 35 years ago.”

Portrait of the Artist As An Old Man. Photo by Marie Auffrey, July 2020.

A Quebec in which 80% of voters are proud to be Canadian is also not the kind of place where the independent Quebec with a separate UN seat that at least Jacques Parizeau thought was at stake in the second sovereignty referendum of 1995 makes serious sense.

(And btw an Alberta in which 92% are proud to be Canadian doesn’t seem all that seriously tempted by any alternative WEXIT futures either.)

So … in some respects Canada has grown and become more mature over the past quarter century.

My own very strong view is that the trend should continue, gaining still more ground between now and 2045.

Slow and steady wins the race (wherever it is we are going exactly).

Meanwhile, if you’re in Southern Ontario or some similar place elsewhere stay cool, somehow, as best you can manage … in the Summer of 2020.

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