Majority of Canadians Support Banning the Burka

The eighth wave of Campaign Research’s poll – an online public opinion omnibus survey conducted among a sample of 2002 Canadian voters – found that the majority of Canadians (54%) approve of banning the burka – a policy that various European countries recently adopted. Greatest support for banning the burka came from Quebec (76%). The burkas unpopularity in Quebec may have led to corresponding government policy changes. On October 18, 2017, the National Assembly of Quebec passed Bill 62, which effectively requires any individual wearing a burka or niqab to have their face visible when providing or receiving public services. The CBC suggested, in a recent article on this subject, that the legislation applies to provincially funded institutions as well as municipalities, metropolitan communities and public transit organizations. Our most recent poll further indicated that the greatest disapproval for banning the burka existed in Toronto (44%).

When considering the role Federal partisanship played on this issue, our poll found that Conservative (72%) and Bloc Quebecois (90%) voters expressed the greatest support for banning the burka. Conversely, the greatest disapproval existed among NDP voters (41%).

It is important to note that on October 19, the Ontario legislature unanimously denounced the recent ban in Quebec. Provincially, a clear majority of Progressive Conservative voters (69%) support banning the burka. This is in stark contrast to Liberal or NDP voters (38%, 42% respectively). It’ll be interesting to watch how this issue unfolds for the Progressive Conservatives, particularly as their policy convention looms.

“A majority of Canadians support banning the burka. It will be interesting to see how other provinces and Canadians, generally, will react to Quebec’s enforcement of its new legislation and whether this will engender national division” – Eli Yufest, CEO of Campaign Research Inc. Eli can be reached at eyufest@campaignresearch.ca or (647) 931-4025 ext. 109.

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