August 28, 2017 – A call from the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario to remove the name of Canada’s first prime minister from public schools because of his support for Indigenous assimilation through residential education is being met with more than twice as much opposition as support.
The latest survey from the Angus Reid Institute finds more than half of Canadians (55%) say they would oppose such a move, while one-quarter (25%) are in favour. A significant segment – nearly one-in-five (19%) could not offer an opinion.
This comes against the backdrop of tensions over the legacy, role and place of historical monuments south of the border. As protests and counter-protests over Confederate statues in the U.S. have turned violent, attention in this country has turned to Canada’s own memorialization of historical figures.
In recent times, concerns about the contributions of some of Canada’s founders to the establishment of residential schools and the abuse of Indigenous people have led to the renaming of bridges and buildings and the removal of statues across the country.
However, these survey results show that the vast majority of Canadians (88%) are of the view that a person’s entire life and principal legacy that should determine which historical figures ought to be – or ought to continue to be – memorialized.
The Angus Reid Institute is a national, not-for-profit, non-partisan public opinion research foundation established to enhance and encourage better understanding of issues and trends affecting economic, social, governance, philanthropy, public administration, domestic and foreign policy in Canada and its world.Commenting Policy
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