Canadian Citizenship Survey - 2

Canadians on Citizenship: a national survey reveals it means more than you think!

The Institute of Canadian Citizenship (ICC) partnered with the Environics Institute, the Maytree Foundation, the CBC and RBC to poll 2,376 Canadians from across the country on what it means to think, feel and act like a Canadian citizen; you may have seen CBC’s coverage of the poll (Citizen Canada).

This survey dispels many myths surrounding Canadians’ beliefs on citizenship with results that show positive similarities between citizens born abroad, those born in Canada as well as permanent residents. Three exciting themes emerged:

  • Canadians have a consistent definition of what it means to be a good citizen: being a good citizen is more than obeying the law and paying taxes. While these are important, our respondents also listed other activities like treating men and women equally (95%), accepting those who are different (82%), protecting the environment (80%) and actively participating in the local community (51%) as very important to being a good citizen.
  • Canadians have a confident, comfortable attitude towards citizenship: Canadians agree that everyone – whether they’re foreign or Canadian born – can be a good citizen (89%).
  • Native-born & foreign-born Canadians hold similar views: foreign-born respondents are as likely as native-born respondents to fully feel like a good Canadian citizen (75% versus 78%).

Click HERE to read the poll summary report and review our Canadians on Citizenship infographic.

To help put a face to the results, we worked with Zaib Shaikh (an ICC board member) to host a roundtable discussion with eight members of the ICC’s new citizen programs to collect their opinions and stories related to the themes that emerged from the survey; video interviews from the session can be found HERE.

The Institute for Canadian Citizenship is a national, non-profit organization that engages Canadians in citizenship through innovative programs, campaigns and partnerships designed to ensure new citizens are welcomed and included as equals, to create meaningful connections among all Canadian citizens, to foster a culture of active, engaged citizens and to celebrate what it means to be Canadian. Our Building Citizenship program brings together new and established Canadians at community citizenship ceremonies; our Cultural Access Pass (CAP) offers new citizens the chance to visit more than 1,000 attractions across Canada for free for a full year from the time they’re sworn in; and our annual LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium fosters a debate on the future of Canada’s civic culture. The ICC was founded and is co-chaired by the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson and John Ralston Saul. The ICC is supported by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). For more information, visit

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