Macdonald-Laurier Institute: Canada is a lot less ‘woke’ than you might think... | Unpublished

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Ottawa , Ontario
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MLI is rigorously independent and non-partisan, as symbolized by its name. Sir John A. Macdonald and Sir Wilfrid Laurier were two outstanding and long-serving prime ministers who represent the best of Canada’s distinguished political tradition. A Tory and a Grit, an English-speaker and a French-speaker, each of them championed the values that led to the creation of Canada and its emergence as one of the world’s leading democracies and a place where people may live in peace and freedom under the rule of law.

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Macdonald-Laurier Institute: Canada is a lot less ‘woke’ than you might think...

February 15, 2024
The politics of the Culture Wars in Contemporary Canada, a new MLI report by Eric Kaufmann

Full report is in PDF below. Read it on, download it to your computer or visit

OTTAWA, ON (February 15, 2024): In a new report, The politics of the culture wars in contemporary Canada, senior fellow Eric Kaufmann uses a nationally representative survey to examine public opinion on how Canadians respond to culture war issues, including: cancel culture, critical race theory, and transgender policy.

Media coverage of these issues has exploded since 2015 and you might be tempted to believe that the entire country has gone ‘woke’ or ‘cultural socialist’ – but you’d be wrong.

Canadian attitudes to these kinds of contentious issues lean about 2 to 1 against the cultural socialist position.

The report indicates there is significant space for right-of-centre parties to increase the prominence of culture wars issues, and an associated electoral risk that left-of-centre parties must manage.


Key Findings:

  • Canadians oppose gender reassignment surgery for under-16s by 4 to 1;
  • Respondents, by a 2 to 1 ratio, do not want transgender women to enter women’s sports competitions;
  • More Canadians disapprove than approve of people displaying preferred pronouns;
  • Canadians oppose removing statues of Sir John A. Macdonald by a 2 to 1 ratio
  • By a 78 to 22 margin, Canadians agree that “political correctness has gone too far”.
  • By a 70 to 30 margin, Canadians oppose the idea that Canada is a racist country and a similar share do not want this taught at school;.
  • By 70 to 30, people prefer a colour blind rather than colour-conscious approach to issues in society.
  • Canadians oppose the idea of separating students in schools by race into privileged and oppressed by 92 to 8;
  • Canadians are less likely to call their country racist than are Americans or Britons;
  • 60 percent of Canadians believe that “215 indigenous residential school children were buried in a mass grave on school grounds in Kamloops, BC,” with just 15 percent disagreeing;
  • 39 percent of Canadians and 55 percent of Americans believe that “Native peoples lived in peace and harmony prior to European settlement” of their countries;
  • Canadian opinion on cancel culture, critical race/history, and transgender issues is almost identical to that in Britain and the United States;

To learn more, read the full report below in PDF or here >  READ THE FULL PUBLICATION