Toronto, ON – Thinking about their safety in public areas in Canada, on balance more Canadians feel less safe (22%) than more safe (8%) compared to one year ago. For most (70%) Canadians, they feel about as safe as they did at this time last year. Quebecers (33%) are by far the most likely to say they feel less safe, followed by those living in Alberta (22%), Ontario (20%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (20%), British Columbia (15%) and Atlantic Canada (14%). Boomers (27%) are more likely than Gen X’ers (22%) or Millennials (17%) to feel less safe.
With regular stories appearing in the news about terrorist attacks or foiled plots, it’s understandable that some Canadians aren’t feeling entirely safe in public areas. The survey, conducted prior to the most recent Christmas Market attack in Berlin, reveals that Canadians feel safer in some places than in others:
- Most (93%) feel safe (39% very/54% somewhat) in a restaurant (down 1 point since last year), but 7% do not feel safe (1% not at all/6% not very).
- Nine in ten (87%) feel safe (32% very/56% somewhat) in a movie theatre (down 1 point), but one in ten (13%) do not (3% not at all/10% not very).
- Eight in ten (83%) feel safe (29% very/54% somewhat) in or near a government building, such as a city hall (down 1 point), while two in ten (17%) do not (4% not at all/13% not very).
- Eight in ten (83%) feel safe (38% very/45% somewhat) in a place of worship, such as a church or mosque (down 3 points), but two in ten (17%) do not (5% not at all/12% not very).
- Eight in ten (78%) feel safe (23% very/55% somewhat) in a stadium or arena (down 3 points), while nearly one in four (22%) do not (4% not at all/18% not very).
- Seven in ten (71%) feel safe (21% very/50% somewhat) in a tall building like a skyscraper (down 3 points), but three in ten (29%) do not (7% not at all/22% not very).
- Seven in ten (70%) feel safe (18% very/52% somewhat) on public transit (down 2 points), while three in ten (30%) do not feel safe (6% not at all/24% not very).
Regionally, Quebecers are more likely than the average Canadian to say they don’t feel safe in all of these places, including on transit (34% in Quebec vs. 30% nationally), in a tall building (43% vs. 29%), in a stadium or arena (34% vs. 22%), near a government building (23% vs. 17%), in a place of worship (27% vs. 17%), in a movie theatre (16% vs. 13%) or in a restaurant (10% vs. 7%).
Boomers are more likely to say they don’t feel safe in or near a government building (21% vs. 16% GenX vs. 15% Millennials), in a stadium or arena (26% vs. 21% GenX vs. 19% Millennials), or in a tall building (33% vs. 28% Gen X vs. 26% Millennials).
Interestingly, one in three (34%) Millennials do not feel safe on public transit, more so than Gen X’ers (27%) or Boomers (29%).
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between December 15 and 21, 2016, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 3,004 Canadians from Ipsos' online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/ 2.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.
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