The 150th anniversary of Canada’s birth has sparked a nationwide discussion over “what defines Canada?” A recent poll commissioned by Historica Canada and led by Ipsos asked a series of ‘defining’ questions of the Canadian identity, and the outcome is just as diverse as Canada, itself.
Between June 7 and 8, the poll asked 1003 Canadians from across the country a series of questions attempting to pinpoint identifiable traits of Canadian identity. Historica Canada President Anthony Wilson-Smith discussed the findings with The Canadian Press, mentioning that the survey answers show the vast range of Canadian citizens.
“I think it’s very reflective of Canada that there’s one or two core values that jump up ... and then it’s kind of cool that there’s no great consensus on any other thing,” said Wilson-Smith, also mentioning that Canada is made up of citizens from around the world, adding to the indefinable national stereotype.
When asked what the best word to define Canada was, the most popular answer showed freedom and liberty. While these two definitions managed to achieve a quarter of the general consensus, other answers include best, opportunity, equality, multicultural, and inclusive, which all share a similar sentiment to the Canadian identity.
Another question asked was what Canadian, living or dead, would people like to have dinner with. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won the race with eight per cent of votes. Other popular answers included Céline Dion, hockey superstar Wayne Gretzky as well as former Prime Ministers Sir John A. Macdonald and Pierre Elliot Trudeau.
As for national symbols? 85% of voters chose the beaver while 82% stood by the Canada Goose. 72% of voters also showed their nationalistic drinking preferences in claiming that Canadian beer is among the best in the world.
But not all Canadian stereotypes are true...
One-third of voters exclaimed that they HATE hockey, the sport that is most often associated with Canada. 37% of voters also mentioned they disliked ketchup chips, a snack food that is rarely seen outside of our northern borders.
While citizens of the second largest country in the world may not see eye-to-eye on defining features of Canadian identity, over 80% of respondents did agree they will be celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday in some way.