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RSR ROBBINS Research - Canada Politics September 19, 2013
  Sep 19, 2013

An overwhelming majority of Canadians support policy which stipulates that "government employees not wear obvious and conspicuous religious symbols to work" (in the province where they reside).
The provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan provide the highest "yes" response (66%,67%), with Nova Scotia and Ontario the lowest "yes" (53%,55%). Ontario and Nova Scotia provide the highest "no" response (27%,26%) and Newfoundland and Labrador and Saskatchewan the lowest "no" (15%,16%).

Question #1
Would you support a government policy in (your province) which stipulates that government employees and public servants not wear obvious and conspicuous religious symbols to work including large visible crucifixes, face coverings, and religious head wear?
Yes    63 %
No    22.5 %
No opinion    14.5 %
Commentary
This ROBBINS Sce Research (1998) federal referendum survey question is obviously linked to the new proposal from the Parti Quebecois government of the Province of Quebec which proposes to prohibit government employees (public servants) from wearing "overt and conspicuous" religious symbols.
Our ROBBINS question asks Canadian citizens to consider the proposal from a question which embodies essentially the same principle as the Quebec Charter Value question does. The only difference is that our question does not (unnecessarily) include any information in our question that links it to the Quebec proposal per se, save for those respondents who make the correlation on their own.
Government bureaucracies in a parliamentary democracy are supposed to be neutral no matter what government is in power. The composition of employees in that bureaucracy is in principle supposed to reflect the composition of the population at large. It would logically follow that the appearance of those government employees should be sufficiently neutral as well in terms of symbols and dress which might tend to favour or reflect a specific religious or political preference.
Quebec's Charter values have stirred up a hornet's nest of political intrigue which goes far beyond the question or proposal at hand.
Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper says Canadians won't support Quebec's Charter Values. The response of Canadians in this ROBBINS survey would suggest that in principle the Prime Minister of Canada could not be more wrong with his assumption.
In fact the support in principle for the equivalent of what the Quebec provincial government is proposing in each Canadian province would suggest that 7 in 10 decided Canadians support the principle in concept, whether or not they change their mind because it's Quebec's idea may be another story.
Methodology - A Survey of 1,007 Canadians who voted in the last federal general election. This survey was conducted between September 11 and 17, 2013. It includes a Margin of Error of 3.09% based on voter totals and not population totals, 19 times out of 20 and calculated at 95% confidence.
Outcomes by province: "Yes": BC (62%), Alberta (66%), Saskatchewan (67%), Manitoba (60%), Ontario (55%), Quebec (64%), Nova Scotia (53%), New Brunswick (58%), Newfoundland and Labrador (64%). "No": BC (21%), Alberta (18%), Saskatchewan (16%), Manitoba (21%), Ontario (27%), Quebec (24%), Nova Scotia (24%), Newfoundland and Labrador (15%).

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