December 30 2002


December 30 2002



The 19th annual Maclean’s year-end poll, prepared in partnership with Global Television and the newspapers of CanWest

Publications, was conducted between Nov. 1 and 12 by Toronto-based The Strategic Counsel. It is drawn from telephone interviews with 1,400 Canadians 18 and older, selected randomly in all 10 provinces. The sparsity of population does not permit polling with the same degree of accuracy in the territories. National results, adjusted to take into account a disproportionate number of interviews in the smaller provinces, are considered accurate to within 3.1 percentage points 19 times out of 20. Numbers have been rounded off and, in most cases, “don’t know” and no-answer responses are not shown.

Figures represent percentage of respondents


What is the most important issue

facing Canada today?

Health care/education/

social services_37



Government/gov’t deficit_7

Foreign issues_5

Terrorism/Sept. 11_5



Jean Chrétien/removing Chrétien 2 Other/no response_17

Are you more optimistic or more pessimistic about the future than a decade ago?

More optimistic_26

More pessimistic_41

In the past 10 years has your personal financial situation gotten better or worse?

Worse EM

Thinking only about the past year, has your personal financial situation gotten better or worse?

Better ES


Which way is the economy heading?

Improvement Recession No change

Thinking about the next six months, will the stock market grow or lose value?

Grow EHi

Stay the same I9HH Lose value

The Canadian stock market at one point had lost about 25 per cent of its value since the start of the year. What was the main cause?

Loss of confidence in the honesty and integrity of business leaders

Uncertainty caused by the threat of terrorism and war with Iraq ES

Slowdown in the U.S. economy


Drop in corporate profits | 7



In the past year have your views of the business community become more positive or negative?

More positive_7

More negative_45

(asked of those who said “more negative”)

Which of the following most influenced your view of the business community? Concern about the ethics and morality of business leaders


Layoffs in various industries

The Enron accounting scandal in the U.S. BEI

Downturn in the economy ■ 12

Decline of the stock market 16

Do the current cases of wrongdoing among chief executives of major businesses represent...?

A problem of a few corrupt individuals in a system that is mostly honest


A widespread problem with many business executives taking advantage of a system that is failing

Which of the following should be the prime responsibility of the chief executive officer of a major corporation?

Ensure the company’s products and services are of the highest quality 20

Take care of the employees 19

Ensure the company is a good corporate citizen 18

Ensure the company is profitable 16 Provide employment for workers wherever the company operates 13

Increase the value of the company for the benefit of shareholders 9


Which environmental issue is of most concern to you?

Air quality_22

Water quality_15

Global warming_]^>

Pollution/over-consumption 9

Resource depletion/



Kyoto accord 4


Is there enough evidence to conclude whether global warming is occurring?

Enough evidence

Not enough evidence


If global warming is occurring, which of these explanations do you think is correct?

Human actions like the use of fossil fuels in automobiles and by industry are leading to a buildup of greenhouse gases


The earth is going through a natural temperature increase that is part of a normal cycle of increasing and decreasing temperatures over time


Both ■ 8

Would you be willing to make the following changes in your lifestyle?

Make fewer trips by car and instead car-pool, cycle, walk, or take public transit

Pay to improve the insulation in your home

Pay a tax on the next car you buy based on its fuel consumption

Pay more for manufactured goods

Would the Kyoto accord’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to below 1990 levels have a negative or positive effect on the Canadian economy?

Negative effect_41

Positive effect 32

Would reducing greenhouse gas emissions to below 1990 levels have a negative or positive effect on the environment?

Negative effect_8

Positive effect 70

Which of these points of view do you accept?

Without American participation, the Kyoto accord is meaningless, therefore Canada should reject it to avoid the possible negative economic effects E9H

Canada should ratify the Kyoto accord even if the Americans do not, since we have committed to do so and it is important to set an example

Which of these alternatives do you accept?

The federal government should ratify the Kyoto accord as soon as possible

The federal government should enter into negotiations with the provinces regarding what actions Canada is prepared to take to reduce fossil fuel use



Canadians and Americans are...

Essentially the same_7

Mainly the same with

some small differences_34

Mainly different but with some

small similarities_29

Essentially different_28

Canada and the United States are...

Like family to each other_5

The best of friends_17

Friends but not especially close 49

Cordial but distant with each


Openly hostile and unfriendly 3


How likely is it that Canada could

become a terrorist target?

Very likely Somewhat likely Not too likely Not at all likely BEI

Would you support these possible responses by the federal government to the threat of terrorism in North America?

Sending anybody who claims refugee status without valid ID back to where they arrived from


Keeping all refugee claimants in secure locations with no contact with Canadian society until their cases have been heard

Restricting the number of immigrants from Muslim countries

How would you rate the performance of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien in dealing with the threat of terrorism over the past year?




Which of these positions on Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein do you accept?

While there is no strong evidence that Saddam is developing weapons of mass destruction, he should be attacked and removed from power since we cannot afford to take a chance that he will not use any weapons he has available

Since there is no evidence that Saddam has developed weapons of mass destruction or that he would use them, we have no good reason for attacking Iraq

If Saddam Hussein does not comply with UN resolutions and the Security Council agrees that Iraq should be attacked, how should Canada respond?

Become actively involved by sending troops, ships and planes to the region to fight with the U.S. and Britain


Provide some support such as transportation, food and shelter for U.S. and British forces, but send no fighting units


Refuse to be involved in any way


If the UN Security Council does not support a pre-emptive military attack on Iraq, but the Americans and the British proceed with a war against Saddam nevertheless, should Canada...?

Respect the UN’s decision, but provide some non-combat support if the Americans ask for it

Follow the Security Council’s lead, oppose the American and British effort and provide no support


Support our allies and go to war

Do you agree with these statements?

The U.S. government is starting to act like a bully with the rest of the world

I am concerned that we are losing our independence from the United States

As the world’s sole superpower, the United States has the respon sibility to intervene in the affairs of other nations in the interest of global security


We don’t need to spend much money on armed forces since we have the United States next door


Are the following matters important as government spending priorities?

Improving the health-care system Important

Not important I 4

Programs to alleviate child poverty


Not important I 6

Upgrading the military Important Not important

Upgrading services and infrastructure in our major cities Important

Not important Hrfl

Improving living conditions for Aboriginal Canadians Important Not important HU

On which one of these would you most like to see increased federal spending?

Improving the health-care system

Alleviating child poverty


Upgrading the military


Upgrading services and infrastructure in our major cities 15

Improving living conditions for Aboriginal Canadians I 3

Where should the money to support these government initiatives come from?

Reducing government spending on other priorities

The budgetary surplus devoted to paying off the national debt


Increased income taxes ■ 8

A government budget that includes a deficit ■ 8


Which of these options regarding the health-care system do you support?

The medicare system should be there to provide a basic level of care, and people should pay for, or have covered by health-care insurance they pay into, anything above this basic level

The medicare system should provide full coverage for almost all health-care needs, and people should not have to pay for anything out of their own pockets

Do you think the problems with health care exist because not enough money is being spent on the system, or that enough money is being spent but the system is poorly managed and significant amounts of the money are wasted?

Not enough being spent


System poorly managed


Which of these views do you support?

The basic problem with the health-care system now is that not enough money has been spent on providing a high-quality service, and if we spend the money required, the system will be fine again


Just increasing the funding, by itself, will not be enough, and we need to make fundamental changes to the way health care is provided in order to have a high quality system

Is extending medicare to cover prescription drugs and home-care services... ?

A good idea because it would give all Canadians better access to health care and more protection

A poor idea since we can barely afford the system we have now, let alone take on extra costs for new services

Would you be willing to pay higher taxes to pay for the medicare system?

Willing Unwilling


Do you think Prime Minister Jean Chrétien should wait until his announced date of February 2004 to step down, or leave office sooner?


Leave sooner

Will the country be ready for a change of party by the time of the next election, or will it want to stay with the Liberal Party?

Change of party Stay with Liberals




Do you support decriminalizing the use of marijuana?

Yes No

Should gay marriages be legally recognized?

Yes No

Should gay couples be allowed to adopt children?

Yes No

Have you or your partner ever used Viagra?




At what age did you first engage in sexual intercourse?

15 or younger_15

16 _n

17 _n

18 _13

19 _7

20 _7

21 _5

22 _2

23 _2

24 _l_

25 or older_4

No response_22

Were you single or married at the time?

Married Bl-1

Would you describe yourself as...?

Very sexually active_O

Somewhat sexually active 49

Not very sexually active_15

Not sexually active at all_12^

No response_11_