By ANGUS REID INSTITUTE
November 8, 2021 – As Canadians wrestle with the complexities of continuing to honour those who are buried in unmarked graves at former residential schools while also marking the sacrifices of those who served this country’s armed forces, most appear to be at peace with last Friday’s decision to raise Canadian flags to full-mast on government buildings – in time to be ceremonially lowered for Remembrance Day.
New data from a survey by the non-profit Angus Reid Institute – commissioned days before the Trudeau government announced its plan – found a majority (58%) saying flags that have been flown at half-mast at locations such as the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill since late May should be raised in time to commemorate Canada’s war veterans on Thursday.
As to what should be done after Nov. 11, nearly half of Canadians (45%) say the flags should fly at full-mast going forward, while another quarter (25%) are happy to raise them only when Indigenous groups felt it was appropriate.
This condition has evidently been satisfied, as the federal government announced late last week it had sought guidance from Indigenous leaders in making the decision, and Assembly of First Nations National Chief RoseAnne Archibald stated that the organization was in agreement that the flags should be raised.
Not all agree that the period of mourning over unmarked graves should end this week. Nearly one-in-five (17%) say flags at federal government buildings should have stayed lowered until the end of the year.
More Key Findings:
- Two-thirds (65%) say it was the right thing to do to lower the flags to half-mast in the first place. One-in-five (21%) disagree.
- Canadians are divided about the value of the decision to lower flags to half-mast. Nearly half (46%) say it was a nice gesture but needs to be followed by real action while similar number say it is mostly a political maneuver (43%)