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Do you think we should change the name of British Columbia? – Poll

In August 2021, shortly after the federal authorities introduced its intention to boost assist to Indigenous communities because of latest discoveries associated to residential faculties, Analysis Co. and Glacier Media requested British Columbians in regards to the identify of their province.

Many different jurisdictions in Canada have Indigenous names, however the westernmost province doesn’t.

In 2010, a full decade earlier than matters like colonization and reconciliation started to dominate the airwaves, B.C. renamed the Queen Charlotte Islands as Haida Gwaii. Final yr, many of the province’s residents (56 per cent) stated they agreed with the choice. Once we requested once more final month, assist was nonetheless stable, with 58 per cent of the province’s residents saying this was the right plan of action. Opposition stayed at 20 per cent, the very same stage noticed in 2021.

Governments and councils throughout Canada have began to take away particular figures from the general public consciousness. Toronto not has a avenue named after Henry Dundas, who proposed the gradual abolition of the slave commerce at a time when fast motion was endorsed by many. Toronto can also be residence to the Metropolitan College, previously named after Egerton Ryerson, a serious contributor within the growth of Canada’s residential college system.

In B.C., streets and buildings named after Joseph Trutch, the province’s first lieutenant-governor, have been rechristened in Richmond, Victoria and Vancouver. Trutch’s refusal to acknowledge Indigenous land rights is nicely documented.

The elimination of historic figures has not been notably controversial in Canada. Altering the identify of a Canadian province is a totally totally different matter. Nonetheless, the needle fluctuated a bit extra this yr. Simply over three in 5 British Columbians (62 per cent) advised us they don’t have any drawback with it, down 5 factors since 2021.

The essential variation, and one that’s current all through all the points we tracked, is generational. Virtually three in 4 British Columbians aged 55 and over (74 per cent) and three in 5 of their counterparts aged 35 to 54 (61 per cent) see nothing improper with the province’s identify. Nonetheless, solely 45 per cent of British Columbians aged 18 to 34 concur, which means {that a} majority of the province’s younger adults should not notably thrilled with the phrases that seem of their official paperwork and maps.

Solely Prince Edward Island experiences the identical disadvantage as British Columbia: being decreased to an acronym. We by no means see Nova Scotia being known as “N.S.” as an illustration, and single-word provinces are often pronounced with all of their syllables, 4 of them within the case of Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Views on what’s bothersome in regards to the province’s identify have developed since 2021. Solely eight per cent of British Columbians (unchanged) are upset in regards to the “Columbia” half. We do see a rise within the proportion of residents who’re bothered by the “British” half (19 per cent, up 4 factors) and the absence of an acknowledgement to Indigenous Peoples (20 per cent, up two factors). This final matter is extra troubling for British Columbians aged 18 to 34 (30 per cent) than for these aged 35 to 54 (21 per cent) and people aged 55 and over (13 per cent).

On a separate query, we proceed to see a majority of British Columbians (53 per cent) who disagree with the notion of fixing the identify of the province to acknowledge its Indigenous heritage. Nonetheless, this represents a seven-point drop since 2021. Nearly a 3rd of British Columbians (32 per cent, up six factors) consider it’s time to entertain the concept of a modification.

Two teams are notably adamant of their need to rechristen British Columbia. Help for switching to a reputation that acknowledges Indigenous heritage reaches 61 per cent amongst respondents of First Nations origins and 50 per cent among the many province’s residents aged 18 to 34. British Columbians who supported BC Inexperienced Social gathering candidates within the 2020 provincial election are extra amenable to a change (40 per cent) than those that solid ballots for the BC New Democratic Social gathering (NDP) (33 per cent) and the BC Liberals (30 per cent).

When requested whether or not British Columbia ought to take away the Union Jack from its provincial flag, the numbers are much like what we noticed in 2021. Simply over three in 10 of the province’s residents (31 per cent, up one level) would consent to this plan of action, whereas a plurality (46 per cent, down three factors) would maintain the ensign as it’s.

Once more, British Columbians of Indigenous descent (49 per cent), residents aged 18 to 34 (43 per cent) and BC Inexperienced Social gathering voters (additionally 43 per cent) discover it simpler to think about a provincial flag that doesn’t characteristic the crosses of Saint Andrew, Saint George and Saint Patrick.

This yr’s survey reveals a little bit of momentum for the notion of fixing British Columbia’s identify. Though nicely in need of a majority, the concept is especially in style with the province’s youngest adults – exactly those who’ve been extra in tune with Indigenous points. Their older counterparts should not fully satisfied {that a} revision is warranted proper now.

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