Canadians Blame Parents for Perceived Decline of Civility

More than half of residents (52%) think people in Canada have become less polite than five years ago.

Vancouver, BC [April 25, 2019] – A majority of Canadians believe residents have become cruder over the past five years, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 52% of Canadians think people in Canada have become “less polite” than they were five years ago.

Only 8% of Canadians think people are “more polite” than in 2014, while 33% say the situation is “about the same” as it was five years ago.

More than four-in-five Canadians (84%) think “parents failing to teach their children proper behaviour” are “definitely” or “probably” responsible for the current state of civility in the country.

Other negative factors mentioned by Canadians include “the influence of television and movies” (77%), “technology that enables people to talk face-to-face less often” (also 77%), “poor examples from celebrities, athletes and other public figures” (74%), “politicians engaging in personal attacks” (69%), “people being too busy with their lives” (66%) and “teachers and schools failing to teach students proper behaviour” (59%).

Three-in-ten Canadians (31%) say they deal with someone being rude and/or impolite when using social media “a few times a week.”

“Almost half of Canadians aged 18-to-34 (46%) say they experience impoliteness on social media a few times a week,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Only 12% of Canada’s Millennials say they only face rudeness on social media less often than a few times a year.”

Other instances in which Canadians experience someone being rude and/or impolite “a few times a week” include driving a car or riding in a car (25%), shopping at a store (16%), at the workplace (15%), walking on the street (14%) or using public transit (13%). 

One third of Canadians (33%) think the people they deal with on a daily basis in Canada say “please” and “thank you” less often than five years ago—a proportion that includes 40% of those aged 55 and over and 43% of Albertans.


Results are based on an online study conducted from April 4 to April 7, 2019, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Canada. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.1 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.