Just under one-in-five residents are upset by the absence of an acknowledgment to Indigenous peoples in British Columbia.
Vancouver, BC [August 30, 2021] – A majority of British Columbians believe the time is not right to consider a change in the province’s name or flag, a new Research Co. poll has found.
In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 60% of British Columbians disagree with changing the name of the province to acknowledge its Indigenous heritage, while 26% agree and 14% are undecided.
“The debate over British Columbia’s name finds very different positions from a generational standpoint,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “While more than a third of residents aged 18-to-34 (37%) would welcome a change, the proportion falls to 30% among those aged 35-to-54 and to just 14% among those aged 55 and over.”
The proposal does not find a significant variation by political allegiance, with 30% of BC Green Party voters in the 2020 provincial election supporting a name change, along with 29% of those who cast ballots for the BC New Democratic Party (NDP) and 26% of those who supported the BC Liberals.
The notion of changing the provincial flag to remove the Union Jack resonates with 30% of British Columbians, but practically half (49%) are opposed and 20% are not sure.
British Columbians aged 35-to-54 are more likely to be in favour of this change in the provincial flag (37%) than their counterparts aged 18-to-34 (33%) and aged 55 and over (23%).
Two thirds of British Columbians (67%) say that nothing upsets them about the name of the province. Just under one-in-five (18%) say they are bothered by the absence of an acknowledgement to Indigenous peoples, while fewer are upset at the “British” (15%) and “Columbia” (8%) components of the name.
Residents of Northern BC are significantly more likely to be upset with the absence of an acknowledgement to Indigenous peoples in the province’s name (26%) and with the “Columbia” component (16%) than their counterparts in other regions.
The Queen Charlotte Islands were renamed as Haida Gwaii in 2010. More than half of British Columbians (56%) agree with this decision, while 20% disagree and 24% are undecided.
More than three-in-five residents of Vancouver Island (64%) and the Fraser Valley (63%) agree with the decision to rename the islands as Haida Gwaii, along with majorities of those who live in Southern BC (55%), Metro Vancouver (53%) and Northern BC (52%).
Find our data tables here and download the press release here.
For more information on this poll, please contact:
Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.778.929.0490