Residents aged 18-to-34 are particularly supportive of a move to acknowledge the province’s Indigenous heritage.
Vancouver, BC [November 8, 2022] – While most British Columbians disagree with the notion of changing the province’s name, young adults believe this would be the correct course of action, a new Research Co. poll has found.
In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 53% of British Columbians disagree with changing the name of the province to acknowledge its Indigenous heritage, down seven points since a similar Research Co. poll conducted in August 2021.
A third of British Columbians (32%, +6) would like to go forward with a name change—a proportion that rises to 50% among those aged 18-to-34.
“More than a third of Vancouver Island residents (37%) would welcome changing British Columbia’s name,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Support is lower in Northern BC (32%), Metro Vancouver (31%), the Fraser Valley (30%) and Southern BC (26%).”
Just over three-in-five British Columbians (62%, -5) are not bothered by any component of the province’s name. About one-in-five are upset about the absence of an acknowledgement to Indigenous peoples (20%, +2) and the “British” part (19%, +4). Only 8% (=) are bothered by the presence of the word “Columbia”.
The numbers did not move much when British Columbians were asked if the provincial flag should be amended to remove the Union Jack. Just over three-in-ten (31%, +1) agree with this plan, while 46% (-3) disagree with it.
Only 24% of British Columbians aged 55 and over would consent to having a provincial flag that does not feature the Union Jack. Support is higher among their counterparts aged 35-to-54 (30%) and aged 18-to-34 (43%).
In 2010, the Queen Charlotte Islands were renamed as Haida Gwaii. Most British Columbians (58%, +2) believe this was the right decision, while 20% (=) disagree and 23% (-1) are undecided.
More than seven-in-ten residents of Vancouver Island (71%) believe changing the name of the Queen Charlotte Islands was the correct course of action, along with majorities of residents of Southern BC (58%), the Fraser Valley (57%), Metro Vancouver (55%) and Northern BC (also 55%).
Results are based on an online study conducted from October 29 to October 31, 2022, among 800 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.