A Third of Canadians Would Remove All Statues of Sir John

More than half of the country’s residents think the removal of statues of colonial figures is an attack on Canadian history.

Vancouver, BC [December 2, 2022] – Most Canadians are not particularly satisfied with the idea of withdrawing existing monuments from public view, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 54% of Canadians believe the removal of statues of colonial figures is an attack on Canadian history, while 21% disagree and 14% are undecided.

Canadians aged 55 and over are more likely to feel that removing statues of colonial figures is an attack on the country’s history (61%) than their counterparts aged 35-to-54 (54%) and aged 18-to-34 (48%).

Some municipalities—including Charlottetown, Kingston, Regina and Victoria—have removed statues of Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minister.

While just under a third of Canadians (32%) think all statues of Macdonald should be withdrawn from public view, almost half (47%) disagree and 20% are not sure.

Support for keeping statues of Macdonald in place is highest in Saskatchewan and Manitoba (55%), followed by Alberta (51%), Ontario (also 51%), Atlantic Canada (50%), British Columbia (48%) and Quebec (38%).

“Two thirds of Conservative Party voters in the 2021 federal election (65%) are against the removal of all monuments depicting Sir John A. Macdonald,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Two-in-five Canadians who voted for the Liberal Party (41%) or the New Democratic Party (NDP) (40%) in the last election feel the same way.”

Across the country, 45% of Canadians have a favourable opinion of Sir John A. Macdonald, while 22% hold unfavourable views.

Positive opinions on Macdonald reach 51% in Ontario, but are lower in Alberta (45%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (44%), Atlantic Canada (43%), Quebec (42%) and British Columbia (36%).

Macdonald holds a higher favourability rating than five other former prime ministers included in the survey: John Diefenbaker (42%), Wilfrid Laurier (41%), William Lyon Mackenzie King (38%), Louis St. Laurent (33%) and Robert Borden (29%).


Results are based on an online study conducted from November 24 to November 26, 2022, 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 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 [e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca
Photo Credit: Nhl4hamilton (Rick Cordeiro)