Most Canadians support 'Occupy' protests, poll finds
Published Tuesday, November 8, 2011 11:53AM EST
Last Updated Saturday, May 19, 2012 6:30AM EDT
The Occupy Wall Street movement that has spread throughout the U.S. and Canada has the support of most of the Canadians who are aware of it, a new poll has found.
The Nanos poll conducted for The Globe and Mail and La Presse finds that seven out of 10 Canadians have heard of the demonstrations. Of them, 58 per cent say they have a favourable or somewhat favourable impression of them.
Another 33 per cent said they had an unfavourable or somewhat unfavourable impression of the protests, while the rest said they weren't sure how they felt about the movement.
Those Canadians who said they were in favour or somewhat in favour of the protests said the demonstrators had valid views and that there was a need to raise awareness and take a stand.
Others said the reason they supported the demonstrations was that they believed there was too large a gap between the rich and poor and that there was a problem with corporate greed.
Those with unfavourable or somewhat unfavourable opinions thought the demonstrations were either pointless, lacked focus, or weren't relevant to Canada.
Quebecers and respondents under 30 years of age being more likely to have a favourable view compared to other groups.
For three weeks now, Occupy activists have set up camps in at least eight Canadian cities, building on momentum that began in New York's financial district nearly two months ago.
While the primary goal of the protests has been to shine a spotlight on economic inequality, the precise demands of the protesters has never been clear.
The Nanos telephone survey was conducted between Oct. 20 and 24 – more than a week before a 23-year-old woman was found dead in a tent at the Occupy Vancouver camp, a death that many say spelled the protest's doom.
The City of Vancouver has cited the death, as well as a non-fatal overdose a few days earlier, as the reason it is now seeking a court order to remove the encampment.
Eviction notices have also been served to the protesters in Victoria and Quebec City.