The majority of Canadians say the federal government’s national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls should continue, even if it requires additional costs and time, according to a new survey.

The Nanos Research survey, conducted for CTV News, asked 1,000 Canadian adults about their views on the public inquiry’s importance. The inquiry has been hampered with setbacks, delays and resignations since its launch in September 2016. Families of the victims have also accused the inquiry of disorganization and poor communication.

Despite the criticisms, nearly three quarters of participants said they think it’s important (45 per cent) or somewhat important (27 per cent) for the inquiry to continue. The respondents said they were in favour of the inquiry’s continuation even if it means additional costs and a longer time frame.

Almost a quarter (17 per cent) said it was unimportant for the inquiry to keep going and nine per cent said it was somewhat unimportant. The other two per cent were unsure, the survey found.

When it comes to the inquiry’s overall significance, more than half of the Canadians surveyed said they believe it will improve (17 per cent) or somewhat improve (35 per cent) the understanding of Indigenous issues outside of First Nations communities. More than a third (38 per cent) of respondents said the inquiry will make no difference. Three per cent said it will somewhat worsen and two per cent said it will worsen understanding of these issues. The remaining five per cent replied that they were unsure.

The inquiry plans to continue its work into 2018 with a final report expected by the end of the year, although commissioners, such as Michele Audette, have requested a deadline extension.

The Nanos survey expanded on the topic of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls to include other historical grievances, such as the treatment of LGBTQ groups in Canada. Participants were asked how important it is for the Canadian government to apologize to or financially settle legal claims with these groups. 

In response, more than half of respondents answered that it was important (32 per cent) or somewhat important (27 per cent) for the government to take these steps. Almost two in five of surveyed Canadians said it was unimportant (25 per cent) or somewhat unimportant (14 per cent). The other two per cent were unsure. 

Methodology:

The poll results are based on an RDD dual frame (landline and cellphone) hybrid telephone and online random survey of 1,000 Canadians between Dec. 6 and Dec. 10, 2017. The margin of error for a random survey of 1,000 Canadians is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.