A new online survey suggests a growing majority of Quebecers support the province’s proposed plan for a "Charter of Quebec Values," which would restrict public employees from donning overt religious articles at work.

According to the poll, which was conducted between Aug. 30 and Sept. 5, 66 per cent of Quebec residents support the Parti Quebecois' plan -- an increase of nine per cent from a different poll conducted last month by Leger Marketing.

The latest poll, which was released on Tuesday -- the same day the minority PQ government released its five-point plan that would apply to all employees at government institutions, including schools, hospitals, and courts -- was conducted by SOM, one of Quebec’s largest survey firms.

The online poll was conducted in both French and English and posed a series of questions regarding immigration, before asking respondents on how they felt about the contentious plan.

According to the SOM poll:

  • 68 per cent believe immigrants work hard to find employment
  • 67 per cent believe it’s good for Quebec to have multiple cultural groups
  • 53 per cent feel comfortable in neighbourhoods that are composed mostly of immigrants
  • 33 per cent believe it’s good for immigrants to preserve their culture
  • 28 per cent believe the majority of immigrants are knowledgeable of Quebec culture
  • 76 per cent disagreed with the statement about not liking being on a bus or a train where there are many passengers who are not of Quebec origin
  • 60 per cent disagreed with the statement that neighbourhoods with high numbers of immigrants are less safe
  • 58 per cent disagreed with the statement that there are too many immigrants in Quebec
  • 57 per cent disagreed with the statement that they are uncomfortable when immigrants speak in their mother-tongue and they do not understand what they are saying
  • 57 per cent disagreed with the statement that immigrants weaken Quebec unity

With regards to the proposed “Charter of Quebec Values,” the poll found stark differences between those who live outside Quebec City or Montreal, with 70 per cent of residents in those areas in agreement with the plan.

Similar to the Leger poll, there was also a split between francophones and anglophones, with 71 per cent of people who speak French as their mother-tongue in favour of the proposed charter.

The poll also found a noticeable difference in opinion between older and less educated demographics. Seventy-two per cent of Quebecers between the ages of 45 and 54 years of age were in support of the plan; and 70 per cent of Quebecers with less formal post-secondary education were in support of the proposed charter.

The SOM poll sampled 1,937 internet users in Quebec and is considered accurate within 2.6 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.