Toronto – One of Canada’s top child advocacy groups, Children First Canada, has released a new poll on Canadian’s attitudes on the wellbeing of our country’s kids. The poll is being released on the occasion of National Child Day (November 18) and the 30th Anniversary of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child.

According to the new poll, 71% believe Canada ranks in the top 10 compared to other wealthy nations, with 36% believing it ranks in the top 5. In fact, Canada ranks 25th overall.

Once informed of Canada’s actual rank, nine in ten respondents said Canada should put a high priority on improving children’s well-being, with 4 in 10 believing it should be a very high priority.

The number of Canadians prioritizing children’s well-being has increased since the poll was last conducted in 2016. Then, 86% said it was a high priority (compared to 91% today) and 24% said it was a very high priority (increasing 19 points to 43% in 2019).

  National British Columbia
Believe Canada placed in top 5 36% 21%
Believe Canada placed in top 10 35% 36%
Place a very high priority on improving children’s well-being 43% 49%
Place a high priority on improving children’s well-being 48% 44%

Top issues affecting children as identified by poll respondents:

1. mental health/depression/anxiety – mentioned by 48% of respondents

2. Bullying/safety online – mentioned by 34% of respondents

3. Health/fitness/obesity/nutrition: mentioned by 32% of respondents

4. Schools/education: mentioned by 31% of respondents

5. Poverty/poor families: mentioned by 31% of respondents

6. Domestic violence/child abuse and post-secondary education: both cited by 23% of respondents

“It’s heartening to hear that Canadians are concerned about the issues that matter most to our children,” say Austin. The top priorities identified in the poll are well aligned with the research released earlier this by Children First Canada in the Raising Canada report on the top 10 threats to Canada’s kids. 

Other findings:

–          Only 54% believe that young Canadians get the support they need to achieve their full potential (only 7% stating they totally agree)

–          92% believe that investing in children now saves additional spending in the future

–          59% believe Canada is not doing its best for poor people

The study was conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Children First Canada and two of its partners: Children’s Healthcare Canada and the IWK Health Centre.

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