Support for Bill C51 waning

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Support for Bill C51 waning

Most see bill having negative effect on their lives

TORONTO March 31st, 2015 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1239 Canadian voters, just one half agree Canada needs new, stiffer anti-terror legislation (51%), and this is down from close to 6-in-10 earlier this month (March 14 - 56%) and well down from 7-in-10 recorded in November, before Bill C51 had been introduced (70%). Just more than 4-in-10 agree Canada does need new anti-terror legislation (42%) and fewer than a tenth have no opinion on the subject (7%).

Awareness of Bill C51 widespread

Seven-in-ten voters are aware of Bill C51 (71%) and this is stable since the beginning of the month (69%). Awareness is common to the oldest, males, the wealthy ($80K to $100K - 86%, $100K to $250K - 82%), the Atlantic provinces (85%), Alberta (82%) and BC (84%), but not Quebec (49%). Awareness is higher among Liberal voters (79%), the best educated (post grad - 91%) and Anglophones (77%).

Close to 6-in-10 disapprove of Bill C51

Just one third of those voters aware of it approve of Bill C51 now (33%), down from closer to 4-in-10 in early March (March 14 - 38%). Disapproval is characteristic of close to 6-in-10 (56%), well up from early March (March 14 - 50%). Disapproval is common to the youngest (75%), the least wealthy (66% - a proxy for youth) in Atlantic Canada (71%), among Liberals (77%) and New Democrats (75%) and the best educated (post grad - 71%). Even in Alberta, the most conservative province, a majority is opposed to the bill (54%).

Most think Bill C51 will have negative effect on their lives

The plurality of voters aware of the bill believe it will have a negative effect on their lives (42%) while one quarter think the effects of the bill will be positive (26%). Just one quarter dpi not see the bill having any effect at all (26%), while few don’t have an opinion (6%). Once again, it the young, least wealthy, well-educated Liberals who see the bill having a negative effect on their lives.

"It appears that the more Canadians learn about Bill C51, the less they like it. The need for the bill is seen to be diminishing, and voters recognize some provisions may impact on their lives in ways they don’t like. With an election approaching, the government would be well-advised to determine whether this bill is the hill they want to stake themselves out on," said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at or at (416) 960-9603.