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What makes Canada Priceless?

Long weekend or not: two-thirds of Canadians plan to party on Canada Day

TORONTO (June 30, 2003) – With Canada Day tomorrow, a survey examining the attitudes and outlooks of young Canadians between the ages of 16 and 25, and those in the heart of the Baby Boom generation, between the ages of 45 and 55, finds that while the two groups do share similar views on many topics, generation and physical location do have a significant impact on what respondents see as being priceless about both Canada and their own lives.

The survey results are part of the second annual MasterCard® Canada Priceless Index, a national survey conducted by Environics Research Group for MasterCard Canada.

Despite the lack of a long weekend, July 1 will find the majority of Canadians attending a Canada Day celebration
Nationally, the MasterCard Canada Priceless Index finds that on July 1st, 68 per cent of young Canadians and 59 per cent of Baby Boomers (those that said "probably" or "definitely") plan to spend their holiday attending a Canada Day celebration.

The biggest enthusiasts for Canada’s birthday were young Canadians (16–25 years old) from Western and Atlantic Canada – where 84 per cent and 81 per cent respectively plan to attend a Canada Day event. Among Boomers, 70 per cent of Atlantic Canadians and 68 per cent of Ontarians said they would likely do so as well.

Proud to be Canadian
This year’s Priceless Index shows Canadians of both generations are proud of their country. When asked if they "take great pride in being Canadian," 92 per cent of young Canadians and 93 per cent of Boomers either somewhat agreed or strongly agreed with the statement.

When examined regionally, the vast majority of both young Canadians and Boomers in Western Canada (84 per cent and 79 per cent respectively), Atlantic Canada (84 per cent and 83 per cent respectively), and Ontario (74 per cent and 84 per cent respectively) said they ‘strongly agree’ with the statement. In Quebec, just 29 per cent of young Canadians and 39 per cent of Boomers ‘strongly agreed’ with the statement.

"Canadian-ness" runs deep
When asked if they considered themselves "mainly a citizen of your local community, a citizen of your province, a citizen of Canada, or a citizen of the world," half of all young Canadians and Boomers (48 per cent and 51 per cent respectively) considered themselves a citizen of Canada first. Sixteen per cent and 19 per cent respectively considered themselves a citizen of their own province, 21 per cent and 16 per cent respectively considered themselves a citizen of the world, and 15 and 12 per cent respectively considered themselves a citizen of their local community.

When looked at regionally, both young Canadians and Boomers in Atlantic Canada (57 per cent and 57 per cent respectively), Ontario (55 per cent and 63 per cent respectively) and Western Canada (54 per cent an 52 per cent respectively) were most likely to define themselves as citizens of Canada first, while Quebecers from both age groups tended to see themselves as citizens of their province first (37 per cent and 37 per cent respectively).

Canadians cherish freedom, the Maple Leaf and Medicare… and we do love our hockey
When asked to consider "Canada’s most priceless national symbol," both young Canadians and Boomers chose in equal numbers either The Charter of Rights and Freedoms (28 per cent and 30 per cent respectively) or the Canadian Flag (27 per cent and 32 per cent respectively). However, young Canadians and Boomers did not see eye-to-eye on other priceless national symbols such as hockey and Medicare. Nineteen per cent of Boomers chose medicare, while just nine per cent chose hockey, whereas 20 per cent of young Canadians chose hockey and just 11 per cent chose Medicare.

Regionally, youth in Western Canada were split between the Canadian Flag (28 per cent) and hockey (26 per cent) as Canada’s most priceless symbol. Among Western Boomers, the Flag also ranked number one (37 per cent) with hockey falling to nine per cent.

In Ontario, the Maple Leaf resonated most strongly with both generations with 28 per cent of youth and 33 per cent of Boomers choosing the Canadian Flag.

In Quebec, both youth (36 per cent) and Baby Boomers (36 per cent) ranked The Charter of Rights and Freedoms as number one.

In Atlantic Canada, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms took the lead among Boomers with 38 per cent choosing it as our most priceless national symbol, while the Flag was first among youth at 29 per cent.

Trudeau-mania still sweeping Canada
While it’s been nearly two decades since he was in power, when asked which Canadian best represents their personal values, both youth and the Boomer generation chose Pierre Trudeau, although Boomers selected Mr. Trudeau at almost twice the rate (30 per cent vs. 17 per cent) of youth.

And even though nearly half the young Canadians ages 16–25 had not even been born by the time Pierre Trudeau had left office, he still ranked number one among young Canadians in Ontario (22 per cent), Western Canada (18 per cent) and Atlantic Canada (11 per cent).

Trudeau’s popularity reigned supreme with Boomers in all regions across Canada. Breakdown as follows: Ontario (41 per cent), Atlantic Canada (31 per cent), Western Canada (25 per cent) and Quebec (18 per cent).

After Trudeau there is a clear divergence based on age, with Canadian youth looking to Jean Chretien (seven per cent) and Wayne Gretzky (five per cent) and Boomers looking to politicians of the 1960s and 1970s, including Lester Pearson, John Diefenbaker and Rene Levesque (four per cent each).

Regionally, Wayne Gretzky ranked second among youth in Ontario (9 per cent) and Atlantic Canada (8 per cent), while Jean Chretien held second place with young Canadians from Western Canada (5 per cent). In Quebec, Levesque (16 per cent) outranked Trudeau (11 per cent) among youth and ranked just behind Trudeau among Boomers (16 per cent).

Quality time with friends and family: "Priceless"
When asked what they considered to be the "most priceless way to spend their leisure time," young Canadians (56 per cent) and Baby Boomers (60 per cent) both rank spending time with friends and family as their top choice. After this, interests vary, with young Canadians leaning toward sports (18 per cent), sleeping (13 per cent), outdoor activities (nine per cent) and reading and volunteering (eight per cent each), whereas Boomers list reading (15 per cent), volunteer and playing sports (11 per cent each), outdoor activities (nine per cent) and sleeping (seven per cent).

NOTE: Provincial statistics are also available upon request.

Study methodology
The 2003 MasterCard Canada Priceless Index was conducted in two phases:

Questions benchmarking data against the 2002 MasterCard Canada Priceless Index were included on Environics Research’s Focus Canada omnibus survey. This survey of 2,012 Canadians 18 years of age and over was carried out by telephone between March 7 and 27, 2003. Results from a survey of this size can be considered accurate to within plus or minus 2.2 per cent, nineteen times out of twenty.

For questions comparing the two generations, Environics Research surveyed 1,000 Canadians between April 29 and May 7, 2003. The sample was divided into two sub-samples in each age cohort with 500 interviews completed among Canadians between the ages of 16 and 25 and another 500 interviews completed among Canadians between the ages of 45 and 55. The results among respondents in each age cohort can be considered accurate within plus or minus 4.1 per cent, nineteen times out of twenty.

About MasterCard International
MasterCard International has a comprehensive portfolio of well-known, widely accepted payment brands including MasterCard, Cirrus and Maestro. With approximately 25,000 MasterCard, Cirrus® and Maestro® members worldwide, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses, both large and small, in 210 countries and territories. MasterCard is a leader in quality and innovation, offering a wide range of payment solutions in the virtual and traditional worlds. The MasterCard award-winning Priceless advertising campaign is now seen in 96 countries and in 45 languages, giving the MasterCard brand a truly global reach and scope. For the quarter ended March 31, 2003, gross dollar volume exceeded US$285.7 billion. MasterCard can be reached through its website at

Tina Gladstone/Matthew Cram
Environics Communications for MasterCard Canada, 416-920-9000