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Green Power vs. Star Power: David Suzuki Tops the List as Canada’s Most Priceless™ Living Celebrity

Suzuki, NBA Superstar Steve Nash, Rocky Mountain Drives, Calgary Stampede, Cape Breton and Banff among the top selections on 2007 Priceless Index

Toronto, June 19, 2007 – Environmentalist David Suzuki ranked as this year’s most Priceless living Canadian celebrity, according to MasterCard Canada’s 2007 Priceless Index, its 5th barometer of Canadian patriotism that tracks who, what and where is most Priceless to Canadians, including our heroes, our symbols and our cities.

“The 2007 Priceless Index takes the temperature of the Canadian social climate,” says Julie Wilson, Director, Public Affairs, MasterCard Canada. “This year, green power towered over star power as David Suzuki was ranked as our most Priceless living celebrity. Clearly, the environment is top-of-mind with Canadians.”

Nationally, David Suzuki was ranked first overall with 33 per cent of the respondents choosing him as the most Priceless living celebrity. Celine Dion came in second with 18 per cent of the vote.

Basketball or Hockey? Steve or Sidney?
We Canadians love our sports, and pay special attention to our sports heroes – especially those who have a North American impact. When asked to choose the most Priceless Canadian sports hero of the past year, NBA superstar Steve Nash ranked first overall (11%), followed closely by rising hockey star Sidney Crosby (10%). Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky came in third (4%).

Regionally, we are proudest of homegrown talent:

  • Atlantic Canadians ranked Nova Scotia’s Sidney Crosby as the most Priceless sports hero (31%), followed by Steve Nash (7%).
  • A tale of two athletes: Ontarians couldn’t choose between Steve Nash and Sidney Crosby, as they tied for most Priceless sports hero (10% each).
  • Western Canada chose their hometown boy, with Alberta (13%) and British Columbia (18%) choosing British Columbian Steve Nash as their most Priceless sports hero.

Hittin’ those summer roads from West to East
When Canadians were asked the best place for a road trip, six in ten Canadians (59%) chose the Rocky Mountain region, followed by the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island (14%).

  • We sure are proud of our own backyards – a whopping 81 per cent of Albertans chose the Rocky Mountain region as the best part of Canada to drive through.
  • British Columbians and those from Manitoba/Saskatchewan also ranked the Rocky Mountain region first at 79 per cent and 73 per cent, respectively.

Best places to pitch a tent
With summer giving us a chance to sleep in the great outdoors, the Priceless Index asked Canadians which of Canada’s national parks is the most Priceless. Alberta’s Banff came first (19%), followed by Ontario’s Algonquin second (15%) and Alberta’s Jasper third (7%). Interestingly, Algonquin Park is a provincial park – though its beauty and popularity is recognized at the national level.

  • Atlantic Canadians chose Newfoundland’s Gros Morne (15%) as the most Priceless national park, followed by Banff (13%).
  • More than a third of Ontarians (37%) chose Algonquin as the most Priceless, followed by Banff (15%).
  • Quebeckers love their own Laurentian Park (11%), followed closely by Banff (10%).

If you had to choose just one… Vancouver named top city for tourists
Nearly one in five (19%) of respondents agreed Vancouver is the number one Canadian city that tourists should not miss. But Quebec City is not far behind, with 18 per cent of respondents choosing it as the must-see city, followed by Montreal (14%), Toronto (13%) and Ottawa (8%).

  • Atlantic Canadians love Toronto, with 15 per cent ranking Toronto first, followed by Quebec City, Ottawa and Montreal (all at 11%).
  • Home is where the heart is – 26 per cent of Ontarians chose Toronto over Vancouver (14%), Ottawa (14%) and Quebec City (13%).
  • Residents of Manitoba/Saskatchewan also ranked Vancouver (21%) top on their list, followed by Montreal (13%), Ottawa (10%) and Toronto (8%).
  • It is no surprise that Albertans and British Columbians ranked Vancouver first, but both provinces also ranked Montreal second.
  • Quebeckers sure love home! Quebec City is the city of choice (43%), followed by Montreal (30%).

And since you are here, may we suggest…
When asked which one of the following Canadian events or attractions would be the most Priceless for a tourist, 37 per cent of Canadians chose the Calgary Stampede. Most interestingly, all regions surveyed ranked the Calgary Stampede as the number one do-not-miss event.

However, while we all agreed on what is number one, there was not as much consensus with what is number two:

  • Atlantic Canadians ranked whale watching as number two (29%).
  • Ontarians recommended tourists lace up their skates on Ottawa’s Rideau Canal (18%).
  • British Columbians and those in Manitoba/Saskatchewan also ranked whale watching as number two on their list (29% and 11%, respectively).

“We are very proud of our own backyards,” says Wilson. “We want our neighbours to see our homes, which is why we rank places closest to us the most Priceless. But with so many great things happening, we also recognize the need to be proud of what’s happening in the rest of the country. One thing is for sure though – on Canada Day, we will all be celebrating and honouring what makes this country so special.”

Leave it to beaver
We are proud of our animals and we know it, but one stood above the others. Nationally, 38 per cent of Canadians chose the beaver as the animal that best symbolizes Canada, followed by the moose (22%).

  • Let us not forget the goose; Manitoba/Saskatchewan and British Columbians ranked the beaver first (36% and 44%, respectively) and the Canada goose second (20% and 17%, respectively). The moose also tied for second in British Columbia.

About the survey

The Priceless Index is a national survey carried out regularly by MasterCard. This national survey of 2,006 Canadians 18 years of age and over was carried out by telephone between May 24 and May 31, 2007, by Environics Research Group on behalf of MasterCard Canada. Results to a survey of this size can be considered accurate to within plus or minus 2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

About MasterCard Worldwide
MasterCard Worldwide advances global commerce by providing a critical economic link among financial institutions, businesses, cardholders and merchants worldwide. As a franchisor, processor and advisor, MasterCard develops and markets payment solutions, processes over 16 billion transactions each year, and provides industry-leading analysis and consulting services to financial institutions, customers and merchants. Through its family of brands, including MasterCard®, Maestro® and Cirrus®, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information go to http://www.mastercard.com.

Contacts:

Don Blair
416-969-2726,
dblair@environicspr.com


Olivia Yu
416-969-2718
oyu@environicspr.com