A tale of two surveys: Lotta has made us proud to be Canadians

When I came across a recent article in the Ottawa Citizen, I noticed that research firm Abacus Data had conducted a survey asking Canadians what made them proud of their country.

The top two responses were: freedom to live as we see fit and Terry Fox.

Given the recent publicity around the 12 women (including Lotta Hitschmanova) nominated to appear on a Canadian banknote, I was curious to see how they ranked in this survey.

To my great surprise, none of these women appeared on the list of 78 ranked items, and in fact, none of them appear to have been included in the survey at all.

Abacus’s motto is this: “The best insights come from asking the right questions.” With respect, I think their next survey might benefit from including a number of these outstanding Canadian women, and seeing what the results might be.

As my earlier post noted, the Bank of Canada ran a national survey earlier in the year that found that Lotta and 3 other women (including Viola Desmond) consistently ranked very high in values that could well be equated with “pride”:

“She broke or overcame barriers”, “She is inspirational”, “She made a significant change”, and “She left a lasting legacy.”

Terry Fox is a truly inspirational Canadian whom we can all be proud of – as are Lotta Hitschmanova, Viola Desmond, and so many other remarkable women and men of times past and today. It’s not just our “stars of ice, stage and screen” that we are proud of, as the Ottawa Citizen has put it.

Asking the right questions will help get us to a better understanding of our society and history.

David Rain

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