BY DAN NEUTEL, POSTMEDIA NEWS
What we don’t know can hurt us, and Canadians’ lack of constitutional knowledge is troubling to some who see the Constitution as the country’s most important document.
According to the Canadian Constitution Foundation, a registered charity that defends constitutional freedoms, a national day to reacquaint ourselves with this under-appreciated document might be just what we need to fix that.
In a poll conducted on behalf of the foundation, just 53 per cent of Canadians knew that Canada’s original Constitution came into force on July 1, 1867, only 28 per cent of Canadians knew that Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia initially formed the Dominion of Canada in 1867 and just nine per cent of Canadians knew that the Constitution does not include protection for private property.
The Constitution poll of 1,003 Canadians was conducted online by Abacus Data and is expected to have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 per cent 19 times out of 20.
“Basically, we found that Canadians, especially young ones and high school grads, don’t know the simple facts about the Constitution,” said Chris Schafer, executive director for the Canadian Constitution Foundation.
The foundation is promoting March 29 — Constitution Day — as the date that all Canadians should celebrate and deepen their understanding of the Constitution.