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Canadians trust science, CBC, media, government, though Conservatives less trusting: survey

By Derek Abma      

Scientific experts were rated trustworthy by 83 per cent of respondents, while news media were trusted by 63 per cent.

While you may often see protests like this on Parliament Hill, a new survey showed most respondents have at least some trust in the federal government, and higher proportions said they trusted things such as scientific experts, the CBC, and news media. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade
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Canadians put a lot of faith in scientific experts, and most have at least some trust in things like the CBC, the news media, and the federal government, according to a new survey conducted by Campaign Research.

However, it found those identifying as Conservatives were less trusting of all these institutions.

Results shared exclusively with The Hill Times show that scientific experts were the most trusted among respondents to a survey done between March 5 and 7, with 83 per cent of those polled saying they had at least some trust in them, and 37 per cent reporting they had a “great deal of trust” in them.

The second most trustworthy institution, among the seven evaluated, was the CBC, which 71 per cent said was trustworthy and 25 per cent said they placed a great deal of trust in.

News media were seen as trustworthy by 63 per cent of respondents, with 14 per cent saying they put a lot of trust in the news. It was followed by the federal government, which was trusted by 56 per cent of respondents, and very much so by 12 per cent.

The internet was trusted by 53 per cent of survey-takers and considered very trustworthy by seven per cent.

The remaining two categories—political polls and big business—were rated trustworthy by fewer than half of those asked. Political polls had the trust of 45 per cent, and a lot of trust from five per cent. Big business had at least some trust from 39 per cent, and great deal of trust from five per cent.

Conservatives were less trusting of most categories, though pretty well in line with the average on the internet and even more likely to trust big business, with 45 per cent indicating at least a little trust in this sector. Just 33 per cent of Conservatives in this poll expressed any trust in the federal government, 50 per cent trusted news media, 53 per cent trusted the CBC, 42 per cent trusted political polls, and 76 per cent trusted scientific experts.

“In general, everyone trusts scientific experts (Conservatives slightly less so), but it may be surprising to see Canadians have a high degree of trust in the media in general and CBC specifically. Although, once again, this trust is not shared by Conservatives,” Campaign Research CEO Eli Yufest said in a press release.

Liberals, on the other hand, were notably more trusting of the federal government than average, with 78 per cent expressing some level of trust here. Liberals were also more trusting of political polls (54 per cent) and the internet (57 per cent).

NDP supporters were noted for their low level of trust (27 per cent) in big business.

The figures were based on interactive-voice-response surveys by phone with 798 people and online surveys of another 1,088 selected from a panel, for a total sample of 1,886. Campaign Research said the margin of error would have been three percentage points, 19 times out of 20, if the whole sample was randomly selected.

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