New poll shows Canadians split blame between government and church for residential schools

Two-thirds of Canadians say the Catholic Church is to blame for residential schools while the other third blames the federal government.

Brendan Boucher Ottawa ON

A new Leger poll sought Canadian's opinions a week after the 215 remains were found at the Kamloops Indian Residence School. Two-thirds said the Catholic Church is mainly at fault, while the other third blamed the federal government. 80% said that this represents the "tip of the iceberg" while 57% said this discovery "made them question the whole moral foundation that Canada has been based on."

The new poll is subject to criticism as it was conducted online and not randomly, however the numbers are concerning many. 77% of the respondents say the federal government should order that former residential schools should be subject to a ground-penetrating radar search for more unmarked grave sights.

A major take away from the Leger survey is the shame many Canadians feel towards their country. 80% said Canadians "should feel ashamed" of residential schools. Most Canadians said there weren't even surprised of the discovery. Older people were much more likely to blame the church while young people tend to blame the government for the tragedies.

Leger vice-president Andrew Enns told the Canadian Press, "What it means for Canada? What it means for being Canadian? I think there is the cause for this cause for some reflection," he inquired.

Many across the country continue to express their outrage towards the recent discovery. Students and activists at Ryerson University recently tore down the statue of Egerton Ryerson, citing his involvement in the foundation of the Canadian education system including residential schools. Statues of Sir John A. Macdonald are being tore down from Charlottetown to Alberta.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney defended Macdonald and the Fathers of Confederation saying, "I think Canada is worth celebrating. I think Canada is a great historical achievement. It is a country that people all around the world seek to join as new Canadians...."John A. Macdonald was an imperfect man, but was still a great leader," he continued.


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