York Region District School Board

York Region District School Board

June 01, 2005 11:44 ET

Benchmark Opinion Survey Of Ontarians On Their Communities

Findings Show That While Full Majority Of Ontarians Say Character Is Alive In Their Community, Day-To-Day Situations Half Hearted At Best Attention: City Editor, Education Editor, Lifestyle Editor, News Editor MARKHAM, ONT--(CCNMatthews - June 1, 2005) - A survey released today indicates that while most Ontarians believe their own community demonstrates positive character, the actual demonstrations of character they witness on a day to day basis in their community are limited, or half hearted at best. The survey also found a full majority of Ontarians agree (77%--33% completely) that people don't learn enough about character nowadays and that kids today don't learn the basics of character development (70% - 26% completely).

The first-of-its-kind in-depth survey on Ontario's community character was conducted by Ipsos-Reid for the York Region District School Board and the Region of York Character Council.

Some of the key findings of the benchmark community character survey indicate that:

·While almost all Ontarians (92%) say the character of their community is good, most witness character attributes among their fellow citizens on a limited or half hearted basis: Ontarians say they witness "respect" (57%), "responsibility" (53%), "honesty" (51%), and "compassion" (48%), almost always… but less than half witness acts of "fairness" (47%), "integrity" (45%), "perseverance" (38%), and "optimism" (35%), almost always… and only one-third almost always witness "initiative" and "courage" in their community.
·Only four in ten (39%) strongly believe people would help someone new feel accepted in their community
·Only 30% of Ontarians completely agree that if people are in trouble they can rely on others to help them
·Only 17% completely agree that when people see someone being picked on they try to stop it
·Only 15% completely agree that when trying to solve a problem people are willing to consider everybody's opinion
·One-third (32%) disagree that people resolve conflicts without "fighting, insults or threats"

"The survey results clearly indicate that Ontario residents value good character but that few see positive values demonstrated consistently," said John Havercroft, Superintendent of Education with the York Region District School Board.

Respondents were also questioned about their perceptions of how their fellow community members tend to react in matters of acting selflessly, helping other people in trouble, solving problems collaboratively, resolving conflicts peacefully and encouraging positive character development among children.

"These findings support the need for sustained effort in teaching and modeling good character for everyone," said Sue Smitko, Executive Director of the York Region Character Council.

The telephone survey was conducted with a representative, randomly selected sample of 1000 Ontario residents, between March 15 and March 24, 2004. The results are considered accurate to within ± 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult Ontario population been polled.

For full data tabular results please visit www.ipsos.ca.

For more detailed information go to www.charactermatters.ca or contact via charactermatters@yrdsb.edu.on.ca .


For further information:

John Havercroft
Superintendent of Education
York Region District School Board
(905) 884-4477

Contact Information

  • John Havercroft, Superintendent of Education, York Region District School Board
    Primary Phone: 905-884-4477