Two days before Canadians celebrated their nation, a survey published last Friday found that more than half of them would not be granted citizenship on the basis of their knowledge of their own country.
According to the Ipsos Reid poll, 60% of Canadians would fail the citizenship exam, a necessary step for immigrants to be granted citizenship.
However, an “outstanding majority”, or 70%, of newcomers scored a passing grade when administered the same quiz.
The results are “frankly disheartening”, said Rudyard Griffiths of the Dominion Institute.
“Immigrants to Canada have accumulated more knowledge about the workings of the Canadian government, key moments in Canada’s past and the geography of Canada than the general Canadian public.”
In 1997, only 45% of respondents failed an identical test, indicating that Canadians’ knowledge of themselves also appears to be sliding, Griffiths lamented.
To pass the test participants had to correctly answer 12 of 21 questions on Canadian history, politics, culture and geography. — AFP