Poll Finds Strong National Support for Funding Religious Schools


December 14, 2017

Providing government funding to religious schools is a popular idea in Canada. Fully 61 percent of the almost 2,000 adults in the survey support directing tax dollars toward religious schools – both public and independent. Almost one in three support full funding, equal to what public schools get. Another 30 percent back at least partial funding. Regionally, the poll found support for full funding of religious schools is highest in the provinces that fully fund a public Catholic system: Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario.

“It’s not surprising to see a poll confirming that Canadians like having a diversity of schooling options available,” says Dr. Beth Green, Cardus Education program director. “Government funding of public and independent religious schools makes those options available to families that might not otherwise be able to afford them.”

In Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario anywhere from one-in-five to one-in-three students attends a public Catholic school. The provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Quebec provide at least partial funding for independent religious schools.

“Funding for independent religious schools is the norm in half the provinces,” says Dr. Green. “Ontario and the Atlantic provinces are the hold-outs, but even in those places there’s majority support for government funding of religious schools in general.”

To schedule an interview with Dr. Green, please, contact Daniel Proussalidis.

The Angus Reid Institute conducted the poll in partnership with Cardus. Full poll results and notes on methodology are available online.

Daniel Proussalidis
Cardus - Director of Communications


Cardus is a non-partisan think tank dedicated to clarifying and strengthening, through research and dialogue, the ways in which society's institutions can work together for the common good.