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Poll suggests younger Canadians interested in attending Remembrance Day events

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  • TORONTO — A new survey suggests Canadians of all generations are more likely to honour military veterans by attending a Remembrance Day ceremony this year.

    A poll commissioned by Historica Canada, the organization behind the popular Heritage Minutes videos, found a 10-per-cent spike in the number of respondents who planned to take part in a ceremony this year compared to 2017.

    The online poll, conducted by Ipsos, found 39 per cent of those surveyed had firm plans to attend a ceremony on Nov. 11 compared to 29 per cent the year before.

    The survey found plans were relatively consistent across demographics, with millennial respondents expressing the most consistent enthusiasm for attending Remembrance Day events. It found 41 per cent of 18- to 34-year-olds polled planned to attend, compared to 40 per cent of respondents over 55 and 38 per cent of participants between 35 and 54.

    Historica CEO Anthony Wilson-Smith called the findings around millennials gratifying, saying the poll results challenge the theory that the generation with the fewest tangible connections to the two World Wars would be most likely to ignore Remembrance Day.

    “We are now at a point where we have to contemplate that the day will come when there aren’t any more World War Two veterans,” Wilson-Smith said in a telephone interview.

    “That leaves you to wonder if, when everyone is gone, will people still be able to grasp the significance of war, of sacrifice, of the causes that drove people to war, and the outcomes,” he said.

    “The answer would appear to be yes.”

    Wilson-Smith speculated that at least part of the surge in interest in Remembrance Day ceremonies stems from the fact that this year’s events will mark the 100th anniversary of the armistice that brought the First World War to an end after four years of strife.

    But he said the younger generation’s apparent connection to the day may also come from personal ties to those who served in more recent conflicts, such as the war in Afghanistan in which 158 Canadian soldiers and two civilians were killed.

    The poll found 95 per cent of those surveyed felt Remembrance Day ceremonies should honour veterans of recent conflicts. It also found 83 per cent of respondents planned to wear a poppy in the run-up to Nov. 11, with baby boomers showing the most enthusiasm for that idea.

    The online poll of 1,002 Canadians also surveyed how many respondents had visited a cenotaph or other war memorial in their community or elsewhere.

    Participants in British Columbia were most likely to have done so, the survey found, noting the provincial response rate of 64 per cent was well above the national average of 46 per cent.

    The Ipsos survey was conducted between Oct. 25 and Oct. 29, Historica said.

    The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error as they are not a random sample and therefore are not necessarily representative of the whole population.

    Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press



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    National

    Google wants court to decide whether search curbs would infringe charter rights

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  • OTTAWA — Google wants the Federal Court to decide whether limiting search-engine results in the name of privacy would infringe Canadians’ constitutional guarantee of free expression.

    The leading internet search engine advocates broadening an upcoming court hearing to squarely address the question.

    Privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien has asked the Federal Court to clarify if Google’s popular search tool is covered by the law governing how companies handle personal information.

    A man who says a Google search reveals outdated and highly personal information about him will be the test case that helps a judge decide whether the search engine must remove the links from its results.

    Therrien argues the federal law on private-sector use of personal information includes such a right to de-indexing.

    In documents filed with the court, Google says the privacy commissioner’s reference application is illogical and inefficient because it is too narrow and therefore won’t fully explore the relevant constitutional questions.

    The Canadian Press


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    Former New Democrat MP Svend Robinson wants to return to politics

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  • BURNABY, B.C. — Former New Democrat MP Svend Robinson is attempting a political comeback, nearly 15 years after his theft of an expensive diamond ring brought an end to his decades-long career.

    Robinson is expected to be acclaimed as the NDP candidate in the riding of Burnaby North-Seymour at a nomination meeting later this week after serving seven terms in various ridings in the Metro Vancouver city from 1979 to 2004.

    Robinson made the announcement today outside his childhood home in the riding.

    He says he’s been knocking on doors in the community and even though it’s been 15 years since he left federal politics, people have welcomed him back.

    NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is running in a byelection in the neighbouring riding of Burnaby South and Robinson recently appeared with him at a campaign event.

    Robinson pleaded guilty to theft over $5,000 in 2004 after stealing an engagement ring valued at $64,000 from an auction, but he said he suffered from a mental health disorder and received a conditional discharge.

    Since leaving politics, the 66-year-old has spent time in Switzerland working with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

    The Canadian Press


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