Both Americans and Canadians Support Government Apology to 2LGBTQ+ Community

TORONTO – A new poll conducted by Mainstreet Research exclusively for the upcoming 2LBGTQ+ political show, CROSSOVER, shows solid support for the Government of Canada’s scheduled Nov. 28 apology to the 2LGBTQ+ community for government-sanctioned discrimination dating back from the 1990s to decades prior.  A companion poll shows Americans would similarly support such an apology should one be issued by their government.  However, the poll shows that there are points of caution which could cause support for the apology to erode once it is announced.

“Nearly 49% of Canadians say that they approve of the government’s plan to apologize to members of the 2LGBTQ+ community, while almost 30% do not approve”, said Quito Maggi, President and CEO of Mainstreet Research.

“What is interesting to note is that Americans would also support the Trump administration if it decided to follow the steps of the Canadian Government,” Maggi continued. “However, they are not as keen on the idea as Canadians are.”

The poll also shows a gender gap (men favour the apology by just two percentage points, whereas women favour it by more than 2 to 1), robust support across all age groups (strongest in the 18-34 demographic) and majority or plurality support in all provinces except in the Prairies (Saskatchewan and Manitoba) and in Alberta, where overall support for the Liberals also happens to be weakest.

Much of Trudeau’s base – millennials, single women, urbanites, and some 2LGBTQ+ voters – will likely respond well to the apology.  One point of caution, however, is that only 27.9% of Canadian respondents have thus far given much attention to the issue, while 36.9% have not followed it closely at all (plus 15.2% who said, “not sure”).  Albertans are the most attentive to the issue (41.8% have followed the story at least somewhat closely), though majorities in every region across Canada claim they have not given much attention to the matter.  While the moral aspects of the apology are not lost on Canadians (the single most popular reason given from Canadians who support the apology is that it is “the morally right thing to do”), the issue’s political impact, so far, has been relatively muted.

“Since so many surveyed indicated that they have not paid much attention to the matter, how the apology will be received depends on factors not yet known: namely, what the substance of the apology will be, how the apology will be expressed, and what concrete actions will be taken in conjunction with the apology. The apology could be an issue where the public approves of it in theory, but opposition could form around its specifics,” said Dr. Robert Scharr, Political Scientist and Republican Co-Producer of the new 2LGBTQ+ political show, CROSSOVER.

“Something that could cause support for the apology to drop is the issue of financial compensation.   While the Prime Minister has signaled a clear intent to expunge all criminal convictions under the anti-homosexuality laws that his father’s government repealed in 1969, the government is also seeking to resolve a class-action lawsuit brought by groups who are seeking monetary reparations for those in the 2LGBTQ+ community who have been affected by state-sanctioned discrimination,” Scharr continued.

Whether reparations will be issued, who will be eligible to get them, and how much will be earmarked are also still unresolved, and Trudeau is facing political pressure – particularly from the NDP – to deliver on reparations on top of an apology.  Nationally, however, reparations appear to be a riskier proposition than the other remedies Trudeau has proposed; the Mainstreet poll tells us that Canadians are just as strongly opposed to reparations (by a margin of 47.5% to 28.6%) as they are supportive of the underlying apology.  Opposition to reparations outweighs support in each demographic and across all regions in Canada save for Québec (35% in favor, 34.8% opposed). 

Americans less favourable to apology

Mainstreet also polled Americans on the same questions.  Few respondents have been following Trudeau’s upcoming apology (9.5%). Overall support for such an apology, were the U.S. government to provide one, would be slightly less, but still net positive (45.1% in favor, 38.8% opposed). Those surveyed living in states won by Donald Trump in the 2016 election by more than five points would support an apology by a margin of four points, while respondents who live in states that were won by Hillary Clinton by more than five points would support one by a margin of fourteen points.  American women (52.5%) are more likely to support the apology than are men (36.3%), roughly coinciding with the gender gap in Canada.

Reparations, however, would be hugely unpopular in the United States. Americans would oppose monetary reparations to 2LGBTQ+ individuals by a margin of nearly three to one (60.3% to 21.2%), and opposition vastly outweighs support across all demographics and political affiliations.  Though a bipartisan bill was passed in 1987 to provide reparations to Japanese-Americans interned during World War II, and though reparations have been granted to various Native American tribes, no such accommodations have been made for any other groups.

In both the United States and Canada, the single biggest reason given for opposing reparations was because they are seen as “an example of political correctness gone too far.”

New 2LGBTQ+ Political Show, CROSSOVER

The poll comes as the first in a series conducted exclusively for the upcoming 2LGBTQ+ political show, CROSSOVER, which brings together members of each of 7 political parties in both the Canada and USA to discuss issues of interest on both sides of the border from a 2LGBTQ+ perspective.

CROSSOVER, representing the US Democrats, Libertarians, Republicans, as well as the Canadian Conservatives, Greens, Liberals and NDP, will offer fresh, unique, grassroots perspectives on issues of broad, national and local concern, with the show airing every Sunday at 7pm on various platforms starting in March 2018.

“We are excited about our new partnership with Mainstreet Research, and equally so to release the results of this very intriguing poll,” said Rob Scharr, CROSSOVER’s American Co-Producer.  Scharr added, “Trudeau and Liberals are on solid ground politically, and morally justified in their efforts to apologize and compensate.  They should tread carefully taking too many liberties with taxpayer money, though, and the poll results bear that out.”

Canadian Co-Producer and Liberal Co-Host, Bryn Hendricks noted, “An apology is not always an easy thing to give, especially when it wasn’t necessarily those giving the apology who were personally responsible for the actions they are apologizing for.”  Referring to the difference in cross-border results, Hendricks pointed out, “Canada and the USA have had a strong relationship for many years, the largest trading partnership in the world in fact.  It is my hope that with this apology, even a country like the United States may consider the injustices that occurred on this side of the border are not just Canadian.”

CROSSOVER and Mainstreet Research partnered in November 2017 in preparation for the show’s launch in March 2018.


MAINSTREET RESEARCH is a national polling firm. With 20 years of political experience at all three levels of government, President and CEO Quito Maggi is a respected commentator on public affairs.

Differentiated by its large sample sizes, Mainstreet Research has provided accurate snapshots of public opinion across Canada including the Liberal majority government in 2015 and the Alberta NDP majority. Starting in late 2016, Mainstreet Research USA began polling across the United States including National snapshots using a new frame that reports results in Democratic/Republican & Swing States. This new approach will allow Mainstreet not only to accurately predict popular vote numbers, but Electoral college outcomes. Mainstreet USA successfully predicted the outcomes of two large mayoral elections in NYC and Miami in November 2017.

CROSSOVER is a combination political and current affairs show with seven passionate partisan Co-hosts from both sides of the border and a dual-citizen moderator looking for common ground by discussing issues from a 2LGBTQ+ perspective.  Co-hosts representing diverse gender, racial and sexual identities (2LGBTQ+), and unofficially represent a major political party in the United States or Canada. American Co-hosts represent the Republican Party, the Democratic Party and the Libertarian Party. Canadian Co-hosts represent the Conservative Party of Canada, the Green Party of Canada, the Liberal Party of Canada and Canada’s New Democratic Party.

CROSSOVER.  Finding Common Ground.  Discussing Common Sense.