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Most Trusted Institutions – 2012 Trust Poll Results

From the Canadian Forces to Parliament, learn which institutions Canadians trust the most and why.

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Canada’s public institutions have some work to do on their reputations. With few exceptions, they earned lukewarm scores in our poll-roughly half of you trust them. This isn’t necessarily bad news, according to the editors of the 2009 anthology Whom Can We Trust? from the Russell Sage Foundation, a think tank with a special interest in trust issues. “Healthy skepticism keeps constituents alert and public officials therefore responsive,” they write, “but only if transparency is built into state institutions so that wary citizens may be constructively vigilant.”

Canada has a robust anti-corruption system compared to other nations. The Global Integrity Report (GIR), an annual peer-reviewed research project, rated Canada as the 19th most scrupulous country out of a list of 107, giving it credit for having a free press, an independent tax collection agency and an effective justice system.

Still, there’s plenty of room for improvement if we want to catch up to South Korea or Argentina (who placed first and second), namely in the access to information department: Our government tends to play things close to the chest, treating the asset disclosures of senior civil servants as confidential, and lagging in its response time to requests for information.

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1. Canada’s Most Trusted Institutions

The numbers indicate the percentage of respondents who claimed a positive level of trust towards the institutions in question.

1. Canadian Forces (68)
2. Supreme Court of Canada (65)
3. Parks Canada (64)
4. Elections Canada (61)
5. Bank of Canada (56)

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2. Canada’s Least Trusted Institutions

The numbers indicate the percentage of respondents who claimed a negative level of trust towards the insitutions in question.

1. House of Parliament (42)
2. CRTC (34)
3. Toronto Stock Exchange (31)
4. RCMP (28)
5. Canada Border Services Agency, Canada Post (27)