May 29, 2018

People cite terrorism – domestic and international – as the biggest threats to our peace of mind

Download: Press ReleaseBackgrounder, Public Safety Unweighted Tables, Public Safety Weighted Tables

Vancouver, Canada (May 29, 2018) – Something is happening to the land of peace, order and good government. A recent survey shows that acts of terrorism such as the recent Toronto van attack are taking their toll – 52 per cent of those polled say the country’s not as safe as it was five years ago.

The survey, conducted May 15-17, by Vancouver-based research company NRG, three weeks after the April 23 Toronto van attack where 10 people were killed in an act of domestic terrorism, shows a growing uneasiness in the wake of the attack. The trend continues – on May 25, terrorists exploded a bomb in a Mississauga restaurant, injuring 15.

Attacks such as these are driving the increased anxiety about public safety in Canada: concerns about international and domestic terrorism are cited by a combined 85 per cent of respondents.

But while people think the country is becoming less safe, they continue to feel secure in their own cities and neighbourhoods, more so the closer they are to home. The survey shows that 49 per cent feel their cities are as safe as they were five years ago. And when asked about the safety of their neighbourhoods, 59 per cent believe they are as safe.

“From the data, it appears that people are as affected by media and probably social media as they are by their own experiences,” said Andrew Enns, President of NRG. “People are less inclined to view Canada as safe as it once was, yet they still have trouble believing it could happen to them where they live.”

This apparent disconnect is underscored when the responses from individual cities are examined. In the wake of the recent attack on Yonge Street in the middle of the Toronto, 54 per cent – a majority – of Torontonians still think their neighbourhoods are as safe as they were five years ago. However, only 36% of Toronto respondents said they felt their city was as safe as it was five years ago.

This relatively sanguine feeling about neighbourhoods is widespread – 55 per cent of residents of Canada’s three major cities still think their own neighbourhoods are safe. 58 per cent of those living in smaller cities feel their own neighbourhoods are safe, and 78 per cent of people in rural areas concur.


About NRG

NRG Research Group is a leading Canadian public affairs and market research company with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, and Winnipeg.


Andrew Enns, President

NRG Research Group




These results are from a provincially-representative Canada-wide study of 1,000 online respondents conducted by NRG Research Group from May 15-17, 2018. NRG purchased online panel sample from Research Now, a long-established, reputable research panel provider with an extensive panel list numbering over half a million panelists in Canada. The poll was conducted in English and French. Results were weighted to reflect the actual age and gender distribution in each region.

Since the research is conducted online using panel sample, it is considered to be a non-probability sample and therefore, margins of error are not applicable. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of a survey size of 1,000 cases with this sample plan would carry a margin of error of approximately +/- 3.2 percent, 19 times out of 20 for the total sample.

For the complete backgrounder including methodology and questionnaire, please visit

Andrew Enns