i referenced an article last week which claimed that, out of all the provinces in canada, quebec has the most corruption. i wondered out loud what the story was with french canadians, but françois objected saying that the problem is not (only?) the french canadians in quebec, but rather multicultural montreal inflating the corruption numbers for quebec on the whole. he pointed out that montreal has its share of italian mafioso types, for instance. certainly, as we all know, italians are no strangers to corruption and nepotism, and so it might, indeed, be a problem for montreal — and quebec — that seven percent of montreal’s inhabitants have an italian background. not to mention, like i already said, the general multicultiness of montreal. that doesn’t ever seem to lead to less corruption (unless you have an unbelievably wise leader).
still, i wondered if françois was right and that, if you took montreal out of the mix, that quebec wouldn’t look any more corrupt than, say, saskatchewan. so i looked around for corruption data for canada broken down by province and came up with…
…nada. (mind you, i didn’t really look all that hard, so it might be out there somewhere on the innerwebs.)
what i did find, however, are some neat data on the civic behaviors of canadians by province: things like amount of time spent volunteering, donations, and trust in others, etc.
before i present some of that data, i want to make it clear that complaining that canadians aren’t civic enough would be like complaining that germans don’t like beer enough — totally nonsensical! by any sort of metric that you look at — transparency international’s corruption perceptions index (canada was number 10 in 2011) or the world values survey civicness numbers — canadians are a very civic bunch. living anywhere in canada — quebec included — would obviously NOT feel like living anywhere in eastern europe or the arab world.
having said that:
so the québécois trust others quite a lot less than other canadians do. a lot less. now, maybe that’s all down to the presence of montreal in quebec, but then why are the people in ontario so gosh-durned trusting? i mean, ontario’s got toronto and last time i checked that is very multiculti city. (the greater toronto metropolitan region, btw, comprises nearly half of ontario’s population — 5.5M out of 12.8M — and the montreal metro area is about the same for quebec — 3.8M out of 7.9M.)
couldn’t find this trust data broken down intra-regionally.
but here are some data for donations that i did find broken down by cities within regions — this chart is sorted by “mean charitable donation” (note that the figures for percent english or french for each city come from either wikipedia or here which is where most of the wikipedia figures seem to have come from) [click on chart for LARGER view]:
as you can see, the six quebec cities in the survey all rank right at the bottom of the list wrt how much money they donated in 2010. british columbians, otoh, are right up there at the top. i found a positive 0.57 correlation between the percentage of english-canadians living in a city and mean donation size, and conversely a negative 0.58 (-0.58) correlation between the percentage of french-canadians living in a city and mean donation size. in other words, if you want to benefit from large charitable donations in canada, make sure you live where there are lots of people of english ancestry — british columbia seems to be your best bet.
françois might make the montreal objection again, but what about places in quebec with high numbers of french-canadians but negligible numbers of other ethnic groups (like italians) — sherbrooke and saguenay, for instance — why are the people in those places so comparatively ungenerous?
the funniest contrast is between gatineau in quebec and ottawa in ontario which are right across the ontario river from each other. in 2001, 37.6% of the gatineau population responded that they had french ancestry, but only 6.4% said they had english ancestry. the next biggest group after french was the irish at 7.6%. italians were only 1.4% of the population. otoh, gatineau’s neighbor, ottawa, had 24.3% of english decent. and more italians than gatineau (4.9%). but ottawans were much more generous than people from gatineau in 2010.
here are the data sorted another way — by the percentages of taxfilers in each city who claimed deductions for their donations:
i found no correlation for either percent of english or french living in a city and the percentage of the population having given a donation (and claimed it on their taxes) in 2010. still, you can see on the chart that five of the six quebec cities are still in the lower half of the chart, four of them below the national average. but, most of the british columbian cities were also below the national average wrt the percentage of people in those cities actually giving donations. they may be big donors, but fewer of them actually donate than compared to people in, say, ontario.
so, the people in canadian cities with relatively high percentages of french-canadians give smaller charitable donations compared to the national average for canada, and they seem to give less frequently, too — although the connection between that latter behavior and french or english ethnicity doesn’t seem to be so strong. and the people in the province with the most french canadians — quebec — trust others much less than the rest of canadians. and, as seen in the previous post, quebec experiences the most corruption.
there’s something up with french canadians, i think. my guess is that, like other inbred populations, they’re more family-oriented than anglos. they might not be giving so generously to strangers because they’re busy giving generously to close and extended family members. i dunno. this is hardly the last word on the social/civic behaviors of french canadians. further research is required! (~_^)
previously: what’s up with french canadians?
(note: comments do not require an email. quarter of quebec’s maple syrup reserves stolen!)