Canadians expect business to support charity

More than three-quarters think corporations have a moral duty

Most Canadians think corporations have a duty to help the poor — even more than they think the rich should.

According to a National Post/Global National poll, 76 per cent of Canadians said corporations have a moral duty to support charity. That compares to 65 per cent who think rich people have the same moral duty.

But only one per cent thought business should be responsible for caring for people who cannot or will not care for themselves. A slim majority of 56 per cent said that responsibility should fall to the government, 27 per cent said families, four per cent private charities and three per cent religious organizations.

The responses to questions about charitable donations were split along political lines. A vast majority — 87 per cent — of NDP supporters said corporations have a duty to help charities compared to only 68 per cent of Alliance voters.

Conrad Winn, a pollster for COMPAS Inc. — the company who conducted the poll — told the Post the apparent preference for rich people over corporations is because corporations are faceless.

“Just as we have greater hopes for educating criminals than for punishing them, we also have a soft touch with human beings who are wealthy,” said Winn. “But corporations are not human beings, and they are readily held to a higher standard.”

COMPAS polled 608 people nationwide from Nov. 16 -19. The poll is considered to be accurate to within four percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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