Canadians not hot for ‘commercial’ Valentine’s day, but will celebrate anyway: poll

A new survey from Insights West has found that while most Canadians are ambivalent to Valentine's Day -- they'll celebrate it anyway. svetikd/Getty Images

Most Canadians have a pretty poor opinion of Valentine’s day, but it won’t stop them from stocking up on flowers and chocolates. That’s the conclusion of a new poll from Insights West, which found that while four in five Canadians in a relationship dismiss the holiday as a “commercial enterprise,” three-quarters of them will celebrate it anyway.

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In fact, for many Canadians who are married or dating, the derision for Valentine’s Day runs deeper: a full 62 per cent described it as “a waste of time and money.”

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But despite their apparent ambivalence to all things Cupid, Canadians are planning to treat their dates anyway.

Just one in four respondents to the survey said they wouldn’t do anything special to mark the day, while a third said they will go out for dinner, a quarter said they will cook a special meal at home and one in five will pick up a Valentine’s card.

“Canadians seem to be playing it safe with their spouses and partners on Valentine’s Day,” said Insights West vice-president of public affairs, Mario Canseco, in a media release.

“While most are quick to dismiss the occasion as merely commercial, only a few are not going to spend any money on meals and gifts.”

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While slightly more than half of Canadians polled said they don’t expect a gift on Valentine’s Day, only one in three said they wouldn’t buy one.

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Women in a relationship said they were less likely to buy gifts — 43 per cent of them said they had no plans to shop for their partner, compared to 23 per cent of men.

But while a majority of Canadians had less than charitable things to say about Valentine’s Day, for some it is an important milestone.

One-third of respondents said the holiday was a chance to see if their spouse or partner cares about them, while 30 per cent called it “an important day.”

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The survey also asked Canadians to rate their partners over the last year, with 85 per cent of them giving a passing grade.

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That rate of satisfaction was highest in B.C., with 89 per cent of people giving the thumbs up — while Manitobans appeared to be the least happy with their significant others, with just 79 per cent saying they approved of their performance over the last year.

The poll was conducted online, surveying 869 Canadian adults currently in a relationship, and is considered accurate within 3.3 percentage points.

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