July 20, 2022 – Provincial governments in Canada are attempting to maintain a delicate balance amid a summer surge of COVID-19 cases, fueled by the BA.5 variant.
A new study from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds many Canadians continue to be worried about the risk the virus poses to their own and their families’ health. And while some are taking their own steps to prevent further spread, the appetite for government public health measures is minimal – and a fraction of what it was in previous waves.
Consider that last September amid the fourth wave of the virus, seven-in-ten Canadians (70%) said they would support a vaccine passport in their community to require residents to show proof of inoculation to enter larger public spaces; this concept is now supported by one-in-four (25%).
While masking in indoor spaces is still recommended by public health officials, it is not required in most public settings in Canada. Three-quarters of Canadians (74%) recognize the effectiveness of masking at reducing the spread of COVID-19, but half say they would support mandating it in public spaces (51%).
Regional, gender, and generational variations partially define the story. While vaccine passports are not palatable in any part of the country, more than half in B.C. (55%), Ontario (55%), and Atlantic Canada (62%) would accept a mask mandate in their community. This enthusiasm drops below two-in-five in Alberta (36%) and Saskatchewan (38%).
Men younger than 55, too, push back against the need for public health measures. Just one-in-three would implement a mask mandate in their community compared to a majority of all other age and gender combinations.
Support for vaccine passport in your province over time
More Key Findings
Three-in-ten say they are wearing a mask when they are inside places like grocery stores, banks or movie theatres “most” or “all of the time”. Half (53%) say they are doing so “rarely” or “never”.
Half of Canadians (47%) are frustrated by a lack of COVID-19 data in their province. A similar number (44%) say this doesn’t bother them and that they would not get much benefit from more data.
The Angus Reid Institute conducted an online survey from July 13 – 17, 2022 among a representative randomized sample of 1,602 Canadian adults who are members of Angus Reid Forum. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/- 2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding. The survey was self-commissioned and paid for by ARI.
For detailed results by age, gender, region, education, and other demographics, click here.
For detailed results by concern over personal infection and belief in the effectiveness of masking, click here.
To read the full report, including detailed tables and methodology, click here.
To read the questionnaire in English and French, click here.
Image – Mika Baumeister/Unsplash
From the Angus Reid Institute, Canada’s non-profit foundation committed to independent research.For detailed breakdown of the results, visit angusreid.org