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From Angus Reid Institute

Over half of Canadians would bring back mandates

Three-in-ten Canadians (31%) say they’re wearing a mask most of the time when in public spaces

December 22, 2022 – This year’s holiday season looks a lot different than the previous two, with public health restrictions now largely left to the Ghost of Christmas Past. However, a large group of unmasked Canadians would evidently appreciate a push from government to force them to take a more cautionary approach.

A new study from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds more than half of Canadians supportive of re-implementing mask mandates if cases of COVID-19 rise this winter. This, while just three-in-ten (31%) say they are wearing a mask more than half of the time in public spaces currently on their own volition.

As immune-evasive Omicron variants spread, and influenza and respiratory illnesses cause problems for health care providers across the country, some have speculated that mask mandates may be needed to curb infection. One-quarter (23%) of those who “never” wear a mask say they would support a mask mandate while two-thirds (65%) of those who rarely but sometimes wear one also say they would accommodate a return to mandatory masking.

As many look to their government for action on masking, few have the same appetite for a reintroduction of vaccine passports. One-in-five (21%) would support this action, while two-in-five Canadians (42%) say neither masking mandates nor vaccine passports should be in Canada’s future.

In your opinion, if Covid-19 cases continue to rise this winter, should the chief medical officer of health in your province reintroduce:

More Key Findings


Those in Alberta (58%) and Saskatchewan (59%) are the most likely to say they are never wearing a mask in public. Those in Nova Scotia (22%), Newfoundland and Labrador (19%) and Ontario (20%) are the most likely to say they are wearing a mask all the time when they are in the grocery store or bank.

Thinking Covid

Seven-in-ten (68%) of women over the age of 54 say COVID-19 is still something they think about regularly.

Mask Mandates

Women (63%) are more likely than men (45%) to support a return of mask mandates.

A Passive Approach

As evidenced by their masking practices, many Canadians are now taking a passive approach to COVID-19. Half (49%) say they do not think about the disease anymore, including two-thirds of men younger than 55.

Survey Methodology

The Angus Reid Institute conducted an online survey from Nov. 28 – Dec. 3, 2022 among a representative randomized sample of 5,030 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 +/- 1 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.

To read the full report, including detailed tables and methodology, click here

To read the questionnaire in English and French, click here.

Image – Dev Asangbam/Unsplash

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From the Angus Reid Institute, Canada’s non-profit foundation committed to independent research.

For detailed breakdown of the results, visit

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