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Alberta bucks the trend on COVID-19 compared to Canada, cites love for freedom: poll

Premier Jason Kenney announced during his Stampede Breakfast in Calgary that he would not impose mandatory vaccines or vaccine passports.

Alex Anas Ahmed Calgary AB

According to a new Leger poll, Albertans are not on board with the rest of Canada on public health measures for COVID-19.

While 52 percent of Canadians oppose reopening the Canada-US border, 60 percent of Albertans support the move. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Monday that full-vaccinated Americans can travel to Canada as of August 9, extending to fully vaccinated travellers from elsewhere on September 7. About 27 percent of Albertans advocate an immediate relaxing of international travel restrictions.

While 66 percent of Canadians support a two-dose requirement as the condition of entry into the country, only 49 percent of Albertans feel the same way. Similarly, 16 percent of Canadians believe a current negative COVID-19 test before entry suffices, while 27 percent of Albertans support a more lax condition for entry.

The trend continues as well for mandatory vaccinations, with 42 percent of Albertans in favour, compared to 53 percent of Canadians. Premier Jason Kenney announced during the Premier’s Stampede Breakfast in Calgary that he would not impose mandatory vaccines or vaccine passports, unlike his fellow premiers in Manitoba and Quebec, despite 49 percent of residents supporting vaccine passports. Only 39 percent disagree.

On recreational activities, Albertans are also more comfortable than Canadians with a return to pre-pandemic normalcy. Notably, Albertans had an immediate desire to attend outdoor family gatherings (81 percent to 73 percent ), going back to work (71 percent to 56 percent), going to the gym (55 percent to 38 percent), flying (54 percent to 37 percent), and partying at a nightclub (45 percent to 32 percent) among other activities. Alberta was the first province to reopen fully after mounting vaccination rates and declining active cases, hospitalizations, and deaths

The gap between Albertan and the rest of Canada widens on calls to lift all public health restrictions, at 48 percent to 23 percent. A resounding 70 percent of all Canadians oppose lifting all measures now.

Canadians are also evenly split on whether they approve disapprove of Justin Trudeau’s performance since he came to office in 2015, at 48 percent and 47 percent. The top three issues Canadians think Trudeau has performed well or very well on include:

  • Managing the COVID-19 pandemic (55 percent).
  • Improving Canada’s international reputation (47 percent).
  • Improving relations with provincial and territorial leaders (42 percent).

47 percent of Canadians indicate their opinion of Trudeau has worsened since he became prime minister in 2015.

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