A recent survey suggests that 50 percent of Canadians feel their governments are withholding information about the coronavirus and some respondents also believe certain conspiracy theories about where the virus began, the National Post reports.
The survey was conducted by Leger in partnership with the Association for Canadian Studies. Christian Bourque, the vice-president of Leger, was surprised by the results.
"It’s staggering, in a period where I believe trust has never been as high," said Bourque.
Respondents were also asked if they were satisfied with the measures being put in place by governments to fight coronavirus. Sixty-eight percent responded that they were satisfied with the actions of their local government, 74 percent were satisfied with the actions of the federal government and 78 percent were satisfied with their provincial government.
Those numbers seemed high to Bourque after seeing the amount of Canadians who believe they aren't getting the complete truth from the government.
The numbers were highest in Quebec with 60 percent of respondents saying they believe the government is hiding information.
Quebec now has almost 48,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus as of Monday, with slightly over 4,000 deaths, and 14,654 recoveries.
There were 1,510 people selected for the poll from May 22 to May 25. Because the participants were recruited from an online panel, there can be no margin of error assigned to the poll.
Participants were also asked how they feel about nine theories on the virus and the reasons it came to be.
"It’s basically stuff that’s been sort of thrown around the Internet," Bourque said when speaking of the theories brought up by the poll. "It’s stuff we saw go by and we started to make a list."
Only 15 percent or less of the respondents believe theories that Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is to blame for the virus, that coronavirus never existed at all, or that 5G networks are linked to the pandemic.
Over a third of people believe COVID-19 was created in a lab, or created by the Chinese government. Nineteen percent of people believe the number of virus related deaths has been exaggerated.
Of the nine theories brought forward, over half of those surveyed were on board with at least one.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau noted on Monday that transparency and openness have been the “watch words” from the beginning of the federal government’s efforts against the pandemic.
"But we recognize there’s always more to do in terms of openness and transparency and we will continue to demonstrate that with Canadians because we know fundamentally there is an issue of trust and confidence."
Trudeau added that Canadians will be more likely to listen to public health advice if they believe their government is being truthful and open.