POLL: Majority of Canadians say provinces should decide when to open up, not Trudeau government

Canadians don’t agree that the best way to reopen the economy is through province-wide measures.

Provinces around the country are slowly beginning to open up at different stages and local businesses to begin to open their doors as a result, but a new poll finds that Canadians don’t agree that the best way to reopen the economy is through province-wide measures.

A recent poll conducted by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies shows that just 35 percent of people agreed that restrictions should be reduced for entire provinces, according to Global News.

On the other hand, 47 percent of people thought the looser restrictions should be applied to certain regions within the provinces. Only 18 percent thought that the whole country should see the same reopening measures all at once.

There were 1,513 Canadians surveyed from May 15 to 17.

Slightly more than half of the people polled trusted that provinces can make their own decisions about which businesses should reopen. Close to one-third of people believed those decisions should be up to Ottawa while 14 percent said they should be decided by local governments.

In Quebec, this is more or less how things happened when the reopening of businesses, schools and day cares was delayed in the Greater Montreal area by the provincial government. This was due to coronavirus rates as well as a need for more health-care workers.

The poll found that Quebec had the most people—73 percent—who agreed that the decisions should be made on a region to region basis. Alberta followed at 52 percent.

“It’s as if Canadians are saying we need to be nimble in terms of how we make decisions,” said Christian Bourque, Leger’s vice-president.

Ontarians and Albertans had a little less trust in their provincial governments when it came to making decisions about reopening the economy at 46 percent. That number was 55 percent for Canada as a whole.

More people in Alberta said they would rather those decisions be made by their local governments at 24 percent in contrast with 14 percent of all Canadians.

When it comes to provinces loosening restrictions, 60 percent of Canadians said they are happy with the current rate. Of the people surveyed, 27 percent said the provinces should slow down while 13 percent said they should speed up.

The survey saw 67 percent of respondents say that they’ve been covering their face to protect themselves from the virus. Around half said they use a mask when shopping at a grocery store or travelling on public transit, while 42 percent said they wear one when going to the pharmacy. Around 10 percent said they’d use a mask when taking a walk.

The poll showed that 43 percent of people use the masks to keep themselves and others safe though the non-medical masks do not provide much protection to the person wearing them. They are meant to decrease the chances of transferring the virus to other people.