Health care workers test patients in a COVID-19 drive thru assessment centre at a Hospital in Mississauga, Ont., on Monday, March 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Most abiding by COVID-19 rules, back fines, arrests of those who aren’t: poll

But 64 per cent said they’ve personally witnessed people not respecting the measures

Most Canadians are doing what they’re told to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and would support harsher measures to punish those who aren’t, a new poll suggests.

Of the 1,590 adults surveyed between March 27 and 29, the vast majority said they were practising social distancing (97 per cent), keeping at least two metres apart from others (95 per cent), washing their hands more frequently than usual (95 per cent), going out only for necessities (94 per cent) and coughing or sneezing into their elbows (92 per cent).

As well, 86 per cent said they’ve asked family and friends to practice social distancing. However, 15 per cent said they’ve visited friends or family.

Fully 64 per cent said they’ve personally witnessed people not respecting the measures implemented to curb the spread of the deadly virus.

A whopping 92 per cent they’d agree if governments authorized police to fine such people as some jurisdictions have begun doing; 82 per cent would agree to police arresting those who disrespect the measures.

And 77 per cent said they’d agree to a complete quarantine of an entire city if necessary, allowing no one to enter or leave except for essential services.

For now, however, the poll, conducted jointly by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies, suggests Canadians are broadly satisfied with the measures their governments have been taking to deal with the crisis.

Seventy per cent of respondents said they were very or somewhat satisfied with the federal government’s response, up five points from last week. Seventy-nine per cent were satisfied with their provincial government’s response, fuelled by a 92 per cent satisfaction rate in Quebec, while 67 per cent were satisfied with their municipal government’s response.

“Our sort of natural capacity as Canadians to trust government is probably what will help us get through this in better shape relative to our southern neighbours,” said Leger executive vice-president Christian Bourque.

The level of satisfaction among Canadians was in stark contrast to the 1,004 Americans who were simultaneously surveyed: just 47 per cent said they were satisfied with the U.S. federal government’s response, presided over by President Donald Trump.

The poll found the proportion of Canadian respondents who weren’t taking the crisis seriously went down three percentage points over the past week — to 17 per cent who said it’s totally or partly overblown.

At the same time, the level of fear rose five points, with 62 per cent saying they were very or somewhat afraid of contracting the disease themselves and 73 per cent afraid for a member of their immediate family.

Eight per cent said they know someone who has contracted the disease — up four points from last week.

Fully 92 per cent said COVID-19 represents a major threat to Canada’s economy, 77 per cent said it’s a major threat to the health of the country’s population, 73 per cent to daily life in their community, 54 per cent to their personal financial situation and 45 per cent to their personal health.

Fifty-four per cent said the crisis had already harmed their retirement savings or other investments, 45 per cent said they’ve seen their income decrease, 41 per cent said their ability to financially assist family members has declined, 27 per cent said it’s hurt their ability to pay their bills and 22 per cent said it’s hurt their ability to pay their mortgages or rent.

Even so, 65 per cent said they think the worst is yet to come.

Respondents were randomly recruited from Leger’s online panel. The poll cannot be assigned a margin of error because internet surveys are not considered random samples.

Joan Bryden, The Canadian Press

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Work set to begin on passing lane near Jaffray

The province says work will soon begin on a westbound passing lane… Continue reading

Cranbrook Public Library to reopen with limited capacity, restrictions

The Cranbrook Public Library is reopening to the public, following a closure… Continue reading

City set to tentatively reopen splash pads

The city has a tentative plan to reopen splash pads as part… Continue reading

It happened this week in 1913

June 28 – July 4: Items compiled by Dave Humphrey from the… Continue reading

QUIZ: Put your knowledge of Canada to the test

How much do you know about our country?

Lower Mainland teacher facing child pornography charges

Elazar Reshef, 52, has worked in the Delta School District

Man who rammed gate near Trudeau residence with truck faces multiple charges

The man, who police have not yet officially identified, will be charged with multiple offences

All community COVID-19 outbreaks declared over in B.C.

Abbotsford manufacturer cleared by Dr. Bonnie Henry

Kelowna RCMP commander calls for more nurses during wellness checks after complaint

Southeast District Commander wants to increase Police and Crisis Team program

‘Tarantula moth’ spotted in broad daylight on Vancouver Island

Polyphemus moths are one of the largest insects in B.C.

B.C. First Nations vow to keep fighting after Trans Mountain pipeline appeal denied

Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Coldwater Indian Band made the application

‘Queue jumpers’ not welcome in B.C. as COVID-19 U.S. cases rise: Horgan

Premier Horgan said he’s heard concerns that Americans have stopped at Vancouver hotels instead of heading to their destination

US officer resigns after photos, connected to death of black man in 2019, surface

Elijah McClain died, last summer, after police placed him in a chokehold

Most Read