Majority of Canadians Support Wearing Masks During COVID-19, Oppose Protests: Poll

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OTTAWA – A new survey suggests that the recent increase in new cases of COVID-19 across Canada is accompanied by a similar increase in support for mandatory masks in public places. The online poll by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies indicates that 83 percent of respondents believe governments should order people to wear masks in all indoor public spaces.

That was a 16% increase from July, before the recent surge in COVID-19 cases raised concerns that many parts of the country were entering the dreaded second wave of the pandemic.

Even more – 87% – felt that wearing a mask was a civic duty because it protects others from COVID-19 while 21% felt it was a violation of personal freedoms, a 6% decrease compared to July.

As for the anti-mask protests that have taken place in various parts of the country in recent weeks, 88% of those polled said they opposed the protests while 12% supported them.

The online survey was conducted September 18-20 and surveyed 1,538 Canadian adults. It cannot be given a margin of error because Internet surveys are not considered to be random samples.

“In a way, once again, anti-masks are a minority and not a growing minority in Canada,” said Léger’s executive vice-president Christian Bourque.

“The fear of catching it is on the rise. People who believe there will be a second wave are on the rise. And now the people who say we should make masks mandatory are on the rise. ”

Fears of contracting the new coronavirus responsible for the disease known as COVID-19 have indeed been growing since the end of June.

Sixty-one percent of respondents to the latest poll feared catching the disease which has infected more than 145,000 Canadians, killing more than 9,200. That was up from 51% in mid-June.

Two-thirds believe it is likely that Canada will enter another lockdown in the next three months, while 83% believed the country would experience a second wave of COVID-19 – three% more than last week.

Yet the poll also found that more respondents relaxed over the past month when it came to diligently following public health guidelines for physical distancing, mask wear and hand washing. .

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on September 22, 2020

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