Majority of Canadians support wearing masks during COVID-19, oppose protests: poll

Majority of Canadians support wearing masks during COVID-19, oppose protests: poll

OTTAWA — A new survey suggests the recent rise in new COVID-19 cases across Canada comes with a similar increase in support for the mandatory wearing of masks in public places.

The online survey by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies says 83 per cent of respondents feel governments should order people to wear a mask in all indoor public spaces.

That represented a 16 per cent increase from July, before the recent rise in COVID-19 cases has sparked concerns many parts of the country are entering the dreaded second wave of the pandemic.

Even more — 87 per cent — felt wearing a mask was a civic duty because it protects others from COVID-19 while 21 per cent felt it was an infringement on personal freedoms, a decline of six per cent from July.

As for the anti-mask protests that have happened in various parts of the country in recent weeks, 88 per cent of respondents said they opposed the demonstrations while 12 per cent supported them.

The online poll was conducted Sept. 18 to 20 and surveyed 1,538 adult Canadians. It cannot be assigned a margin of error because internet-based polls are not considered random samples.

“In a way, again, the anti-maskers are a minority and not a growing minority in Canada,” said Leger executive vice-president Christian Bourque.

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

Fears of contracting the novel coronavirus that causes the illness known as COVID-19 have indeed been steadily growing since the end of June.

Sixty-one per cent of respondents in this latest poll worried about catching the illness that has infected more than 145,000 Canadians, killing more than 9,200. That compared to 51 per cent in mid-June.

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

Yet the poll also found more respondents had relaxed over the past month when it came to diligently following public health guidelines in terms of physical distancing, mask-wearing and hand washing.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 22, 2020.

Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press

Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

Your weather forecast for Thursday, August 1st, 2019. (Pixabay)
Expect a slightly windy day in Red Deer Tuesday

Expect a slightly windy day in Red Deer. Although as of noon… Continue reading

Red Deer saw an increase in active COVID cases as of Monday. (Image courtesy the CDC)
Monitoring COVID around the clock in Red Deer

Following guidance from Alberta’s medical officer of health

Alberta Union of Provincial Employees were back on the job Tuesday after a province-wide wildcat strike on Monday. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer hospital workers back on the job

Red Deer hospital was one of 45 sites with picket lines

Alice Kolisnyk, deputy director of the Red Deer Food Bank, says the agency expects an increase in demand as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Every new subscription to the Red Deer Advocate includes a $50 donation to the food bank. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Support the food bank with a subscription to the Red Deer Advocate

The community’s most vulnerable members are always in need of a hand,… Continue reading

Kathleen Finnigan was named superintendent for the Red Deer Regional Catholic School Board Tuesday. (Photo courtesy of Red Deer Regional Catholic Schools)
Kathleen Finnigan named Red Deer Regional Catholic Schools superintendent

The Red Deer Regional Catholic School Board will be led by new… Continue reading

(Emily Jaycox/Bashaw Star)
Wreath laying ceremony held in Manfred, Alta.

Ceremony marks 64th anniversary of Hungarian revolution, honours settlers

The Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre could be affected by cuts to Alberta Health Services announced by the government Tuesday. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
David Marsden: Yes, we know how to do laundry

Union leaders would have us believe there’s something special about their members:… Continue reading

FILE - In this Jan. 15, 2019, file photo, members of South Korean K-pop group TWICE pose for photos on the red carpet at the Seoul Music Awards at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, South Korea. TWICE, a popular K-pop group known for its catchy lyrics and colorful aesthetics, released its second full album, a collection that invites listeners into the band’s more daring side. “Eyes Wide Open,” released Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, has 13 songs, including the lead single “I Can’t Stop Me.” (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man, File)
K-pop band TWICE reveals its daring side on new album

Half a decade of experience under their belt

In this video grab issued Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020, by MTV, The Weeknd performs “Blinding Lights” during the MTV Video Music Awards. (MTV via AP)

Most Read