Sixteen per cent of those surveyed say they’re more likely this year to find a way to celebrate Canada Day, in a June 30, 2020 story. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Poll suggests COVID-19 not changing Canada Day for many Canadians

OTTAWA — COVID-19 means the true north is not entirely free this Canada Day, but a new survey suggests that’s not going to change how many people mark the holiday.

Leger Marketing and Association for Canadian Studies surveyed Canadians asking whether, given all that’s gone on in the last three months with the COVID-19 pandemic, they’ll be more or less likely to find a way to celebrate this year.

For 42 per cent of those polled, this Canada Day will be no different than any other.

Sixteen per cent overall of those surveyed are feeling that true patriot love — they say they’re more likely this year to find a way to celebrate, even if it’s just a small gathering.

The feeling is strongest in B.C., the province widely seen as weathering the COVID-19 storm better than others. There, 22 per cent say they’re more likely to party.

But 38 per cent overall in Canada are standing on guard, saying it’s actually less likely they’ll mark the holiday.

In Ontario, still struggling with pockets of oubtreaks, 44 per cent say they’re less likely to mark the occasion, and the figure is the same for those in Alberta.

In the U.S., where there is a surge of outbreaks and some states have even revised their opening plans, 39 per cent of those polled say it’s less likely they’ll mark their own national holiday, the Fourth of July.

For 35 per cent of Americans, their plans are unchanged, while 18 per cent say they’re more likely to celebrate.

The poll surveyed 1,524 Canadians and 1,002 Americans online between June 26 and June 28 and cannot assigned a margin of error because internet polls are not considered truly random.

As both countries get set to celebrate, there is more of a divide when it comes to how they’re feeling about their respective nations.

Of those polled, 90 per cent say they’re proud to be Canadian, compared to 74 per cent of Americans.

For Americans, it is a phrase rooted in the Declaration of Independence that gives them the most pride: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — 93 per cent said that was the thing that made them most proud to be American.

For Canadians, the slightly less cinematic slogan of “peace, order and good government” was also at the top of the list, as was universal health care, the natural landscape and equal rights.

Mid-way through the rankings? Political leadership. Fifty-five per cent of Canadians surveyed said it was Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who makes them proud, compared to 42 per cent who feel the same about U.S. President Donald Trump.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 30, 2020.

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