Canadians Would Support Harsher Measures for Those Violating COVID-19 Rules, Says Poll

March 31, 2020 Updated: March 31, 2020

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 percent), keeping at least two metres apart from others (95 percent), washing their hands more frequently than usual (95 percent), going out only for necessities (94 percent) and coughing or sneezing into their elbows (92 percent).

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

Fully 64 percent said they’ve personally witnessed people not respecting the measures implemented to curb the spread of the deadly CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.

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

virus party
The song “I will survive” plays aloud as friendly neighbours hold a six-foot party on their lawn where each of them stays at least six feet away from each other in Mill Valley, Calif., on March 17, 2020. (Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images)

And 77 percent 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 percent of respondents said they were very or somewhat satisfied with the federal government’s response, up five points from last week. Seventy-nine percent were satisfied with their provincial government’s response, fuelled by a 92 percent satisfaction rate in Quebec, while 67 percent were satisfied with their municipal government’s response.

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 percent who said it’s totally or partly overblown.

At the same time, the level of fear rose five points, with 62 percent saying they were very or somewhat afraid of contracting the disease themselves and 73 percent 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 percent said COVID-19 represents a major threat to Canada’s economy, 77 percent said it’s a major threat to the health of the country’s population, 73 percent to daily life in their community, 54 percent to their personal financial situation and 45 percent to their personal health.

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

Even so, 65 percent 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.

Epoch Times staff contributed to this report.