Majority of Canadians support return of face masks in indoor public spaces if deemed necessary: survey

Most Canadians say they would support or share some support for the return of face mask mandates this fall in indoor public space if deemed necessary by officials, according to a new survey conducted by Nanos Research.

The poll conducted for CTV News found seven in 10 Canadians said they would support the return of face masks mandates to some extent. Fifty-two per cent said they would support the return of such mandates, 17 per cent said they would “somewhat support” them, while 22 per cent would be against them. Eight per cent would be “somewhat” opposed to the idea.

At a national glance, Canadians across the provinces evenly agreed to the idea of the mandate, with respondents from most provinces reaching over 60 per cent in agreement. British Columbia reported the highest support with 72 per cent, followed by 71.4 per cent in Ontario, 71.3 per cent in the Atlantic, 65.3 per cent in Quebec and 62.9 per cent in the Prairies.

Of those opposed, respondents in the Prairies made up the highest percentage with 36.4 per cent, followed by 32.3 per cent in Quebec, 28.7 per cent in the Atlantic, 27.3 per cent in B.C. and 26.9 per cent in Ontario.

Women were more likely to agree to the return of the mandate with 72.6 per cent saying they would show support, compared to 64.4 per cent of men in agreement.

The survey also found 34 per cent of men would be opposed to the mandate in comparison to 26.1 per cent of women.

Both women and men over the age of 55 resoundingly agreed – more so than any other age bracket – with the hypothetical return of the use of face masks, with 82.8 per cent saying they would support it. The age group that would be most against the mandate were those aged 18 to 34 with the survey results showing 44.3 per cent opposed.

Most provinces dropped masking requirements earlier this year and within the last couple months, the federal government put an end to its COVID-19 border restrictions, including wearing face masks on planes and trains. However, amid a resurgence of respiratory illness cases in hospitals there has been a growing discussion of whether the return of a face mask mandate would be needed.

Hospitals are already overwhelmed with cases of respiratory illness especially among children, prompting some health experts, like Ontario’s top doctor, to reinstate recommendations to the public to mask up ahead of a difficult winter season.

With files from CTV News Toronto

METHODOLOGY

Nanos conducted an RDD dual frame (land- and cell-lines) hybrid telephone and online random survey of 1,084 Canadians, 18 years of age or older, between Oct. 30 and Nov. 4 as part of an omnibus survey. Participants were randomly recruited by telephone using live agents and administered a survey online. The sample included both land- and cell-lines across Canada. The results were statistically checked and weighted by age and gender using the latest census information and the sample is geographically stratified to be representative of Canada.

Individuals were called using random digit dialling with a maximum of five call backs. The margin of error for this survey is 3.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. This study was commissioned by CTV News and the research was conducted by Nanos Research. Note: Charts may not add up to 100 due to rounding.

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