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Most Canadians comfortable with pace of easing restrictions: poll

Last Updated May 5, 2020 at 7:26 am PDT

A sales clerk keeps his distance from clients at a furniture store in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que. on Monday, May 4, 2020. Retail stores outside the greater Montreal area have been allowed to reopen after weeks of forced closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Summary

New poll shows most Canadians are happy with the pace at which provincial COVID-19 emergency measures are being eased

The exception is Alberta, where half of people polled want to pump the brakes a little

B.C. is set to unveil its plans on Wednesday for reopening the economy

OTTAWA — A new poll suggests Canadians are in step with their federal and provincial governments as they begin to gently lift restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 this month.

Several provinces have already laid out their plans, while B.C. is set to release its course of action on Wednesday.

People in most provinces taking steps to reopen were between 60 and 70 per cent supportive of the pace of those moves, while 16 to 30 per cent would like to see things slow down a little.

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But in Alberta, which plans to allow certain retail stores, restaurants and daycare centres to reopen as early as May 14, people seem less comfortable with how quickly things are moving.

There, 50 per cent of respondents would like the province to reopen the economy more slowly.

The poll also suggests Canadians’ fear of contracting the novel coronavirus is lower than it was at the end of March, and they are now slightly less likely to follow public health advice to stay away from friends and family.

The poll, conducted by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies between May 1 and 3, surveyed 1,526 adult Canadians and 1,002 adult Americans randomly recruited from its online panel.

It comes as some provinces are reporting no new cases of the virus, including Manitoba, Newfoundland, and PEI. Meanwhile, New Brunswick has gone more than two weeks without any new infections, and has no active cases at all.