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Who do you trust to decide when to reopen? B.C. looks to provincial leaders, says poll

FILE - Health Minister Adrian Dix, Premier John Horgan, and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry discussing plan to reopen B.C.'s economy on May 6, 2020. (Courtesy Flickr:bcgovphotos)

British Columbians put a lot of their faith in provincial leaders, more than municipal ones, new polls finds

Only Quebec shows a higher level of support for provincial leaders than B.C.

Just over 1-in-10 say municipal governments should be leading the charge

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — While the majority of Canadians endorse regional and local reopening plans, British Columbians are more likely to put their faith in provincial leaders than municipal ones, according to a new poll.

Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies polled 1,513 Canadians between May 15 and May 17 and found most people are opposed to opening the entire country at once, while a few more would support province-wide plans. Meanwhile, most endorse having different rules in place town-by-town or region-by-region.

Canada-wide support for regional restriction lifting was at 47 per cent while 35 per cent said a “deconfinement date” should be different between provinces, but the same within a province. Fewer than 20 per cent of those polled said they support lifting restrictions across Canada all at once.

However, in B.C., respondents indicate they are more likely to trust the provincial leadership team and support having province-wide reopening plans. Sixty-six-per-cent indicated, when asked, “Who do you trust the most to set the date for the lifting of the confinement / social distancing measures?” that they trust Premier John Horgan, Health Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry more than local or federal leadership.


Only Quebec respondents showed more support for a province-wide plan, with 68 per cent voting for such an approach there.

One example of a contentious decision that has provinces butting heads with the federal government is the reopening of the Canada-U.S. border.

The poll checked the temperature on when Canadians in each province would like to see that happen. About half of Canadians en mass said the border should remain closed until the end of the year, with one-third saying they would like to see it reopen in September.

In B.C., 43 per cent of those responding to the survey said they support a fall reopening of the border while 40 per cent said they can wait until years’ end.