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Half of Canadians say governments are hiding something about COVID-19: poll

Last Updated May 26, 2020 at 6:55 am PDT

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks towards the podium as he walks out the front door of Rideau Cottage to attend a news conference in Ottawa, Monday, May 25, 2020. According to a new poll, half of Canadians believe they're not getting the whole truth from their governments about COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Summary

Canadians are split when it comes to whether governments are being completely truthful amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Survey finds of nine theories about COVID-19, more than half of people polled believe at least one

Number of people who believe governments are withholding information is higher in the U.S., poll finds

OTTAWA — Canadians are pretty evenly split when it comes to whether or not our governments are telling the truth during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies found 50 per cent of people polled in Canada felt governments were deliberately withholding information about the viral outbreak.

The pollsters also asked 1,510 adult Canadians selected from an online panel between May 22 and May 25 about specific theories that have circulated online about the virus.

Few of those who responded believe Bill Gates is responsible for the spread of the novel coronavirus, that there’s a link between the pandemic and 5G networks, or that COVID-19 never existed in the first place.

But 37 per cent of people believe that the virus was created in a lab, and 34 per cent think it was created by the Chinese government.

Of the nine theories put forward, more than half of people polled — 53 per cent — agreed with at least one of them.

The number of skeptics grows when you head south of the border, with the survey finding 65 per cent of Americans said they believe governments are deliberately withholding information, versus 35 per cent who said they were telling the whole truth.

Meanwhile, back in Canada, the majority of respondents — 86 per cent — said they are concerned about a possible second wave of the coronavirus this fall.

Concern was highest in B.C. and Ontario, at 91 per cent in each province, followed by Manitoba and Saskatchewan, at 90 per cent.