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Majority of Canadians would back mandatory mask laws, but support not as strong as in U.S.: poll

Last Updated Jun 30, 2020 at 8:04 am PDT

Packages of face masks on April 29, 2020. CITYNEWS/Tony Fera

New poll finds most Canadians think masks, face coverings should be mandatory in public, confined spaces

Support for mandatory masks isn't nearly as high in Canada as it is in the U.S., Leger has found

In the U.S., 70 per cent of poll respondents are in favour of making masks in public or confined spaces mandatory

TORONTO (NEWS 1130) – The mayor of Toronto expects his city to pass a bylaw Tuesday making masks mandatory, and the latest polling shows Canadians, overall, like the idea of requiring everyone wear a face-covering in public to protect against COVID-19.

The latest poll from Leger this week finds 58 per cent of Canadians think masks should be mandatory when out in public and in confined spaces such as grocery stores or transit.

People in Ontario and Quebec are most supportive of mandatory mask rules — with about two-thirds of respondents saying so — which is not surprising given the two provinces account for 86 per cent of Canada’s COVID cases.

In B.C., the level of support drops to 52 per cent. There’s even less backing for mandatory mask-wearing in Alberta, 41 per cent, in Atlantic Canada, 49 per cent, and in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, 34 per cent.

Compare that to numbers in the US, where Leger finds 70-percent of Americans believe masks should be mandatory in public, as the number of COVID-19 diagnoses surges in may states.

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In B.C., the number drops to just over half, with 52 per cent. There’s even less support for mandatory mask wearing in Alberta, 41 per cent, in Atlantic Canada, 49 per cent, and finally in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, 34 per cent.

Meanwhile, Toronto Mayor John Tory is expected to make another push Tuesday morning for Ontario to make masks mandatory in public.

Tory and other Ontario mayors all pushing to make face coverings mandatory in public. They were hoping the province would put in a provincial order, however, Ontario’s minister of health has said such a move can be done at the municipal level to ensure regions can be responsive to local needs.

Despite not implementing an order, the province and others continue to urge Canadians to wear masks, if possible, and to continue to practice physical distancing.

-With files from 680 NEWS