VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — As provincial governments walk the tightrope between ensuring public safety amid the pandemic and keeping their economies going, a new Angus Reid Institute survey finds many of us don’t feel COVID-19 restrictions go far enough.
Most restrictions focus on access to public spaces, physical distancing, and mask policies, where they exist.
The survey finds those in the four Atlantic provinces are most satisfied with the coordinated approach in that region.
By contrast, people in B.C. and Manitoba are most likely to say communities their province must be subject to tighter restrictions in order to keep COVID-19 spread down, while those in Alberta and Quebec are more likely to advocate for more relaxed restrictions.
In B.C., 38 per cent of people feel the pandemic restrictions don’t go far enough, while 40 per cent of Manitobans feel that way.
Nearly 60 per cent of Atlantic Canadians think their pandemic restrictions are just right, with just 19 per cent feeling they don’t go far enough.
Meanwhile, in nearly every region, more than half of Canadians (52 per cent ) feel their government has done a good job of balancing priorities.
— Angus Reid Institute (@angusreidorg) August 13, 2020
Only in Atlantic Canada do residents commend their provincial governments at a rate of three in five.
Provinces in this area are more isolated, which allows better governance over travel, says the poll. Those provinces also created a free-travel “bubble” that bars entry from other parts of the country, with certain exceptions.
Despite previous praise for its handling of the pandemic, B.C. now faces an upwardly trending curve, with several outbreaks linked to private parties.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has emphasized the need for residents to better exercise preventative measures over enforcing regulations or returning to stricter rules.
Premier John Horgan, however, threatened more enforcement Wednesday if British Columbians don’t shape up.
Horgan’s warning came as B.C. recorded the third largest single-day increase in cases since the start of the pandemic, with many related to young people in the Lower Mainland and travel outside the province,
Alberta and Quebec residents are most likely to say that their province’s restrictions are too strict. Quebec recently increased the maximum capacity of public gatherings from 50 to 250 people, the highest level in the country alongside New Brunswick.
Men, particularly those under the age of 55, are most likely to say that the restrictions in their province go too far. An identical 31 per cent of women across each age group feel the opposite.