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Many Canadians feel being told to wear a mask infringes on their freedom

People wear face masks as they walk along a street in Montreal, Monday, September 21, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Many Canadians say they feel being told to wear a mask is an infringement on their personal freedom

Poll finds most respondents feel putting a mask on before going out is their civic duty because it protects others

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Is that mask feeling a little tighter these days? The latest poll from Leger finds a significant number of Canadians feel being forced to wear one is an infringement on their personal freedom.

But while more than one-in-five (21%) of respondents say being told to wear a face covering violates their freedom, almost nine-in-10 (87%) say putting one on before going out is their civic duty because it protects others from COVID-19.

Three-quarters (75%) of Canadians asked say they tend to wear masks because they feel “it is the right thing to do” and more than eight-in-10 (83%) feel governments should make wearing a mask mandatory in all indoor public spaces, including public transit, restaurants, grocery stores and shops.

There have been a number of anti-mask protests recently in Canada. While a strong majority of people asked by Leger don’t support the demonstrations, there are 12 per cent of respondents who do. Compare that to the 31 per cent of Americans who support anti-mask protests.

Read the full survey results:


When it come to the spread of the coronavirus, 69 per cent of Canadians believe it is likely we will go back into full pandemic lockdown again within the next three months, with business closures and stay-at-home orders.

Leger says almost half (48%) of respondents feel their province has already entered a second wave of COVID-19, with the highest numbers in Ontario (57%), Quebec (52%) and British Columbia (51%).

“I saw that from Quebec today and I’m not clear exactly what parameters they are using,” Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said on Monday after being asked about the second wave declared in Quebec.

“We definitely are seeing a resurgence, and the important thing is, can we manage this, can we keep it in under control without having that rapidly growing exponential growth. And so far we’ve been able to do that, but we all need to continue doing our part to keep it that way.”

-With files from Mike Hall