VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – As Premier John Horgan warns that tighter restrictions are on the horizon if we don’t work to knock down the rate of new COVID-19 cases in B.C., new polling shows many of us support additional measures, if needed.
Some provinces have talked about bringing in a temporary nighttime curfew to help control the spread of the coronavirus, and while B.C. Provincial Health Officer Doctor Bonnie Henry has not made that specific suggestion, the latest poll from Leger finds strong backing for the idea here in B.C.
Three-quarters of British Columbians — 76 per cent — say they would be okay with a curfew if things were serious enough and it was recommended by public health. That’s higher than the two-thirds of Canadians — 67 per cent — who support the idea nationally.
However, the support seen in B.C. isn’t the highest grouping across Canada. People in Manitoba and Saskatchewan polled highest, with 77 per cent of respondents saying they would back the idea.
A night-time curfew appears to be less popular in Quebec, where 63 per cent of respondents support such a lockdown, with support only slightly higher in Ontario and Alberta, at 64 per cent.
Suggestions for an overnight curfew seem to be more appealing to people over the age of 55, with 76 per cent of respondents in that age group saying they’d support such a measure. Perhaps unsurprisingly, younger people — those between the ages of 18 to 34 are less supportive of a curfew, at 55 per cent.
Overall, only 25 per cent of Canadians say they oppose a curfew in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Monday, Horgan warned that since so many people are ignoring the rules in place to try to keep the infection rate low in B.C., more restrictions could come if that doesn’t change.
“In the last two weeks, we’ve seen a dangerous increase in COVID-19 cases, particularly in the Lower Mainland,” Horgan said.
Q why not take more stringent measures now?@jjhorgan people will judge us by the outcomes at the end not day by day.
Following the science if current restrictions don't work then will alter/increase.#bcpoli #covid19 @NEWS1130
— LizaYuzda (@LizaYuzda) November 9, 2020
Over the weekend, tighter controls were ordered on social gatherings — no-one outside your immediate household — in the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health regions.
“If we want to avoid the more onerous restrictions that are being imposed in other jurisdictions we need to take advantage of the opportunities to find safe ways to operate. It’s gonna require people to get with the program, and there’s a whole bunch of people who are not abiding by the minimalist rules we had in place,” Horgan said.
The premier also noted that returning to a shutdown of businesses is something the province wants to avoid. However, that option isn’t being ruled out, with Horgan calling it “the end result” if numbers don’t come down.
Full Leger poll results:Legers-Weekly-Survey-November-9th-2020-min-2
-With files from Liza Yuzda and Lisa Steacy