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Most Canadians want public inquiry into governments’ pandemic response: poll

66% of Canadians want a review of the federal government’s pandemic management
A man wears a face mask as he leaves a metro station in Montreal, Saturday, March 12, 2022, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada. Two public health experts say Quebec has already entered a sixth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic driven by the BA.2 subvariant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

A majority of Canadians want to see behind the curtain and review how provincial and federal governments handled the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a poll conducted by B.C.-based pollster, Research Co., 66 per cent of those polled said they would favour a public inquiry into how the federal government has managed the pandemic.

So far, the federal Liberals haven’t announced any plans to launch such an inquiry, though the poll found 77 per cent of Liberal voters would favour an inquiry along with 67 per cent of Conservatives and 66 per cent of NDP voters.

Even provinces where the public has been largely supportive of their government’s handling of the pandemic — B.C., Quebec and Ontario — want an inquiry into how decisions were made. The survey found 64 per cent of Canadians want reviews into their province’s pandemic management and 61 per cent want to see municipal reviews as well.

Last month, the B.C. provincial government announced it would hold an independent review of its pandemic response, though the review will not look at the impact of public health orders and economic measures, but rather how those decisions were made.

READ MORE: B.C. launches review of COVID-19 pandemic response

B.C. has the highest reported rate of satisfaction with the way the province has handled the pandemic at 61 per cent. Meanwhile, Alberta is the lowest with only 37 per cent support.

Most Canadians — 56 per cent — reported feeling anxious about the lifting of public health measures like indoor masking, social distancing and vaccine passports.

Results are based on an online study conducted from April 16 to April 18, 2022, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error, which measures sample variability, is +/- 3.1 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.


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