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By: Michael Monopoli

As our data from last week showed, the so-called freedom convoy has been a polarizing issue for Canadians. As tensions continue to run high here in Ottawa and elsewhere across the country, we wanted to dig deeper to explore how the pandemic and subsequent public health mandates have changed how we relate to our friends, colleagues, and families.

Our latest survey finds half of us hold a different view on measures/actions taken relating to the COVID-19 pandemic than someone close to us. This is most common among younger Canadians (those aged 18-29), Alberta residents, and those who support the freedom convoy. But who are these disagreements between? And are some more likely to end in a failed relationship than others?

Well, our data indicates that differences in opinion are most often seen between family members or friends. Conflicting opinions are much less common among colleagues, spouses/partners/significant others, and even rarer between employee and employer.

About 1 in 4 Canadians have had a relationship deteriorate because of these differing opinions related to the safety measures, mandates, and restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For those who’ve experienced differing opinions with a colleague or friend- over half say they’ve had a relationship deteriorate due to these differing views.

All in, the average Canadian whose relationship(s) have been impacted because of their differing views on the pandemic and pandemic related measures has seen three relationships deteriorate.

Still, some views appear to be more conflicting than others. Those who are skeptical about the measures taken to reduce the spread of COVID-19 (mask mandates, travel restrictions, vaccine mandates, etc.) have seen more relationships deteriorate than those who support these measures. However, this may be due to the fact that those who are pro-vaccine account for a large majority of the population, and are therefore likely to encounter far fewer individuals whose opinions regarding COVID-19 differ from their own.


According to Michael Monopoli: “As tensions regarding COVID-19 continue to run high across the nation, relationships are feeling an added strain. With last week’s data showing that the convoy in Ottawa is proving to be quite the polarizing topic among Canadians, many may be struggling to empathize with those around them.

It seems the widespread social, economic and health consequences of the pandemic have just created more topics to hold differing opinions on. And, while differing opinions may be nothing new for Canadians, it the pandemic has led many to re-evaluate the values they want to share with those around them.”


The survey was conducted with 1500 Canadian adults from February 9 to 13, 2022. A random sample of panelists were invited to complete the survey from a set of partner panels based on the Lucid exchange platform. These partners are typically double opt-in survey panels, blended to manage out potential skews in the data from a single source.

The margin of error for a comparable probability-based random sample of the same size is +/- 2.53%, 19 times out of 20.

The data was weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched Canada’s population. Totals may not add up to 100 due to rounding.

Abacus Data follows the CRIC Public Opinion Research Standards and Disclosure Requirements that can be found here:  https://canadianresearchinsightscouncil.ca/standards/



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