Canadian do not want to speed up return to normal activities – America is a cautionary tale.

Bruce Anderson

Bruce Anderson

When asked to assess the speed at which different governments are moving to return to normal activities, most Canadians say the current pace is appropriate or things are going to fast. Few think the federal or provincial governments are moving too slowly. Most think the Trump Administration is moving too quickly.

Only 10% of respondents in our latest national survey think the federal government is moving too slowly to “return to more normal activities”, while three times as many people say the pace is too quick. The majority (61%) say things are going at about the right pace. In no province do more than 15% want things speeded up. The cautious instinct crosses party lines, with only 18% of Conservatives, 3% of Liberals, 13% of Bloc voters and 7% of New Democrats in favour of speeding up.

Responses are similar when people are asked about the pace of return to normal by their provincial government. Only 7% say the pace is too slow, compared to 29% who say too fast, and a majority (64%) say the pace is about right. In no part of the country do more than 11% want their provincial government to move more quickly and those in Alberta, SK/MB, and Ontario are more likely to want their governments to slow down the reopening.

These results contrast sharply with how Canadians see things going in the United States. Two in three (68%) Canadians think the Trump Administration is moving too quickly, while 15% say the right pace and 17% say America should move more quickly. The majority of supporters of all the political parties in Canada say the US should move more slowly.

Based no doubt in part on how they feel about the need for ongoing caution, and the perception that there is too little of that south of the border, Canadians are overwhelmingly of the view (89%) that the border should remain closed longer.


COVID fatigue may be real, but there’s not much appetite in Canada for speeding up economic recovery if it means greater health risks.

Canadians are mostly content with the pace set by their governments, or a bit anxious as re-opening unfolds, and watching new infection records and deaths rising again in the US will likely only make people more tentative about how they approach a return to a more normal life.


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The survey was conducted with 1,500 Canadian residents from June 26 t0 30, 2020. 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 +/- 2.8%, 19 times out of 20.

The data were weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched Canada’s population according to age, gender, educational attainment, and region. Totals may not add up to 100 due to rounding.

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