Most Canadians in favour of public review into governments COVID-19 response

Just over half of Canadians are satisfied with how the federal government has handled the COVID-19 pandemic, but results from a poll show most people still want a public review of various levels of government.

According to the polling company Research Co, around two-thirds of Canadians say an inquiry is needed into the way Ottawa and the provinces managed the pandemic. Mario Canseco with the company tells CityNews that Canadians have expressed interest in everything starting from reviewing health care procedures to how information was communicated to the public.

“There’s been a lot of talk about whether we should do a public inquiry that focuses, for instance, exclusively on the care homes, and there was high support for that a couple of years ago. People want to see something done,” he explains.

“What we see right now from Canadians is that they would like to deal with this holistically. They want to take a look at the economic situation, how much money is this going to cost us down the road, because we have to keep everybody afloat during the early months of the pandemic. But it’s/its also about preparedness,” he added.

“I think that’s one of the key elements here. We’ve spent a lot of time discussing what to do and how to manage it. We had that unfortunate situation where we have mixed messages about masks in the early stages of the pandemic. Those are the things that people would like to review more thoroughly. So that when the next pandemic rolls around, we’re better prepared.”

This want for a review comes despite many people having high levels of support for how their province’s handled everything.

Canseco says the level of satisfaction of how the province managed COVID-19 in B.C. has been one of the highest in the country.

“This month, it’s at 61 per cent, there was a moment when it got to 80 per cent, in 2020. So there’s always been a high level of support for what the government has been doing. And there’s also a high level of support for holding this holding inquiry — it’s at 61 per cent in B.C., so a little bit lower than the actual average that we have for the entire country. But it certainly suggests it’s okay to say the government has been handling things well, but also to try to learn something about what we’ve experienced over the past couple of years … They would still like to learn everything they can, so that if we face something similar in the future, we are better prepared.”

People who voted Liberal in the last election were more in favour of an inquiry than those who voted Conservative or NDP.

But just over half of Canadians are still anxious about the end of restrictions and mandates, and only a minority plan to go to the movies, sports event, or live concerts… or planning a trip in the next few weeks which was a surprise, Canseco says.

“We’re not at the same level when it comes to our own behavior that we were back in 2019. And it shows also when it comes to travel. Even though we have the summer ahead of us, there’s very few Canadians who are actually planning a trip whether by car or by airplane. So this is going to be the crucial thing to watch in the next couple of months. As we get closer to the summer. Are we going to see Canadiens essentially recover and look at certain things and act a certain way that is different from the way they acted during the COVID-19 pandemic?”

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