Canadians are giving low marks to Ottawa and the provinces for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout so far, a new survey shows.
Asked to rate the job each level of government is doing in administering COVID-19 vaccines, a poll by Nanos Research found Canadians on average gave the federal government 4.7 out of 10.
The average rating given to provincial governments was 5.5 out of 10, found the survey, which was conducted for The Globe and Mail.
While provincial governments get a slightly higher rating than Ottawa, because of stronger reviews of their performance in Atlantic Canada and Quebec, pollster Nik Nanos said the scores are “actually weak for both” tiers of leadership.
“Let’s face it, if our kids came home with a five out of 10 on a test we’d say, ‘You’ve got some serious problems ... and things have to change.’”
These measurements suggest, he said, “Canadians aren’t really happy with federal or provincial governments.”
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Canada is among the world’s leaders in purchases per capita of COVID-19 vaccines, but it has struggled to get the shots delivered. Statistics collected by OurWorldInData.org shows Canada is lagging dozens of countries in vaccine doses administered.
Mr. Nanos said growing frustration among Canadians could make 2021 perilous for political leaders.
“For many Canadians they’ve been patient. They’ve done what they are told and things haven’t changed,” he said.
“Where in 2020 pandemic politics was very good for incumbent governments, we may find out in 2021 pandemic politics becomes very ugly for incumbent governments.”
At the same time, the Nanos poll found very strong support for new tougher travel measures.
Nine in 10 Canadians surveyed support mandatory COVID-19 testing for travellers heading back to Canada. Another 5.7 per cent said they somewhat support it. Just 3 per cent opposed it and 1.4 per cent were somewhat opposed.
Nearly 72 per cent those polled said they support the temporary suspension of flights by Canadian carriers to sun destinations such as the Caribbean and Mexico. Another 13.7 per cent said they somewhat supported it. Nine per cent opposed it and 4.7 per cent somewhat opposed it.
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Mr. Nanos said the results show Canadians are comfortable embracing more invasive measures to fight the pandemic.
“People are taking a more hard view of things,” he said. “The average Canadian has spent the last year wearing a mask, social distancing and not interacting in groups, and we’re still in a pandemic.”
The survey of more than 1,000 Canadians was conducted through phone calls and online questions between Jan. 31 and Feb. 4. The poll is considered accurate to within 3.1 percentage points 19 times out of 20.
The survey also found nearly two in three Canadians support or somewhat support a federal government bailout of airlines to help them weather the pandemic. Nearly 20 per cent said they would support it and 45 per cent said they would somewhat support it. More than 17 per cent said they would somewhat oppose this assistance while more than 15 per cent said they would oppose it.
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