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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives to a cabinet meeting on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on Nov. 29.Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

The federal government’s decision to invoke the Emergencies Act to end last winter’s protracted anti-government, anti-vaccine mandate protests is largely supported by Canadians, according to a new poll.

After six weeks of intense scrutiny at the inquiry into the invocation of the act, the government appears to have emerged unscathed, according to a Nanos Research poll for The Globe and Mail.

But the poll also hints at some political risk for Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre, who publicly supported the protests.

Sixty-six per cent of respondents either supported or somewhat supported the government’s precedent-setting decision to invoke the Emergencies Act in response to the convoy protests that gridlocked the capital and jammed some border crossings.

Thirty per cent opposed it or somewhat opposed it, and 4 per cent were unsure, according to the hybrid telephone and online random survey conducted between Nov. 27 and Nov. 29.

It looks like a “majority of Canadians are on board with what was done,” Nanos Research founder Nik Nanos said. The results show that the high-stakes testimony of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his top ministers at the inquiry didn’t turn into a political liability for his government.

However, the inquiry has revealed a downside for the Official Opposition. As the Public Order Emergency Commission – as it is officially called – dominated national news coverage in October and November, the Nanos Research ballot tracker shows that overall support for the Conservatives slipped and the lead they held over the governing Liberals evaporated.

“If there continues to be a focus on the convoy and the inquiry, it could be a potential risk for Pierre Poilievre,” Mr. Nanos said.

The survey was conducted soon after Mr. Trudeau testified on Nov. 25. His appearance capped off the public hearings, which also included the release of thousands of documents that revealed behind-the-scenes feuding between different levels of government and comments not meant for public consumption.

Despite some of the controversial revelations, the group that came out looking the worst was the protesters themselves. The poll shows 46 per cent of respondents believed the protesters left the worse impression, followed by 23 per cent who said the same for the federal government.

Explainer: What happened during The Public Order Emergency Commission

Ten per cent of respondents said the inquiry left them with a negative impression of all involved. Eight per cent said the Ontario government came out looking the worst. Four per cent were left with that impression of the city of Ottawa, and 3 per cent believed the police left the worst impression. Four per cent were unsure.

The poll had 1,025 respondents. The Globe does not report the margin of error for online polls.

A separate Nanos poll – conducted in the same time frame with the same number of respondents for CTV News – shows Canadians are split on whether the country is prepared for another similar protest. Fifty per cent believe Canada is prepared or somewhat prepared, and 45 per cent believe it is not prepared or somewhat unprepared. Five per cent were unsure.

When asked specifically about police preparedness for a similar protest, 28 per cent of respondents said they had less confidence in the ability of the police to respond to a repeat protest, 25 per cent said they have more confidence, 42 per cent said their confidence was about the same and 5 per cent said they were unsure.

One of the protest leaders, James Bauder, who told the inquiry on Nov. 3 that God directed him to start a convoy in 2021, is trying to organize another one for February, 2023. Last week, the Prime Minister’s national security and intelligence adviser, Jody Thomas, told a parliamentary committee that the government is already planning for a reboot.

University of Ottawa associate criminology professor Michael Kempa said he believes police have “learned the lessons” of crowd control and he hopes intelligence agencies will be “one step ahead of those with bad intentions who want to attach to any form of violent, anti-authority, extremist protest.”

However, he also said that whatever happens next February is unpredictable because, while many of the pandemic restrictions that motivated protesters are gone, the people who do show up to any protest will be more committed.

Those protesters were “always angrier with authority of all types – medical, scientific and government – than they ever were with vaccine mandates in particular,” he said.

With reports from The Canadian Press