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Regions should decide timelines when loosen COVID-19 restrictions: Poll

OTTAWA

A new poll reveals that most Canadians don’t think province-wide measures are the best way to reopen the economy, instead that process should be decided upon specific regions depending upon their own situations.
The latest poll on the COVID-19 pandemic by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies suggests only 35 percent of people thought restrictions should be loosened for entire provinces, compared to 47 per cent who believed that decision should be made by specific regions within each province. Only 18 per cent said reopening measures should apply to all of Canada at once.
But tellingly, a little over half of those polled said they trust provinces to make the call about what businesses should reopen and when, whereas about one-third said that should be up to Ottawa and 14 per cent said local governments should decide.
That is essentially what happened in Quebec, where the provincial government delayed the planned reopening of schools, daycares and businesses in the Greater Montreal area for one week because of the particularly high COVID-19 infection rate in the area and a shortage of health-care workers.
The proportion of people who said they would like decisions to be made region by region were highest in that province at 73 per cent, followed by Alberta at 52 per cent.
Albertans and Ontarians were slightly less likely to put their trust in the provincial government to make decisions about how local economies should reopen, at 46 per cent compared with the 55 per cent for Canadians overall.
The pollsters surveyed 1,513 Canadians recruited from an online panel between May 15 and May 17.
As for how comfortable Canadians are with the current speed at which provinces and territories are lifting public health restrictions, 60 per cent said they should keep doing what they’re doing, while 27 per cent would like to see them pull on the reins and 13 per cent want them to move faster.
A staggering 67 per cent of respondents said they’ve taken to covering their face a means of protecting against the virus.
About half of respondents across the country said they wear a mask at the grocery store and on public transit, and 42 per cent wear one to the pharmacy.
Only about ten per cent said they would don a mask to take a walk.
There are no easy answers and it would seem that most of those surveyed would easily change their minds depending upon how this fluid situation unfolds in the days and weeks to come.

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