Canadian Government Has Strong Approval For COVID19 Response & Highest Degree of Trust in Future Decisions

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TORONTO, March 30, 2020 /CNW/ – Canadians have an overall high level of support for government action in relation to Coronavirus, according to an extensive new study by Kantar, the world’s leading data and insights company, across citizens in G7 countries.

The research, conducted March 19th through the 21st, also showed that Canadians have significant concerns for public health as well as high levels of understanding regarding the personal measures people can take to limit the spread of coronavirus:

  • 75% of Canadians say their personal income has or will be impacted by the coronavirus

  • Many Canadians (73%) are personally concerned (very or fairly) with how the corona virus will affect their own health and more (87%) are concerned with how the coronavirus may affect the health of family and friends.

  • While most G7 nations consider TV news to be the most trusted source of reliable information about the virus, in Canada, the government is the most trusted source.

The G7 citizen impact and public opinion study was conducted across Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Great Britain and the United States of America. Conducted online to support social distancing protocols, the study asked questions on personal response, personal impact, personal financial impact, perceptions of and understanding of government advice, perceptions of government response, most trusted information source and perceptions of potential interventions to the virus.

“We are committed to providing the evidence to contribute to the quality of public debate and public policy development. This research provides a unique look at the situation in society, using research over last few days with over 7,000 citizens and understanding how citizens are viewing their governments handling of the crisis to date” said Dr Michelle Harrison, Global CEO of Kantar’s public division.

“Measuring the economic impact at the household level in terms of economic impact, and with this new understanding of how supportive and compliant citizens are across the G7 to government recommendations is crucial for policy to be able to respond and societies to be able to recover sustainably”.

Key findings from this G7 citizen impact study include:

Public opinion on the financial impact

Seven in ten people in the G7 state that coronavirus has or will impact their household income, while three-quarters of Canadians indicate coronavirus has or will impact their household income.

Perceptions of government effectiveness and international cooperation

“Public approval of governments response to the corona virus in Canada is very high” said Tanya Whitehead, Public Sector Leader for Kantar in Canada.  Approval is second only to Italy, where the public health impact of the virus is currently the heaviest – 66% of Canadians versus 54% of G7 citizens say they somewhat or strongly approve of the government’s response to coronavirus pandemic. Further, 81% of Canadians (vs 62% for G7) believe the government is very/fairly good at communicating information about the corona virus outbreak leading to strong levels of trust in Canadians that the government will make the right decisions in the future (77% vs 59% for the G7). 

When asked about the cooperation between countries globally in response to the pandemic, 71% of people in Canada rate this as very good or fairly good, compared to 65% in the US, 62% in Great Britain, 54% in France, 45% in Germany and 37% in Italy and Japan. This may reflect the recent history of the virus’ spread geographically.

Perceived impact on public services and preparedness

“Among the G7, Canadians are most likely to think that the public services in their country are prepared to cope with the epidemic and its consequences,” said Scott Megginson, President of Kantar in Canada.  Other G7 citizens report much less confidence:

  • 65% in Canada say very or quite well prepared
  • 57% in GB
  • 56% in Germany
  • 47% in the US
  • 44% in Italy
  • 43% in Japan
  • 33% in France

Personal actions and effectiveness of response to coronavirus

  • 56% of people in G7 say they have started ‘self-isolating at home’ while 67% of Canadians have. This is highest in France (85%) and Italy (75%) and lowest in Japan (21%);
  • 27% of people in the G7 say they have started wearing a mask. This is highest in Japan (65%) and Italy (62%) and lowest in Canada and Germany (11%);
  • 78% of Canadians are avoiding visits to pubs, cafes and restaurants when possible and is likely higher now that many of these establishments have closed;
  • 54% of people in the G7 are avoiding public transport when possible while 63% of Canadians do;
  • 55% of people in the G7 are avoiding visits to elderly and vulnerable relatives and friends while 67% of Canadians are.

Methodological information

The survey data are attached. Please contact us for further details on the methodological approach. A total of 7,005 interviews were conducted online among adults (16+) living in the G7 nations of Canada (1,000), France (1,000), Germany (1,004), Italy (1,000), Japan (1,000), Great Britain (1,001) and the USA (1,000) between the 19th and 21st March 2020. Interviews were conducted online using the Kantar online access panel as the sample source.

The data was weighted to match population totals for age, gender and education for each country. For the results across all G7 nations – the countries have been weighted according to their population sizes. Any use of this research must cite Kantar as the source.