7 in 10 Canadians blame China for COVID-19 pandemic but reject the term “Chinese virus” – poll

More than seven-in-ten Canadians blame China for the COVID-19 outbreak, but a similar number oppose referring to the novel coronavirus as the “Chinese virus”, a new Research Co. survey has found.

The tracking poll found that 72% think the Government of the People’s Republic of China should take responsibility for its role in the COVID-19 outbreak[1]https://researchco.ca/2020/05/19/canada-governments-covid19/ – a six percentage point increase compared to March[2]https://researchco.ca/2020/03/24/covid-19-governments/.

People in Canada are clear that it’s the Chinese government and not the Chinese people who should shoulder the blame.

Three-in-four Canadians (75%, +14) consider it unacceptable to refer to COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus” or “Chinese flu”. This includes majorities of Canadians who voted for the New Democrats (83%), the Liberals (77%) and the Conservatives (66%) in the 2019 federal election.

Slightly more than three-in-ten Canadians (31%) agree with the Government of Canada considering legal action against the People’s Republic of China on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, while practically half (49%) disagree.

Meanwhile, almost seven-in-ten (69%) Canadians are content with the way the federal government has managed the COVID-19 pandemic, but the approval rating for two provincial administrations has fallen markedly since April, the survey shows.

“The numbers have been extremely consistent for the federal government as the COVID-19 pandemic continues,” Mario Canseco, President of Research Co., said. “It is also worth noting that majorities of Canadians who voted for the Liberals (86%), the New Democrats (72%) and the Conservatives (54%) last year remain pleased with Ottawa’s work on this file.”

But Quebecers and Ontarians appear to be losing faith in their provincial governments.

The approval rating for François Legault’s Coalition Avenir Québec administration in Quebec has fallen 22-percentage points from 88% in April to 66%. Quebec has recorded the highest number of cases (44,197) and deaths (3,647) in Canada[3]https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html?topic=tilelink.

The approval for Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative administration in Ontario dropped 15 percentage points from 78% in April to 63%. Ontario has recorded 23,774 cases with 1,962 deaths.

The numbers are remaining stable for the provincial governments of British Columbia (from 72% in April to 69% this month) and Alberta (from 57% in April to 56% this month).

Canadians want to take it slow when it comes to reopening the economy.
Across the country, 64% of Canadians believe we should reopen the economy slowly and ensure that COVID-19 infection rates remain low, the survey found. Conversely, 29% of Canadians think we should reopen the economy quickly and ensure that no more jobs are lost due to COVID-19.

The poll results are based on an online study conducted from May 11 to May 13, 2020, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error – which measures sample variability – is +/- 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

References   [ + ]

1. https://researchco.ca/2020/05/19/canada-governments-covid19/
2. https://researchco.ca/2020/03/24/covid-19-governments/
3. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html?topic=tilelink