Canadians Supportive of Wide-Ranging Measures to Battle COVID-19, Including Some Surveillance

Majority Supports Stricter Physical-Distancing Measures and Fines (85%), Limits on Personal Freedom of Movement (76%) and Use of Cellphone Data to Track Movements of Those Supposed to be Quarantining (65%)

The author(s)
  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs
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Toronto, ON, April 9, 2020 — Canadians are supportive of a wide-range of measures to battle the spread of COVID-19 in Canada, according to a new Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Global News. Canadians were presented with a list of measures that government could be or is considering to help fight the spread of COVID-19, including further limiting personal freedoms and even increasing surveillance of individuals to ensure compliance with quarantine orders.

A consensus has emerged when it comes to supporting the use of the military to help build field hospitals, or using empty hotels to house the homeless. But a majority even support more contentious moves, such as the potential for the federal government to use cellphone data to monitor the movement of Canadians who should be in self-isolation.  The chart below outlines the proportion of Canadians who support or oppose the use of various tactics to address the spread of COVID-19 in Canada:

Support for Measures to Contain COVID-19

Table Showing Proportion Which Supports Various Measures to Contain COVID-19


In fact, there is a political consensus emerging on all of these issues among Canadians, meaning that a majority of every party’s supporters and a majority of Canadians in every major demographic group (age, gender, region) support the provisions tested. For example:

  • Even 64% of Conservative voters support the Prime Minister running whatever deficit he deems necessary to get Canada through this crisis.
  • At least six in ten voters of every party support cellphone-tracking surveillance to monitor the movement of Canadians supposed to be in quarantine. At 53%, Albertans are the least likely to support this measure, although a slim majority do. Similarly, Canadians aged 18-34 are least supportive among the age group studied, but still, a majority do support this course of action (55%).

About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between April 3 and 7, 2020, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 1006 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed online. Quotas and weighting were employed to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the Canadian population according to census parameters. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians aged 18+ been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Darrell Bricker, PhD
CEO, Ipsos Global Public Affairs
+1 416 324-2001
[email protected]

About Ipsos

Ipsos is the world’s third-largest market research company, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people. Our passionately-curious research professionals, analysts, and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions, and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. We serve more than 5000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions.

Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).

ISIN code FR0000073298, Reuters ISOS.PA, Bloomberg IPS:FP

The author(s)
  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs