Toronto, ON, January 28, 2021 – With the 2022 Winter Olympics starting in a matter of weeks, the world’s attention has turned to Beijing as it puts the finishing touches on what will certainly be a unique edition of the Olympic and Paralympic games. While much of the attention during previous games has been paid to who was in attendance – be they foreign dignitaries or athletes – it seems a bigger question for this year’s Olympics may be who doesn’t show up.
A recent Ipsos poll carried out on behalf of Global News has found that over eight in ten (83%) say they support (45% strongly/38%somewhat) the Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee, and Government of Canada boycotting the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing in protest of China's human rights record. At such a high level of support, it is understandable that there are no major differences when it comes to gender, age, or region. However, it is notable that half (50%) of those aged 55 and over say they ‘strongly support’ the decision (v. 39% among 18-34, 43% among 35-54).
Canada is not alone in taking this stance over the host country’s record of human rights abuses; joining recent decisions by Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. While Canadian athletes tend to shine during the Winter Olympics, interest in the games may be muted as relations between the two countries become more strained, with the arrests of Meng Wanzhou, Michael Korvig, and Michael Spavor only being the most prominent examples as of late.
Finally, it remains to be seen whether an unexpected guest will make an appearance – the Omicron variant. Recent claims by Chinese health authorities that mail from Canada may have introduced this highly transmissible variant into the country’s capital have only further irritated Sino-Canadian relations.
About the Study
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between January 14-17, 2022, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 1,001 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed. 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.
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