Canadians Can’t Agree on Clear Path to Ending Vaccine Mandates

One fifth of Canadians (20%) think vaccine requirements for leisure activities should end immediately; One fifth (20%) would wait for infection rates to be negligible

The author(s)

  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs
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Toronto, ON, November 26, 2021 – As governments adjust vaccination rollouts to include children or incorporate third doses, the question of when vaccine requirements should end has Canadians evenly divided.  A recent Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Global News shows that opinions are split on ending vaccine mandates for workplaces, everyday activities, or governmental institutions. However, results show that younger generations are generally more eager to lift requirements, and regional differences are emerging in Quebec and Ontario.

Vaccine Mandate Polarizing, But Support Greater for a Longer Horizon than a Short Horizon

COVID-19 remains high on the agenda for Canadians: over a quarter (27%) ranked the pandemic as a top two priority for parliamentarians, and over 6 in 10 are at least somewhat confident (61%) in the upcoming session’s ability to make significant progress on the issue (10% ‘very’ / 51% ‘somewhat’). However, Canadian adults remain divided on how long vaccine mandates should stay in effect - a lack of consensus which remains starkly consistent across different activities.

Depending on the context or activity in question, anywhere between 22% and 35% of Canadians believe vaccine mandates should end before the new year. Conversely, once again depending on the activity, between 36% and 47% aren’t looking at the calendar, but would rather vaccine mandates be eased either when the WHO declares the pandemic over or when infection rates in Canada are negligible. The remaining Canadians are somewhere in between.

When should vaccine mandates end?

 

Activity

End immediately

Until the end of 2021

Sometime in 2022

Until at least 2023

Until WHO declares pandemic over

Until Canada infection rates are negligible

Fly on a plane/take a train

14%

10%

23%

11%

20%

21%

Vaccination requirements for incoming travelers to Canada

14%

8%

18%

13%

25%

22%

Dine in a restaurant, attend a movie, etc.

20%

11%

23%

9%

16%

20%

Work for Federal Government, Crown Corporations or Agencies

18%

11%

19%

10%

19%

23%

Work in hospital or long-term care facility

17%

9%

17%

11%

22%

24%

MPs to attend parliament

19%

12%

18%

10%

18%

23%

In your workplace

23%

13%

19%

9%

16%

21%

 

For everyday leisure activities such as dining in a restaurant or attending a movie, a fifth (20%) of Canadians believe vaccine mandates should end immediately, while around one in ten (11%) would wait until the end of the year. Almost a quarter (23%) would wait until sometime in 2022 (which skews towards men (27%) by 7 points compared to women). A fifth (20%) would wait until Canada’s COVID-infection rates have become negligible and 16% would wait until the WHO declares the pandemic is over.

In the case of travel requirements, such as being able to fly on a plane or take the train, almost a quarter (23%) would wait until 2022, whereas a fifth (20%) would wait for the WHO’s go-ahead, and over fifth (21%) would wait for negligible infection rates. Similarly, a quarter (25%) of Canadians would wait for the WHO’s declaration to end vaccination requirements for incoming travelers, while over a fifth (22%) would prefer to wait for low infection rates (which is higher among university graduates (26%)). In both travel-related scenarios, women (respectively 24% and 30%) tend to be more attuned than men to the WHO’s opinion, respectively, by a 9-point and 11-point difference.

As the economy is recovering and work environments have changed, Canadians are similarly split over ending vaccine mandates for the workplace and government-run institutions. Under a quarter (23%) would end mandates immediately in respect to their workplaces, while under a fifth would wait until sometime next year (19%) or until Canada has low infection rates (21%). As for working in a hospital or a long-term care facility, almost a quarter (24%) would wait for infection rates to drop, which is higher among university graduates (34%), as well as those aged 55 and over (29%) compared to Gen Z (16%) and Millennials (22%). Over a fifth (22%) would wait for the WHO’s guidance, which is higher among women (27%) by a 10-point gap.

For the federal government and its associated agencies, under a fifth (18%) would stop mandates immediately, while similar proportions would wait until next year (19%), low infection rates (23%) or the WHO’s green light (19%). This remains almost identical for the case of MPs attending parliament showing only single-point variations (respectively, 19%, 18%, 23%, 18%).  Again, for both government-related scenarios, women (respectively 23% and 21%) are likelier than men to wait for the WHO’s go-ahead by an 8-point and 6-point difference respectively.

Younger Canadians, Men, Quebecers Most Eager to Lift Restrictions

Even if Canadians have expressed a multiplicity of contrasting views, certain trends can be identified. Notably, results show that younger generations are generally more eager to lift vaccine requirements, especially compared to seniors. For instance, Millennials (loosely define as those aged 18-34) consistently tend to want to lift vaccine restrictions immediately compared to Boomers (those aged 55+), whether applied to travel by plane or train (+10 points), incoming travelers (+13 points), leisure activities (+9 points), government bodies (+19), hospitals (+11 points) or parliament (+15 points); the only exception to their eagerness being to their own workplace. Indeed, Boomers tend to want to use low infection rates as the yardstick to lift requirements, especially when it comes to incoming travelers (27%), the federal government (29%) as well as hospitals and long-term care facilities (30%).

Regionally, Quebecers (32%) are most eager to lift mandates on restaurants and movie theaters compared to those living in Saskatchewan and Manitoba (23%), British Columbia (20%), Alberta  (18%), Atlantic Canada (16%) and Ontario (14%). Also interesting is that those in Saskatchewan and Manitoba (25%) along with Quebec (24%) are most inclined to believe that the vaccine mandate for federal employees should be lifted immediately, followed by those living in BC (17%), Ontario (16%), Atlantic Canada (16%) and Alberta (13%). Quebecers are also, by far, the most likely to say that vaccine mandates in one’s own place of employment should end immediately (37%), well above the national average (23%).

About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between November 12 and 15, 2021, 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.


For more information on this news release, please contact:

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

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The author(s)

  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs

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