Toronto, ON, February 11, 2022 – The trucker convoy that has descended upon Ottawa and has morphed into a wider protest has the sympathy of many Canadians, even if they don’t agree with everything that has been said or done by the protestors, according to a new Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Global News.
Nearly half (46%) of Canadians say they “may not agree with everything the people who have taken part in the truck protests in Ottawa have said, but their frustration is legitimate and worthy of our sympathy.” The proportion of 18-34-year-olds who adopt this point of view is 61%, while those aged 35-54 (44%) and 55+ (37%) are much less likely to agree. Regionally, those in Alberta (58%) and Saskatchewan and Manitoba (58%) are most likely to align with this argument, while a sizeable minority in Quebec (47%), Ontario (44%), Atlantic Canada (43%), and British Columbia (36%) agree. Politically, most Conservative voters (59%) are on this side of the argument, while a minority of Bloc (44%), NDP (43%) and Liberal (30%) voters are also aligned.
Conversely, a slim majority (54%) adopt a contrasting point of view, arguing that “what the people taking part in the truck protests in Ottawa have said and done is wrong and does not deserve any of our sympathy.” Those aged 55+ (63%) are most aligned with this point of view, followed by those aged 35-54 (56%) and only a minority of those aged 18-34 (39%). Regionally, British Columbians (64%) are most inclined to agree with this position, followed by those living in Atlantic Canada (57%), Ontario (56%), Quebec (53%), Alberta (42%) and Saskatchewan/Manitoba (42%). Politically, seven in ten (70%) Liberals maintain this argument, while fewer NDP (57%), Bloc (56%) and Conservative (41%) voters also hold this position.
This issue divides along regional, generational and political fault lines and it is capturing the attention of Canadians: six in ten (60%) agree (21% strongly/39% somewhat) that they are paying close attention to what’s happening with the truck protests. What is also clear is that sympathy with the movement is no longer at a point where the minority, which has been categorized as being on the fringes, is grossly overshadowed by the majority. A sizeable minority of Canadians (37%) agree (16% strongly/21% somewhat) that while they might not say it publicly, they agree with a lot of what the truck protestors are fighting for, rising to 63% of Conservative voters and 45% of Canadians aged 18-34. In fact, one in four (24%) agree (6% strongly/18% somewhat) that they’d consider joining the truck protest if a small fringe group had not raised Nazi flags and shown their intolerance and racism, rising to 38% of Conservative voters and 39% of those aged 18-34.
Examining some of the attitudes Canadians have towards the protests reveals further divisions in opinions:
- Six in ten (59%) agree (29% strongly/30% somewhat) that the truck protest is mostly a group of anti-vaxxers and bigots intent on causing mayhem and they should not be allowed to protest. Four in ten (41%) disagree (20% strongly/21% somewhat).
- A slim majority (55%) agrees (25% strongly/31% somewhat) that the truck protest is a fundamental attack on our system of democracy, while nearly half (45%) disagrees (20% strongly/25% somewhat) that it is.
- Four in ten (39%) agree (11% strongly/28% somewhat) that the truck protest is mostly economically disadvantaged Canadians letting governments know that they are struggling. Six in ten (61%) disagree (26% strongly/35% somewhat) with this characterization.
- Four in ten (37%) agree (10% strongly/26% somewhat) that the truck protest is just like those held by Indigenous groups, Black Lives Matter and environmental groups. A majority (63%) disagrees (32% strongly/31% somewhat) with this position.
- One in three (31%) agree (9% strongly/22% somewhat) that the truck protest is no big deal – politicians and media are over-reacting to it. Two in three (69%) disagree (33% strongly/36% somewhat).
The Prime Minister so far has refused to meet with the leaders of the movement, and Canadians are divided on whether this is the right move or not. Half (53%) agree (29% strongly/24% somewhat) that the Prime Minister is right to refuse to meet with the truck protestors to hear their grievances, while the other half (47%) of Canadians disagrees (26% strongly/21% somewhat) that this is the right decision. Liberal voters (81%) are most aligned on this approach, while fewer supporters of the NDP (57%), Bloc (49%) or Conservative (31%) parties endorse this decision.
About the Study
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between February 8-9, 2022, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 1,000 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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