Opposition to both the protests and the Liberal response to the issue have increased since last week. These are the findings from INNOVATIVE’s Canada This Month survey, in field from February 4th to 9th, 2022 with a sample size of 756 Canadians weighted to 500. A detailed methodology is provided in the report.
Attention has continued to increase to a high of 69% saying they are following the news at least somewhat closely. Ontarians and Albertans are paying particularly close attention: more than three quarters of Canadians in both provinces are paying at least somewhat close attention.
With attention high, opposition to both the protest itself and the way protestors are acting has continued to increase. Now, 53% of Canadians oppose the protest and even more Canadians disapprove of the way the truckers are acting (59%). A majority of the supporters of every party disapprove of the way the truckers are protesting, with disapproval highest among Liberal and NDP partisans.
Approval of the Liberal response to the issue has also continued to decline. Last week 40% of Canadians disapproved of the Liberal response. Now nearly half (49%) disapprove of their response and approval has slipped to only 19%. Approval of the Conservative response is even lower, but has been stable since the start of February.
As we saw last week, the increase in opposition in concentrated among Canadians who are open to opposing COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions. INNOVATIVE uses a combination of five different questions on the existing restrictions in Canada to create an index of COVID-19 restriction support. Now, only Canadians who are strongly against restrictions are more likely to approve than disapprove of the tactics protestors are employing.
Despite these declines in approval of the protests and of the Liberal response, there has been no movement in the underlying issue at the heart of the protest. The share of Canadians who think the federal government should bring back the exemption at the border for unvaccinated truckers has remained steady at 36%, while a majority continue to say the government should continue to require all travelers get vaccinated (54%).