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B.C. residents more pessimistic about pandemic than rest of Canada

More than anywhere else in the country, B.C. residents are more pessimistic when it comes to COVID-19.

Across the country, 46 per cent of Canadians believe that the COVID-19 pandemic will "definitely" or "probably" get worse, while in B.C. that number jumps to 61 per cent.

According to a Research Co. poll published Sept. 8, people in Ontario were the most optimistic with 40 per cent believing the worst of the pandemic is yet to come.

The polling company also found the numbers of Canadians who thought the worst of COVID-19 was "behind" them dropped to 37 per cent from 49 per cent in June.

Across the country, support for the way provincial governments are handling the pandemic is waning, although remains unchanged in B.C. since June at 83 per cent. Only 57 per cent of Albertans are happy with their government's response, down five percentage points since June. The statistic sits at 68 per cent in Ontario and 67 per cent in Quebec.

The poll found support for the federal government's management of the pandemic was also slipping, down six percentage points to 64 per cent.  

According to the 1,000-person online survey, 90 per cent of Canadians are in favour of keeping the border closed with the U.S. to non-essential travel and having all travellers arriving in the country quarantine for 14 days.

While public support for mandatory mask-wearing sits at 85 per cent, the number of Canadians who actually do it is less, with 70 per cent saying they wear a mask every time they go out. This number has increased significantly over the last few months with 48 per cent saying they used a mask in June, dropping to 14 per cent in May.

The survey also found women are more likely to wear a mask than men, with 75 per cent doing so, compared to 65 per cent of men.

Overall, Ontarians and Quebecers were far more likely to always wear a mask outside, at 81 per cent and 73 per cent respectively. While only 56 per cent of B.C. residents said the same. In Saskatchewan and Manitoba, that number dropped to 53 per cent.

The poll found younger people are also more likely to wear a mask, with 74 per cent of 18-to-34-year-olds doing so, and 70 per cent of 35-to-54-year-olds. Only 66 per cent of people aged 55 and older wear a mask every time they go out.

Almost a quarter of all Canadians report overeating while at home, 17 per cent are drinking more alcohol, and 15 per cent losing their temper more often. A third of Canadians say they now clean their groceries, and one in five don't order food in restaurants because they fear infection.

Almost three-quarters of all Canadians say they are willing to take a COVID-19 vaccine if and when one becomes available.

Research Co. says the results come from a 1,000 person online survey conducted from Aug 30 to Sept 1, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, nineteen times out of 20. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Canada.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

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