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Pandemic has brought Canada together, pushed Americans apart, poll suggests

A young new Canadian holds a flag as she takes part in a citizenship ceremony on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, April 17, 2019, to mark the 37th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. A report by the Royal Bank says a slowdown of immigration to Canada due to the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to derail what it says has been a major source of economic growth at least temporarily. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

A new public opinion study suggests Canadians believe the COVID-19 crisis has brought their country together, while Americans blame the pandemic for worsening their cultural and political divide.

Two-thirds of Canadian respondents to the Pew Research Center study say Canada is more united as a result of COVID-19, while 77 per cent of U.S. participants feel the opposite is true south of the border.

A similar bilateral gap emerged when those surveyed were asked about how their respective countries responded to the emergency.

In Canada, 88 per cent of respondents said they approved of their country’s response to the novel coronavirus, compared with just 47 per cent of Americans who feel the same way about how the U.S. has responded.

The Canadian portion of the study involved 1,037 respondents across the country who were surveyed by phone between June 15 and July 27, and the American section had 1,003 U.S. participants who took part between June 16 and July 14.

Both components of the survey carry a margin of error of 3.7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.