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Majority of Canadians support wearing masks during COVID-19, oppose protests: poll

Last Updated Sep 22, 2020 at 10:13 am EDT

A server wears a face mask as she carries a tray of glasses and water at a restaurant in Montreal, Sunday, July 5, 2020. As the Canadian economy continues to adapts to the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic, some restaurants in the country's most populous city are saying goodbye to a service industry staple: tipping. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

OTTAWA — A new survey suggests the recent rise in new COVID-19 cases across Canada comes with a similar increase in support for the mandatory wearing of masks in public places.

The online survey by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies says 83 per cent of respondents feel governments should order people to wear a mask in all indoor public spaces.

That represented a 16 per cent increase from July, before the recent rise in COVID-19 cases has sparked concerns many parts of the country are entering the dreaded second wave of the pandemic.

Even more — 87 per cent — felt wearing a mask was a civic duty because it protects others from COVID-19 while 21 per cent felt it was an infringement on personal freedoms, a decline of six per cent from July.

As for the anti-mask protests that have happened in various parts of the country in recent weeks, 88 per cent of respondents said they opposed the demonstrations while 12 per cent supported them.

The online poll was conducted Sept. 18 to 20 and surveyed 1,538 adult Canadians. It cannot be assigned a margin of error because internet-based polls are not considered random samples.