Trust between Canadians and government improving during COVID-19 outbreak: survey

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Trust between Canadians and government improving during COVID-19 outbreak survey
WATCH: A recent national survey finds the COVID-19 pandemic is helping build trust between Canadians and government officials – Apr 7, 2020

It’s not uncommon for the government to be scrutinized, or for people to have issues trusting government officials. However, a national survey from Argyle PR found many Canadians are beginning to trust all levels of government during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the survey, 46 per cent of Canadians are more trusting of the federal government and 55 per cent feel more trust for their provincial government.

Argyle PR CEO Daniel Tisch said most studies in recent years found there was little trust between people and the government. He said that oddly enough, the distance has seemed to bring people closer together.

“While we may be isolated and socially-distanced between one another during the pandemic, the shared experience has strengthened our relationships with our families, with our co-workers, with our employers, [and] even with governments and that was a particularly interesting finding,” Tisch explained.
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In Saskatchewan and Manitoba, 43 per cent felt more trust with the federal government, 46 per cent gained trust with the provincial government, and 37 per cent felt improvement with municipal governments.

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The improvement seen in the survey is new and could be a factor in getting Canadians through the COVID-19 crisis. Tisch said people need to trust the motives of leaders and believe they have good intentions in order to comply with government regulations.

Relationships built between people and leaders during the crisis could have a lasting impact, even influencing something like the amount of support during upcoming elections.

“People will remember the leaders, the governments, and the companies that did the right things at this time,” Tisch said.

Tisch noted leaders with a more compassionate and sympathetic tone have been receiving the most support. The Québec government lead with 74 per cent reporting an improvement with their relationship with the province.

All of the results from the survey can be found online.

The poll conducted by Argyle is based on a survey of 1,590 Canadians completed between March 27 and 30 using Leger’s online panel. The margin of error for the study was +/-2.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

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Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

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For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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