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Canadians trust provinces more than federal government with their health care: survey

Click to play video 'When it comes to health, who do Canadians rely on more to give them accurate information?' When it comes to health, who do Canadians rely on more to give them accurate information?
WATCH: A new poll suggests that the answer to that question varies by province. While many Canadians trust their provincial leaders to guide the way during the COVID-19 pandemic, others feel the federal government has the situation in hand. Global's Kwabena Oduro explains.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal and provincial governments have been trying to figure out ways to support their citizens.

Governments have been praised and criticized for their handling of the pandemic.

A Leger Marketing poll, in partnership with the Association for Canadian Studies, surveyed 1,500 Canadians between July 31 and Aug. 2.

Between the federal and provincial government, respondents were asked which level of government they trust with their health care in this time of crisis.

They were also asked which political parties they support in order to show the breakdown of who they vote for.

Read more: Coronavirus — Public health poll probes Quebecers’ perceptions surrounding pandemic

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The poll shows that voters trust their province more than the federal government by a two-to-one ratio with their health care.

Twenty-nine percent of voters say that they prefer provincial governments over the federal government.

Fourteen percent of voters disagreed, believing that they’re in better hands with the government at the helm.

Thirty-four percent of voters say that the responses from both federal and provincial governments have been equally good at handling their health care.

Meanwhile, 24 per cent of Canadians believe that neither level of governments can be trusted with their health.

“I believe both governments did a good job. In Quebec, it was gradually but the premier and the response team did well. In addition, the Canadian government sent in the military to help us out, so it was a good partnership between the provincial and federal government,” Montrealer George Mammis told Global News.

Fellow Montrealer Christina Tsitouras prefers a province-by-province approach over a federal one.

“It’s nice to stay local to what’s happening in Quebec,” Tsitouras said.

“I follow Premier François Legault on Twitter and I like the updates, but I will say it’s nice to hear from (Prime Minister Justin) Trudeau as well daily just to know what’s going on nationally.”

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Student Allutas Alhamwi, on the other hand, favours the federal government.

“The federal government has more responsibility to oversee the whole nation, so that’s why I think the federal (government) I would trust it more because it’s more responsible to solve the problem, the issue, the pandemic.”

Read more: Coronavirus — Social media users more likely to believe false information, McGill study suggests

The numbers spread when considering party affiliation.

Two-thirds of Bloc Québécois voters trusted their province more with over more than 67 per cent of voters saying they prefer the province government over the federal.

Meanwhile, 40 per cent of conservative supports say they prefer provincial and 71 per cent Liberal voters say they prefer the federal government.

“People who support the Liberal Party are more inclined to trust the federal government and we want the federal government to assume a greater role in health care nationally,” says Jack Jedwab, president of the Canadian Institute for Identities and Migration and the Association for Canadian Studies.

“People who support other political parties want to ensure that provincial jurisdiction is protected around such matters,”

Some health advocates, however, believe neither level of government acted responsibly with respect to the pandemic.

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“We believe elders were treated late, which created horrifying situations when you have to decide where to send a mask for health personnel and you take it to hospitals rather than long-term facilities because you don’t have enough,” said Paul Brunet, the CEO of the Conseil pour la protection des malades.

“This is called negligence. This is called unpreparedness.”

The Montrealers Global News spoke to say they want to see both levels of government collaborate more when it comes to health care.