Most British Columbians Favour Reopening the Economy Slowly

Residents aged 35-to-54, as well as those who have experienced job losses in their household, would prefer a quicker renewal.

Vancouver, BC [May 14, 2020] – More than three-in-five British Columbians favour a cautious approach for a return to economic activity during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 62% of British Columbians believe we should reopen the economy slowly and ensure that COVID-19 infection rates remain low.

Conversely, more than a third of British Columbians (35%) believe we should reopen the economy quickly and ensure that no more jobs are lost due to COVID-19.

“There is an impressive gender gap when British Columbians ponder the pace of easing restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic ,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “While three-in-four women (76%) call for a cautious approach, fewer than half of men (48%) concur.”

More than four-in-five British Columbians aged 55 and over (68%) are in favour of a gradual return to economic activity in the province, a view shared by 64% of those aged 18-to-34 and 44% of those aged 35-to-54.

The COVID-19 pandemic has directly affected British Columbians in different ways. More than two-in-five of the province’s residents (42%) say they have been unable to visit relatives who live in their municipality, and more than a third (35%) say someone in their household applied for the federal Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

In addition, 32% of British Columbians say someone in their household was laid off, 32% are working from home instead of at their regular workplace, and 24% have taken care of children in their household while schools are closed.

British Columbians aged 35-to-54 are more likely to report that someone in their household has applied for the CERB (47%) and to be working at home (51%) than their younger and older counterparts.

Majorities of British Columbians who have taken care of children in their household (58%), are working from home instead of at their regular workplace (53%) and who have had someone in the household lose a job (52%) are in favour of reopening the economy quickly and avoid more job losses due to the pandemic.

More than seven-in-ten British Columbians (72%) approve of the provincial government’s plan to resume economic activity— including 81% of BC Liberal voters in 2017, 75% of BC Green Party voters and 72% of BC New Democratic Party (NDP) voters.


Results are based on an online study conducted from May 8 to May 11, 2020, among 800 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error – which measures sample variability – is +/- 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
Find our full dataset here and download the press release here.
For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.