Satisfaction with COVID-19 Handling Drops in Ontario and Quebec

The rating for the federal government remains high, as more than seven-in-ten Canadians seek accountability from China.

Vancouver, BC [May 19, 2020] – Almost seven-in-ten Canadians are content with way the federal government has managed the COVID-19 pandemic, but the approval rating for two provincial administrations has fallen markedly since April, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 69% of Canadians are satisfied with the way the federal government has dealt with the outbreak—including 76% of residents aged 55 and over.

“The numbers have been extremely consistent for the federal government as the COVID-19 pandemic continues,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “It is also worth noting that majorities of Canadians who voted for the Liberals (86%), the New Democrats (72%) and the Conservatives (54%) last year remain pleased with Ottawa’s work on this file.”

While 64% of Canadians are satisfied with the performance of their municipal and provincial governments, the numbers vary in specific regions of the country.

In a similar Research Co. survey conducted in April, 88% of Quebecers and 78% of Ontarians were content with the way their provincial administrations were managing the COVID-19 outbreak. This month, the rating for both governments dropped by double-digits, to 66% in Quebec and to 63% in Ontario.

The numbers are stable for the provincial governments of British Columbia (from 72% in April to 69% this month) and Alberta (from 57% in April to 56% this month).

Across the country, 64% of Canadians believe we should reopen the economy slowly and ensure that COVID-19 infection rates remain low. Conversely, 29% of Canadians think we should reopen the economy quickly and ensure that no more jobs are lost due to COVID-19.

A “wet market” in Wuhan, China, which sells live animals for human consumption has been mentioned as the place where COVID-19 may have originated.

More than seven-in-ten Canadians (72%) think the Government of the People’s Republic of China should take responsibility for its role in the COVID-19 outbreak. This represents a six-point increase since Research Co. survey conducted in March.

About three-in-ten Canadians (31%) agree with the Government of Canada considering legal action against the People’s Republic of China on account of the COVID-19 outbreak, while practically half (49%) disagree.

Three-in-four Canadians (75%, +14) consider it unacceptable to refer to COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus” or “Chinese flu”. This includes majorities of Canadians who voted for the New Democrats (83%), the Liberals (77%) and the Conservatives (66%) in the 2019 federal election.

Just over three-in-ten Canadians (31%) believe more people will consider adopting vegetarian or vegan diets once the COVID-19 outbreak ends, up 10 points since Research Co. first measured this sentiment in April.


Results are based on an online study conducted from May 11 to May 13, 2020, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error – which measures sample variability – is +/- 3.1 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.