Views on Governments Falter as Canadians See Pandemic’s End

Ontarians and Albertans are the least likely to express confidence in the measures implemented by their provincial administrations.

Vancouver, BC [May 25, 2021] – For the first time since the start of the pandemic, a majority of Canadians believe the most vicious moments of COVID-19 have passed, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 55% of Canadians think the worst of the COVID-19 outbreak is behind us, up eight points since a similar Research Co. survey conducted in March.

Conversely, 27% of Canadians think the worst of the pandemic is ahead of us, down six points in two months.

Just over half of Canadians (51%) are satisfied with how the federal government has managed the pandemic, unchanged since March. The numbers are similar for provincial governments (52%, -1) and municipal governments (55%, +1).

Among the four most populous provinces, the satisfaction rating remains below the 50% threshold in Ontario (42%, -3) and Alberta (34%, -3). More than three-in-five residents of British Columbia (62%, -3) and Quebec (61%, +3) are content with how their governments have managed COVID-19.

Almost half of Canadians (46%) think the measures that are currently in place in their province to deal with COVID-19 are correct for the situation. While three-in-ten (29%) believe the measures do not go far enough, one-in-five (19%) claim they go too far.

“Residents of Ontario and Alberta are more likely to be dissatisfied with the measures implemented to deal with COVID-19,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Just over a third of residents in each jurisdiction endorse the course of action outlined by their provincial governments.”

Canadians were also asked about the level of confidence they have in their provincial government to handle specific tasks.

Majorities of respondents trust their provincial administration to release accurate (61%) and complete (56%) information about COVID-19 cases and hospitalization rates to the media and the public.

Most Canadians also trust their provincial administrations to respond to a natural disaster (60%), establish public health guidelines and restrictions (58%) and ensure the sustainability of the health care system (55%). Fewer respondents (43%) express confidence in their provincial government to spend tax dollars wisely.

On the matter of establishing public health guidelines, the level of confidence is highest in British Columbia (66%), followed by Quebec (63%), Atlantic Canada (also 63%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (58%), Ontario (52%) and Alberta (45%).

Across the country, 84% of Canadians believe that COVID-19 is “definitely” or “probably” a real threat, while 12% disagree with this assessment.

Canadians who voted for the Conservative Party in the 2019 federal election are more likely to be skeptical of the threat posed by COVID-19 (20%) than those who supported the New Democratic Party (NDP) (11%) or the Liberal Party (8%).


Results are based on an online study conducted from May 17 to May 19, 2021, among 1,000 Canadian adults. 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, nineteen times out of twenty.


Find our data tables here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.