Majority of British Columbians Reject Return of COVID Restrictions

Satisfaction with how various levels of government have handled the pandemic has dropped since March 2021.

Vancouver, BC [February 22, 2023] – More than three-in-five residents of British Columbia believe it would not be advisable to return to the restrictions and mandates that were implemented in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, more than three-in-five British Columbians (62%) think we are in a different moment and there is no need for additional public health measures related to COVID-19.

Almost one-in-five British Columbians (18%) want to have stricter public health measures in place right now to stop the spread of COVID-19, while 9% think COVID-19 was a hoax and we never should have altered our lives.

The appetite for a return to stricter regulations across the province  is highest in Metro Vancouver (20%), followed by Vancouver Island (19%), Southern BC (15%), the Fraser Valley (13%) and Northern BC (11%).

Almost seven-in-ten British Columbians (69%) think COVID-19 is a real threat, down 12 points since a similar Research Co. poll conducted in March 2021.

When asked if it would be justified to re-introduce specific measures, about one-in-four British Columbians (23%) would welcome the return of “Proof of Vaccination” certificates (or “Vaccine Passports”) to access specific venues and locations.

Fewer British Columbians believe three other actions would be justified: mask mandates (21%), capacity restrictions for worship services, concerts and sporting events (17%) and banning travel from British Columbia to other Canadian provinces (6%).

Support for the re-implementation of “Vaccine Passports” reaches 28% among British Columbians aged 55 and over and 30% among residents of Vancouver Island.

Almost four-in-five British Columbians (79%, -4 since March 2021) are satisfied with the way their family has handled the COVID-19 pandemic, while 71% (-2) feel the same way about their friends.

Majorities of British Columbians are satisfied with the way municipal governments (56%, -2) and the provincial government in Victoria (55%, -5) have managed the pandemic. The rating is lower for the federal government in Ottawa (49%, -4), the official opposition in Ottawa (36%, +4) and the official opposition in Victoria (35%, +3).

Almost half of British Columbians (49%, -3) are satisfied with the performance of non-governmental associations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Fewer residents feel the same way about unions (39%, -4) and trade associations (36%, +2).

More than half of British Columbians (52%, -11) say they are satisfied with the way television news has handled the pandemic. The rating also fell this month for radio news (48%, -9) and newspapers (also 48%, -7).

“British Columbians who would like to see stricter guidelines to deal with the pandemic are more likely to be satisfied with the performance of news organizations on television (69%), radio (66%) and print (62%),” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Those who consider COVID-19 a hoax provide significantly lower marks.”

Methodology: Results are based on an online study conducted on February 10 to February 12, 2023, 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, 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.

778.929.0490 [e]