British Columbians Comfortable Banking and Shopping Online

More than half of the province’s residents have been targeted by “phishing” and scam emails.

Vancouver, BC [May 4, 2021] – While most British Columbians are having little trouble taking part in specific activities online, practically half are worried about the possibility of their devices being hacked, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 87% of British Columbians claim to be “very” or “moderately” comfortable shopping and accessing banking information online.

Fewer of the province’s residents express the same level of comfort when making charitable donations online (73%) or commenting on an online forum that requires their email address (54%).

More than three-in-four British Columbians are accessing banking information (88%), visiting websites or blogs (87%), looking for deals on websites (79%) and using an instant messaging service (77%) at least a few times per month.

Fewer of the province’s residents are also looking for directions and/or maps to get to a destination (69%), purchasing goods from a website (60%), using the Internet to place telephone calls (60%) posting on social media (59%) or uploading pictures or videos to the Internet (50%) at least a few times per month.

More than half of British Columbians (53%) have worried “frequently” or “occasionally” over the past couple of months about having their personal information stolen over the Internet (53%). Similar proportions of residents are concerned about computers and technology being used to invade their privacy (52%) and somebody hacking into their own computer or smartphone (49%).

Fewer than one-in-four British Columbians (23%) say they have only one email address, while 41% have two and 35% have three or more. 

Three in five British Columbians (61%) say they have received “phishing” emails, where somebody attempts to acquire personal information by masquerading as a trustworthy entity. More than half (54%) received an email offering them money for their help and assistance, in what is usually referred to as the “Nigerian scam.” 

Fewer of the province’s residents acknowledge that their computer became infected with a virus while they were browsing the Internet (31%) or had their email address or social media platform hacked (15% each).

Across the province, 62% of British Columbians say they have typed their name on Google to see what has been posted about them on the Internet—including 65% of women and 72% of Vancouver Islanders.

More than half of British Columbians who Googled themselves (55%) claim that the information they found was accurate, while 13% say it was inaccurate (13%). One third (32%) did not find any information about themselves.

Methodology:
Results are based on an online survey conducted from April 20 to April 22, 2021, 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] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

Canada’s Moral Compass Relatively Unchanged Since 2020

Almost two thirds of Canadians (65%) believe physician-assisted death is “morally acceptable.”

Vancouver, BC [April 30, 2021] – While many Canadians continue to have no moral qualms when assessing issues such as divorce or contraception, opinions are noticeably different on matters such as polygamy or infidelity, a new Research Co. poll has found.

The online survey of a representative national sample asked Canadians whether they considered 21 different issues as “morally acceptable” or “morally wrong.”

More than seven-in-ten Canadians think divorce (77%, up six points since a similar Research Co. poll conducted in January 2020), contraception (76%, +1) and sexual relations between an unmarried man and woman (72%, +2) are “morally acceptable.”

More than half of Canadians consider five other issues as “morally acceptable”: having a baby outside of marriage (69%, +1), physician-assisted death (65%, +3), sexual relations between two people of the same sex (62%, +1), abortion (57%, +1), gambling (also 57%, +7) and medical research using stem cells obtained from human embryos (55%, +6).

“Canadians who voted for the Conservative Party in the 2019 federal election are more likely to express moral reservations about specific issues related to human interaction,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Tory voters are significantly below the national average on accepting sexual relations between two people of the same sex (54%).”

More than three-in-ten Canadians believe the death penalty (39%, -1), buying and wearing clothing made of animal fur (38%, +6), prostitution (33%, =) and pornography (31%, -5) are “morally acceptable.”

While almost half of residents of Alberta (48%) and Saskatchewan and Manitoba (46%) believe the death penalty is “morally acceptable”, the proportion drops in British Columbia (38%), Quebec (37%), Atlantic Canada (also 37%) and Ontario (36%).

As was the case last year, Canadian men are more likely to say that prostitution and pornography are “morally acceptable” (40% and 39% respectively) than their female counterparts (27% and 24% respectively).

Fewer than one-in-four Canadians believe eight other issues are “morally acceptable”: medical testing on animals (24%, +2), using illegal drugs (20%, -1), cloning animals (19%, =), polygamy (19%, +2), suicide (18%, -4), married men and/or women having an affair (18%, +4), cloning humans (12%, +2) and paedophilia (5%, +2).

Methodology:
Results are based on an online survey conducted from April 16 to April 18, 2021 among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Canada. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

Three-in-Five Americans Want Obamacare to Remain in Place

By a 2-to-1 margin, Americans would prefer to establish a national, publicly funded healthcare system.

Vancouver, BC [April 27, 2021] – A majority of Americans believe the Affordable Care Act should continue to exist, a new Research Co. poll has found.

The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to rule on the validity of the Affordable Care Act—sometimes referred to as Obamacare—in the next few months. 

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 61% of Americans say they would prefer for the Affordable Care Act to remain in place, while 28% would like to see the legislation repealed.

While 83% of Democrats and 60% of Independents support keeping the Affordable Care Act, only 41% of Republicans concur.

Almost three-in-five Americans (59%) agree with the United States moving to establish a national, publicly funded healthcare system, similar to the ones that currently exist in Canada and some European countries, while 30% disagree and 12% are not sure.

Support for this type of system is highest among men (65%), Americans aged 18-to-34 (67%), and residents of the West (70%).

“Seven-in-ten Americans who voted for Joe Biden last year (70%) are in favour of a move towards a national, publicly funded healthcare system,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Americans who voted for Donald Trump last year are deeply divided on this topic, with 45% agreeing and 47% disagreeing.”

Three-in-four Americans (75%) say they are “very confident” or “moderately confident” that America’s healthcare system would be there to provide the help and assistance that they would need if they had to face an unexpected medical condition or disease.

In addition, 71% of Americans say the healthcare system currently meets their needs and the needs of their family—a proportion that rises to 75% among men, 73% among Americans aged 55 and over and 76% among residents of the Northeast.

More than half of Americans (53%) approve of Joe Biden’s performance as president, while 42% disapprove and 5% are undecided.

Biden’s numbers are significantly high among Democrats (85%) but drop to 55% among Independents and to 21% among Republicans.

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from April 23 to April 25, 2021, among 1,000 adults in the United States. The data has been statistically weighted according to U.S. 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 here and download the press release here.

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

Fake News and Racism Prevalent in Canada’s Social Media Feeds

More than one-in-four users say they posted something on social media that they deleted after thinking it over twice.

Vancouver, BC [April 23, 2021] – The past two years have not brought a significant change in the amount of offensive content Canadians encounter on their social media feeds, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample of social media users, 27% of Canadian respondents say they found racist content or comments on their feed in the past year, down two points since a similar Research Co. poll conducted in September 2019.

Slightly smaller proportions of Canadian social media users found content or comments offensive to people with disabilities (20%, =) or homophobic content (19%, -2) on their feed over the past 12 months.

“Only 17% of Canadian social media users aged 55 and over say they were exposed to racist content in the past year,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “The problem is more prevalent among those aged 35-to-54 (24%) and those aged 18-to-34 (39%).” 

More than a quarter of Canadian social media users (27%, +6) say they posted something on social media over the past year that they deleted after thinking it over twice—including 30% of women and 38% of British Columbians.

While 23% of Canadian social media users reported someone for offensive content or comments, the proportion rises to 34% among those aged 18-to34.

Almost two-in-five Canadians (39%) say they found links to stories on current affairs that were obviously false (sometimes referred to as “Fake News”) on their feed in the past 12 months.

Social media users in Ontario are more likely to report being exposed to “Fake News” (47%) than their counterparts in British Columbia (39%), Atlantic Canada (36%), Alberta (33%), Quebec (also 33%) and Saskatchewan and Manitoba (32%).

Seven-in-ten Canadian social media users (71%, +1) claim is difficult to discern which accounts are real and which ones are fake, including 78% of those aged 55 and over.

Majorities of Canadian social media users are also in favour of banning “anonymous” accounts to only allow people to comment and post if they use their real name and likeness (69%, +1) and bringing an end to “creeping” by always allowing users to see who has viewed their profiles, photos and posts (65%, +5).

Three-in-five social media users (60%, -3) think politicians who have a social media account should not be able to block users from engaging with them.

Support for the notion of politicians not blocking social media users is highest in British Columbia (62%), followed by Alberta (61%), Ontario (also 61%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (60%), Atlantic Canada (also 60%) and Quebec (56%).

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from April 16 to April 18, 2021, among 845 adult social media users in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Canada. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is plus or minus 3.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

Most Canadians Remain Supportive of Marijuana Legalization

Fewer than one-in-five Canadians are in favour of legalizing other substances, such as cocaine, heroin and fentanyl.

Vancouver, BC [April 20, 2021] – Most Canadians hold favourable views on the legalization of cannabis in the country, but a sizeable proportion of consumers is not acquiring the product at licensed retailers, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 64% of Canadians agree with marijuana being legal in Canada, while 28% disagree and 7% are undecided.

Men (68%), Canadians aged 18-to-34 (71%) and Atlantic Canadians (74%) are more likely to voice agreement with the legal status of cannabis in the country.

The level of support for making other substances readily available for consumers is significantly smaller. Only 16% of Canadians believe the time is right to legalize powder cocaine. Similar proportions feel the same way about heroin (15%), ecstasy (14%), fentanyl (also 14%), crack cocaine (13%) and methamphetamine or “crystal meth” (also 13%). 

Just over half of Canadians (51%) say they have not consumed marijuana in the country. Almost two-in-five (38%) say they tried cannabis before it became legal in October 2018, while 11% only used it after legalization.

Canadians who have consumed marijuana after legalization where asked where they bought their product. Just under two-in-five (38%) say they acquired “all” of their cannabis at a licensed retailer. 

Three-in-ten Canadian marijuana consumers (31%) say they bought “some” or “all” of their product at a licensed retailer, while 20% say “none” of it came from a licensed retailer.

“There are some significant generational differences in the behaviour of marijuana consumers in Canada,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Those aged 18-to-34 are more likely to say that all of their cannabis was bought at a licensed retailer, while the numbers drop significantly among those aged 55 and over.”

More than tree-in-five Canadians (61%) think companies should be able to administer “drug tests” to any employee now that marijuana is legal, even if they do not operate machinery (such as pilots, truck drivers or crane operators). 

Support for these “drug tests” is highest in Atlantic Canada (70%), followed by Saskatchewan and Manitoba (66%), Alberta (63%), British Columbia (61%), Quebec (60%) and Ontario (57%).

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted on April 11 and April 12, 2021, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Canada. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

British Columbians Inching Closer to a True Work-Life Balance

More than a third of employed residents of the province (35%, -7 since 2019) say work has put a strain on their relationships.

Vancouver, BC [April 16, 2021] – The number of employed British Columbians who feel they are doing a good job managing their jobs and their leisure time has increased over the past two years, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 41% of employed British Columbians claim to have achieved a perfect balance between work and lifestyle, up eight points since a similar Research Co. survey conducted in April 2019.

Conversely, 45% of employed British Columbians (-8) think work has become more important than lifestyle, while only 10% (-2) believe lifestyle is taking precedence over work.

“While the province-wide numbers may point to an improvement for the workforce of British Columbia, some generational differences prevail,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Only 32% of those aged 55 and over are putting their careers ahead of everything else, compared to 47% among those aged 35-to-54 and 50% among those aged 18-to-34.”

Almost two-in-five employed British Columbians (39%, -2) believe it is harder for them to achieve a work-life balance than it was for their parents, while 16% (-3) think this task is now easier.

More than a third of employed British Columbians (35%, -12) say they had to stay late after work in the past six months, while just under three-in-ten (28%, +3) had to take a work-related call on their mobile phone while they were with family or friends.

One in four employed British Columbians were compelled to reply to a work-related e-mail while they were with family or friends (24%, -4) or had to work from home on a weekend (24%, =). 

Slightly fewer employed British Columbians had to work from home at night (22%, +1) or missed a “lifestyle” engagement (like a virtual or live family gathering or leisure activity) because they had to work (17%, -12).

Across the province, 35% of British Columbians acknowledge that their work has put a strain on their relationships with family and friends, down seven points since April 2019.

Employed British Columbians aged 18-to-34 are significantly more likely to admit that their relationships are suffering because of their jobs (48%) than their counterparts aged 35-to-54 (37%) and aged 55 and over (15%). 

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from April 3 to April 6, 2021, among 650 adults in British Columbia who are employed full time or part time. 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 +/- 3.9 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] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

More Than Half of British Columbians Using Apps to File Their Taxes

Almost three-in-five residents (57%) say they dislike having to pay the Provincial Sales Tax (PST).

Vancouver, BC [April 13, 2021] – Most British Columbians will file their taxes by themselves, but with the help of software or apps, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 52% of British Columbians intend to use this method during this fiscal year.

Just over one-in-five British Columbians (21%) will file their taxes through an accountant or firm, while 13% plan to rely on a tax preparation company and 11% will file by themselves, but without requiring any software or apps.

“The pandemic has not changed the way British Columbians file their taxes,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “There are minimal fluctuations when we compare this year’s methods to what respondents did in 2020.”

Half of British Columbians (50%) think the provincial income tax they pay is too high, while 41% consider it adequate. 

Women (58%), British Columbians aged 35-to-54 (63%) and residents of Northern BC (66%) are more likely to feel that the provincial income tax is too high.

A higher proportion of the province’s residents think three other taxes are currently too high: the Goods and Services Tax (GST) (51%), the federal income tax (55%) and the Provincial Sales Tax (57%).

Almost three-in-five British Columbians (57%) say they dislike having to pay the PST, while 37% do not mind and 5% are not sure.

The level of animosity from British Columbians is lower for paying the GST (56%), the provincial income tax (48%) and the federal income tax (46%).

While only 41% of British Columbians who voted for the BC New Democratic Party (NDP) in last year’s provincial election dislike having to pay the provincial income tax, the proportion rises to 46% among those who voted for the BC Greens and 49% among those who voted for the BC Liberals.

Almost two thirds of British Columbians who voted for the Conservative Party in the 2019 federal election (65%) say they dislike paying the federal income tax. The proportion falls to 44% among federal NDP voters and to 40% among Liberal voters.

Methodology:
Results are based on an online survey conducted from March 19 to March 21, 2021, 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] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

Canadians Agree with Supreme Court on Carbon Tax Decision

More than three-in-five Canadians (62%) say they are personally concerned about climate change.

Vancouver, BC [April 9, 2021] – The recent ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada that upheld the federal government’s carbon tax plan is supported by a majority of the country’s residents, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 57% of Canadians agree with the court’s decision, while 29% disagree and 13% are undecided.

The Supreme Court stated that the federal government is free to impose minimum pricing standards due to the threat posed by climate change. 

Support for the Supreme Court’s ruling is highest in Quebec (64%), followed by British Columbia (58%), Atlantic Canada (also 58%), Ontario (57%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (50%) and Alberta (47%).

Across the country, 45% of Canadians say that the carbon tax has negatively affected the finances of their household. This includes majorities of men (51%), Albertans (58%) and Canadians who voted for the Conservative Party in the 2019 federal election (65%).

Canadians are divided on whether the introduction of a carbon tax has led people to be more mindful of their carbon consumption and change their behaviour. While 42% of Canadians believe this to be the case, 44% disagree and 15% are not sure.

“The notion of a carbon tax modifying the habits of Canadians is more prevalent among those who voted for the Liberals (71%) and the New Democrats (70%) in the last federal election,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Only 32% of Canadians who voted for the Conservatives share this point of view.”

The survey provided respondents with a list of 10 different environmental issues. More than three-in-five Canadians say they are personally concerned about four different matters: air pollution (64%), the pollution of rivers, lakes and reservoirs (62%), global warming or climate change (also 62%) and the pollution of drinking water (61%).

Fewer Canadians are personally concerned about six other environmental issues: the contamination of soil and water by toxic waste (53%), the extinction of plant and animal species (52%), deforestation or the clearance of naturally occurring forests (51%), the loss of tropical rain forests (50%), the depletion of fish stocks through overfishing (44%) and the maintenance of the supply of fresh water for household needs (also 44%).

Almost half of Canadians (47%) think the federal government is not paying enough attention to the environment—a proportion that rises to 54% among Atlantic Canadians and 50% among both Quebecers and British Columbians.

Similar proportions of Canadians also think their provincial government (51%) and their municipal government (48%) are not focusing on the environment as much as they should.

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted on April 2 and April 3, 2021, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Canada. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

Satisfaction with COVID-19 Management Falls Across Canada

Fewer than half of Ontarians and Albertans are content with the way their provincial governments have handled the pandemic.

Vancouver, BC [April 5, 2021] – The proportion of Canadians who are pleased with the way the federal government has managed the pandemic has dropped to the lowest level recorded, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 51% of Canadians are satisfied with the way the federal government has dealt with COVID-19, down seven points since a similar Research Co. poll conducted in January.

A slightly higher proportion of Canadians are content with how their municipal governments (54%, -6) and their own provincial government (53%, -5) have handled the pandemic.

British Columbia continues to have the highest level of satisfaction among the four most populous provinces (65%, -7), followed by Quebec (58%, -7). The rating is significantly lower for Ontario (45%, -8) and Alberta (37%, +3).

Almost half of Canadians (47%, +14) think the worst of the pandemic is “definitely” or “probably” behind us, while one third (33%, -17) believe the worst of COVID-19 is “definitely” or “probably” ahead of us.

Practically four-in-five Canadians (79%, +5) are either already vaccinated against COVID-19 or will “definitely” or “probably” be inoculated when they get the chance, while 14% (-2) would not and 8% (-1) are not sure.

In December 2020, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) stated that it expected to have enough COVID-19 vaccine doses to inoculate every willing Canadian by the end of September 2021.

This month, half of Canadians (50%, +5 since a similar Research Co. survey completed in February) think the September vaccination goal set by the PHAC will be attained, while almost two-in-five (38%, -8) believe it will not be reached.

Canadians who voted for the Liberal Party in the 2019 federal election are significantly more likely to think that the federal government’s vaccination goal will be attained (66%) than those who cast ballots for the New Democratic Party (NDP) (48%) and the Conservative Party (35%).

A majority of Canadians (54%, +3) are content with the vaccination plans and phases outlined by their province. The level of satisfaction on this matter is highest in Quebec (64%, +11), followed by Atlantic Canada (63%, +9), British Columbia (57%, +1), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (53%, -4), Alberta (46%, +4) and Ontario (44%, -1).

The results are lower when Canadians are asked about the pace of vaccination efforts in their province. Almost half of Canadians (48%, +7) are satisfied, while 41% (-8) are dissatisfied.

Quebec also has the highest level of satisfaction on the pace of vaccination efforts (60%, +14), followed by Atlantic Canada (56%, +14), British Columbia (50%, +5), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (46%, +6), Alberta (45%,+8) and Ontario (37%, +3).

Almost half of Canadians (48%, +2) are content with the procurement of vaccines from the federal government, while 43% (=) are not. 

While sizeable proportions of Canadians continue to voice support for specific travel restrictions, the proportions are lower this month than in January.

More than four-in-five Canadians are in favour of keeping the border with the United States closed to non-essential travel (83%, -5) and placing all travellers arriving to Canada into a mandatory 14-day quarantine or isolation period (82%, -8).

In addition, 74% of Canadians (-6) are in favour of forbidding non-essential travel from one province to another, and 66% (-6) agree with prohibiting non-essential travel inside their own province.

More than four-in-five Canadians (83%, -5) agree with requiring all customers or visitors entering an indoor premise to wear a mask or face covering while inside.

There is a slight drop in the proportion of Canadians who are wearing a mask every time they go out (77%, -4). Canadians aged 55 and over are more likely to always be taking this measure (83%) than their counterparts aged 35-to-54 (77%) and aged 18-to-34 (72%). 

Across the country, 29% of Canadians (=) are cleaning the groceries they buy to prevent infection, while 19% (-2) are not ordering food from restaurants at all for the same reason.

Compared to January, fewer Canadians report overeating (25%, -5) or drinking alcohol more often at home (14%, -4). Almost one-in-five (18%, +1) admit that they are losing their temper more often.

One-in-ten Canadians (10%, =) continue to acknowledge that they are brushing their teeth less often than before COVID-19, while 17% (-1) are having showers or baths less often.

Methodology:
Results are based on an online survey conducted on March 29 and March 30, 2021, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Canada. 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.
778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

Most Canadians Support Boycotting the Beijing Winter Olympics

Almost half of Canadians think it is “not safe” to hold the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, later this year.

Vancouver, BC [April 1, 2021] – More than half of Canadians believe the country’s athletes should not take part in the 2022 Winter Olympics over China’s human rights record, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 54% of Canadians think the country should boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, while 24% believe it should not and 21% are not sure.

The 2022 Winter Olympics will be held in Beijing, China, in February of next year. Over the past few months, there have been calls for athletes and Olympic Committees around the world to boycott the games.

Support for a Canadian boycott of the next Winter Olympics is highest among men (57%) and Canadians aged 55 and over (61%), but also encompasses 51% of women, 53% of Canadians aged 18-to-34 and 50% of Canadians aged 35-to-54.

“The highest level of support for keeping Canadian athletes out of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics is observed in Quebec (59%),” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “The proportion is slightly lower in Alberta (56%), Ontario (54%), British Columbia (53%), Atlantic Canada (51%) and Saskatchewan and Manitoba (50%).”

Majorities of Canadians who voted for the New Democratic Party (NDP) (62%), the Liberal Party (59%) and the Conservative Party (57%) in the 2019 federal election are in favour of a Canadian boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Support for a boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics reaches 49% among Canadians of East Asian descent. Majorities of respondents who describe their ancestry as European (56%) or South Asian (67%) are also in agreement.

The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, were postponed to 2021 on account of the COVID-19 pandemic. The organizers have decided that only spectators from Japan will be allowed to attend the event this year. Almost two thirds of Canadians (65%) support this decision, while 18% are opposed and 16% are not sure.

Almost half of Canadians (49%) think it is “not safe” to hold the Summer Olympics in Tokyo later this year—including 52% of women and 55% of Canadians aged 55 and over.

In a survey conducted by Research Co. in December 2020, 19% of Canadians held a positive opinion of China and 71% held a positive opinion of Japan. 

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted on March 27 and March 28, 2021, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Canada. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

Support for Teaching Creationism in Schools Rises in Canada

A majority of Canadians (57%) believe human beings evolved from less advanced forms of life over millions of years.

Vancouver, BC [March 30, 2021] – The proportion of Canadians who think creationism should be part of the school curriculum in their province has increased over the past two years, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 44% of Canadians think the belief that the universe and life originated from specific acts of divine creation should be taught in schools, up six points since a similar Research Co. poll conducted in November 2019.

Conversely, one third of Canadians (34%, -5) would not allow teachers to discuss creationism in the classroom, while 23% (=) are not sure.

Support for including creationism in the provincial school curriculum is highest among men (46%), Canadians aged 18-to- 34 (51%), Albertans (53%) and Quebecers (50%).

“A majority of Canadians who identify as Christians (55%) are in favour of the teaching of creationism in Canada’s schools,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “The proportion drops dramatically among those who have no religion (22%), agnostics (15%) and atheists (12%).”

Almost half of Canadians who voted for the Conservative Party in the 2019 federal election (49%) are in favour of teaching creationism in schools, along with 47% of those who supported the Liberal Party and 44% of those who voted for New Democratic Party (NDP) candidates.

Most Canadians (57%, -4) believe human beings evolved from less advanced forms of life over millions of years.

Just over one-in-four Canadians (26%, +3) think God created human beings in their present form within the last 10,000 years.

Belief in creationism reaches 36% in Alberta and is lower in all other regions of the country: Atlantic Canada (33%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (26%), Quebec (25%), Ontario (24%) and British Columbia (22%).

Majorities of Canadians who voted for the Liberals (67%), New Democrats (59%) and Conservatives (51%) in the 2019 federal election believe in evolution.

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from March 17 to March 19, 2021, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Canada. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

“Vaccine Passport” Regarded as Good Idea by British Columbians

More than seven-in-ten of the province’s residents endorse the use of “Proof of Vaccination” certificates for travel abroad.

Vancouver, BC [March 26, 2021] – Most residents of British Columbia welcome the concept of a “Proof of Vaccination” certificate in order for people to partake in specific activities during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 73% of British Columbians think it is a good idea to rely on a “Vaccine Passport” for people who wish to travel to other countries, while 28% deem this a bad idea and 10% are undecided.

“Vaccine Passports” would essentially amount to “Proof of Vaccination” certificates for people who have been inoculated against COVID-19. At least three-in-five British Columbians endorse this idea for travel to other Canadian provinces (64%) and for travel inside their own province (60%).

“Two thirds of women in British Columbia (68%) agree with the concept of a vaccination certificate that would allow a person to travel to other Canadian provinces,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “The proportion drops slightly to 61% among men.”

Across the province, 62% of British Columbians are in favour of a “Vaccine Passport” to be able to participate in three different activities: go to live sporting events as spectators, visit a gym or fitness facility and go to live concerts as spectators.

Public support is slightly lower in British Columbia—although ahead of the 50% mark—for a “Vaccine Passport” for people to be able to work at an office (58%) and to be able to go to the theatre or cinema (56%).

On a regional basis, support for a “Vaccine Passport” for live sporting events is highest in Vancouver Island (67%), followed by the Fraser Valley (65%), Metro Vancouver (62%), Northern BC (also 62%) and Southern BC (57%).

British Columbians aged 55 and over are more likely to believe that a “Vaccine Passport” for people to go to the theatre or cinema is a good idea (61%) than their counterparts aged 18-to-34 (56%) and aged 35-to-54 (53%).

The notion of a “Vaccine Passport” that would allow people to work at an office is endorsed by 62% of British Columbians who voted for the BC New Democratic Party (NDP) in last year’s provincial election, 65% of those who cast ballots for the BC Liberals and 59% of those who supported the BC Green Party.

Methodology:
Results are based on an online survey conducted from March 19 to March 21, 2021, 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] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

British Columbians Want to Work from Home After Pandemic Ends

Employed residents of the province expect fewer in-person staff meetings and business travel once COVID-19 is over.

Vancouver, BC [March 23, 2021] – A significant proportion of British Columbians who have had to work from home in the past year expect to be able to continue doing so after the COVID-19 pandemic ends, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample, 54% of employed British Columbians say they have worked from home during the pandemic, including 63% of those aged 18-to-34 and 59% of those who reside in Metro Vancouver.

More than two-in-five employed British Columbians foresee fewer in-person staff meetings (47%), less business travel (44%) and a reduction of in-person business development meetings (43%) at their workplace once the pandemic ends.

Conversely, employed British Columbians believe their companies will see an increase in virtual staff meetings (50%), virtual business development (47%) and virtual communications between offices (46%) after COVID-19.

One third of British Columbians who have worked from home (33%) believe they will be able to keep doing it once or twice a week when the pandemic ends, while 18% foresee working from home three for four times a week and 20% believe they will be able to do so five days a week.

“Only 10% of British Columbians who have worked from home in the past year believe their post-COVID arrangements will not include any days at the home office,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “This includes 14% of those aged 55 and over and 20% of those who reside in Northern BC.”

Only a third of British Columbians who have worked from home have been informed by their company about two post-pandemic plans: how employees will return to the office (32%) and how employees will be able to work from home (also 32%).

Practically half of employed British Columbians who have worked from home (49%) say they are “very likely” or “moderately likely” to seek a different job if their current company does not allow them to work from home as often as they want—including 52% of men and 56% of those aged 18-to-34.

In addition, majorities of employed British Columbians who have worked from home would consider switching to different jobs that can be performed from home in their own metropolitan area (56%) or province (54%). Two-in-five (39%) would consider reporting to a company located in a different province, if they can perform their duties from home.

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted on March 8 and March 9, 2021, among 700 adults who work 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 +/- 3.7 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] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

Liberals Stay Ahead as Conservative Support Falls in Canada

Two-in-five Canadians think Justin Trudeau would make the best Prime Minister, as Erin O’Toole drops to 15% on this question.

Vancouver, BC [March 18, 2021] – Public support for the governing Liberal Party remains stable in Canada since the end of last year, while fewer voters are willing to cast a ballot for the Conservative Party, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 37% of decided voters in Canada would back the Liberal candidate in their constituency if a federal election were held tomorrow, unchanged since a similar Research Co. poll conducted in December 2020.

The Conservatives are in second place with 28% (-3), followed by the New Democratic Party (NDP) with 20% (=), the Bloc Québécois with 7% (=), the Green Party with 6% (+3) and the People’s Party with 1% (=).

The Liberals hold a three-point edge over the Conservatives among male decided voters (34% to 31%). Among female decided voters, the Liberals are also first (40%), with the Conservatives and New Democrats tied at 24%.

Support for the Liberal Party is strongest among decided voters aged 18-to-34 (41%, with the NDP in second place with 27%). The governing party is also ahead among decided voters aged 35-to-54 (35%, with the Conservatives at 30%) and aged 55 and over (37% to 29%).

More than two-in-five decided voters in Atlantic Canada (46%), Quebec (43%) and Ontario (42%) are currently backing the Liberals, while the Conservatives are leading in Alberta (46%) and Manitoba and Saskatchewan (41%). In British Columbia, the New Democrats are slightly ahead of the Liberals (31% to 29%), with the Conservatives in third place (26%).

The approval rating for Prime Minister and Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau stands at 56% this month (+1) and is higher among women (60%) and Canadians aged 18-to-34 (67%).

A third of Canadians (33%, -2) are satisfied with the performance of Official Opposition and Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole, a proportion that jumps to 47% among Albertans.

“In September 2020, Canadians were divided in three identical groups when assessing O’Toole’s performance as leader,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Since then, disapproval has risen by 12 points to 46%, and the level of undecideds has fallen from 33% to 21%.”

Since December, the approval rating for NDP leader Jagmeet Singh remains stable (46%, =). The numbers improved for Green Party leader Annamie Paul (30%, +5) and fell slightly for People’s Party leader Maxime Bernier (15%, -2).

Trudeau maintains a sizeable advantage over his rivals when Canadians are asked who would make the best prime minister of the country (40%, +1). O’Toole is a distant second on this question with 15% (-7), followed by Singh (12%, -1), Paul (3%, +1), Bloc leader Yves-François Blanchet (2%, =) and Bernier (2%, -1).

A third of Canadians (33%, +5) believe health care is the most important issue facing the country today, followed by the economy and jobs (24%, -3), COVID-19 (11%, -4), housing, homelessness and poverty (9%, =) and the environment (7%, +1).

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from March 13 to March 15, 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 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] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

British Columbians Support Return to System of Compulsory Trades Certification

Astounding 94 per cent of British Columbians considered government’s initiative important.

Vancouver, BC [March 12, 2021] – A new survey finds that most British Columbians support compulsory certification of the skilled trades and believe certification will make the construction industry safer.

“This poll demonstrates that British Columbians overwhelmingly support a return to compulsory trades certification,” noted Brynn Bourke, interim executive director of the BC Building Trades.

A compulsory trade is a skilled trade that requires training or apprenticeship in order to legally work in that trade. The provincial Liberals eliminated compulsory trades in 2002, and today B.C. is the only province in Canada that doesn’t have compulsory trades training.

A poll conducted March 8 and 9 by Research Co. and commissioned by the BC Building Trades shows 80 per cent of British Columbians support restoring compulsory trades in this province. A full 90 per cent of British Columbians believe that compulsory trades will make the construction industry safer due to the requirement for training and regulation, and that compulsory trades will contribute to workers being more highly skilled.

Meanwhile, 89 per cent of British Columbians believe compulsory trades will build consumer confidence and an expectation of quality workmanship.

“The results of this poll could not be clearer,” said Bourke. “British Columbians support and understand the importance of compulsory trades, they believe in compulsory trades, and they think compulsory trades will contribute to increased safety, skills development and quality work in the construction sector.”

The BC NDP government has committed to restoring compulsory trades. The poll also found that 94 per cent of British Columbians consider the government’s initiative either very or moderately important. Interestingly, women and residents 55 and over were more likely to consider the initiative “very important.”

The online survey polled 800 adults in B.C. Results are considered correct plus or minus 3.5 percentage points 19 times out of 20.

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

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Brynn Bourke, interim executive director, 
BC Building Trades
778-397-2220

A Third of British Columbians Endure COVID-19 Financial Struggles

More than half of the province’s residents (54%) say they are spending more on groceries than they did a year ago.

Vancouver, BC [March 15, 2021] – One third of British Columbians acknowledge that the financial situation of their household has not returned to the level it had before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 33% of British Columbians say that their household’s financial standing is worse now than prior to the pandemic.

While almost half of British Columbians (48%) report no change in their financial situation over the past year, 17% say they are better off now.

“There are specific groups of British Columbians who are more likely to have been negatively impacted by the pandemic,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “More than a third of women (36%) and practically half of residents of Northern BC (49%) say their household’s finances have suffered on account of COVID-19.”

About a third of British Columbians of European and East Asian origins (32% and 33% respectively) say their household’s financial situation has worsened because of the pandemic, along with 38% of the province’s residents of First Nation and South Asian descent.

When asked about specific things they pay for, a majority of British Columbians (54%) say their household expenditures on groceries are higher now than they were before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. This proportion climbs to 63% among women, British Columbians aged 55 and over and residents of the Fraser Valley.

Another area of increased spending for British Columbians is electronic entertainment, such as cable television and streaming services. While 6% of the province’s residents say they are paying less for these items than they did a year ago, almost three-in-ten (29%) are allocating more money to them.

Conversely, while 18% of British Columbians say they are spending more on transportation—such as fuel for vehicles, transit passes and taxis—more than a third (37%) say their costs are lower now than before COVID-19.

Significantly fewer residents of the province say they are spending more on four other categories than they did before the start of the pandemic: books (15%), housing (14%), board games (13%) and newspapers and magazines (9%). 

Methodology:
Results are based on an online survey conducted from March 1 to March 3, 2021, 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 here, and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

Live TV and Streaming Services See Jump Among Canadians

Almost three-in-four Canadian TV watchers (73%) have “binge watched” a show or series over the past year.

Vancouver, BC [March 12, 2021] – The proportion of Canadians who watch television recorded on a digital device has dropped significantly in the past year, while more time is being spent enjoying live content or streaming shows, a new Research Co. poll has found.

The online survey of a representative national sample asked Canadians to describe how they watch television.

More than a third of the time is spent by Canadians watching live television on a TV set (35%), up 10 points since a similar Research Co. poll conducted in January 2020.

Streaming on an online site—such as Netflix, Apple TV, Amazon Prime, Disney+ or CraveTV—to a television, computer, tablet or mobile phone is second on the list of entertainment sources with 29%, followed by watching television on a TV set via a digital recording device (13%, -19), streaming online from another type of site (9%, +3), watching content downloaded from the Internet (7%, -1) and streaming on a TV network website (6%, =).

“Canadians aged 35-to-54 appear to have struck a balance between live television (34%) and streaming services (30%),” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Canadians aged 18-to-34 gravitate towards streaming (44%) while those aged 55 and over devote most of their television time to watching broadcasts as they happen (54%).”

In a typical week, Canadians who watch TV spend 19 hours and 35 minutes enjoying content in all possible formats (over-the-air and cable television, as well as streaming on the Internet and mobile devices).

Across the country, Canadians aged 55 and over spend the most time watching television (25 hours and 56 minutes each week), followed by those aged 35-to-54 (18 hours and 20 minutes) and those aged 18-to-34 (13 hours and 8 minutes).

Residents of Saskatchewan and Manitoba and Alberta spend more than 20 hours a week watching television, while the proportion is lower in all other regions of Canada.

Just under one-in-five Canadian television watchers (18%) say they paid to watch a new motion picture that was not shown in movie theaters because of the COVID-19 pandemic—a proportion that rises to 26% among those aged 18-to-34.

Two-in-five Canadian TV watchers (40%) observed a presidential of vice-presidential debate in the United States last year, and a slightly higher proportion (42%) watched the inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden in January, including 57% of those aged 55 and over.

Almost three-in-four Canadian TV watchers (73%) admit to “binge watching”, or watching two or more episodes of a specific series in the same sitting.

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from March 4 to March 6, 2021, among 910 adults in Canada who watch television at home. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Canada. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.3 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] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

Photo Credit: KoolShooters

More Than One-in-Six British Columbians Are COVID Skeptics

Residents who think the pandemic is not a real threat are more likely to shun family and friends because of their views.

Vancouver, BC [March 9, 2021] – Residents of British Columbia who do not believe COVID-19 is a real threat are more likely to criticize politicians and the media and cut off friends and family members because of their position, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 82% of British Columbians consider COVID-19 a real threat, while 15% do not and 3% are undecided. 

“British Columbia’s pandemic skeptics amount to a tiny minority of the population, but there are some demographic pockets where these views are slightly more common,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “The group includes 18% of British Columbians aged 18 to 34, 29% of residents of Northern BC and 26% of residents of Southern BC.”

When British Columbians are asked about the performance of specific entities to handle the COVID-19 pandemic, majorities of respondents are satisfied with the work done by the provincial government (60%), municipal administrations (58%) and the federal government (53%). The numbers are lower for the official opposition in Victoria (32%) and Ottawa (also 32%).

Significant proportions of British Columbians are also satisfied with how their family (83%) and their friends (73%) have managed the pandemic.

More than half of the province’s residents are also content with the work of television news (63%), radio news (57%), newspapers (55%) and non-governmental associations (52%) during the pandemic. The rating drops to 35% for unions and 34% for trade associations, with a higher number of undecided respondents.

British Columbia’s pandemic skeptics express particularly low levels of satisfaction with how the provincial government (14%), the federal government (13%), television news (10%), radio news (7%) and newspapers (also 7%) have managed COVID-19 .

Across the province, 16% of British Columbians say that, because of a disagreement related to COVID-19, they have unfollowed a person on social media, while 13% ceased communication with a friend and 8% have stopped talking to a family member.

Among British Columbians who do not consider COVID-19 to be a real threat, the results on this question are significantly higher. About a third of pandemic skeptics (32%) have unfollowed a person on social media, while 26% have stopped talking to a family member and 25% have ceased communication with a friend because of a disagreement related to the pandemic.

Methodology:
Results are based on an online survey conducted from March 1 to March 3, 2021, 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 here, and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

COVID-19 Pandemic Increases Ranks of Cat Owners in Canada

Canadian cat owners aged 18-to-34 are evenly split on whether it is acceptable to physically discipline their pet.

Vancouver, BC [March 5, 2021] – Almost one-in-five Canadian cat owners decided to get their feline during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 35% of Canadians acknowledge that they currently have a cat in their home, including 38% of those aged 35-to-54, 48% of Atlantic Canadians and 41% of Quebecers.

Almost one-in-five Canadian cat owners (18%) say they have had their pet for less than a year, including 22% of women and 33% of those aged 18-to-34. More than two-in-five Canadian cat owners (45%) have had their pet for five years or more. 

In a similar Research Co. survey also conducted in February 2021, 11% of Canadian dog owners said they have had their pet for less than a year.

More than three-in-five Canadian cat owners (63%) decided to get a pet for companionship, while 39% acted because a family member wanted a cat.

Just under a third of Canadian cat owners (32%) sought fun and entertainment when they decided to get their pet, while 24% chose the animal because it is “low maintenance” and 10% got it in order to keep mice and wildlife away.

Cat owners in Alberta are significantly more likely than their counterparts in other provinces to say they acquired a cat for companionship (85%), for fun and entertainment (65%) and because it is a “low maintenance” pet (46%).

More than two-in-five Canadian cat owners (42%) say they adopted or rescued their feline from a shelter, while 18% received the cat as a gift, 13% purchased the cat at a store and 11% bought the cat directly from a breeder.

Half of Canadian cat owners who voted for the Conservative Party in the 2019 federal election (50%) say they adopted their pet from a shelter, compared to 39% among those who cast ballots for the Liberal Party or the New Democratic Party (NDP) in that democratic process.

“The notion of receiving cats as gifts varies drastically across Canada,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “While 38% of Albertan cat owners say their feline was a gift, the proportion drops to 11% in Atlantic Canada and to 8% in British Columbia.”

Almost three-in-four Canadian cat owners (73%) think it is unacceptable to physically discipline their pet. While sizeable majorities of Canadian cat owners aged 55 and over (89%) and aged 35-to-54 (82%) consider it unacceptable to spank, beat or hit the animal, only 48% of those aged 18-to-34 share the same view.

Across the country, 96% of Canadian cat owners say they are “very satisfied” or “moderately satisfied” with their cat, and 79% acknowledge that their feline has been spayed or neutered.

A final question defined the soul as “the immaterial essence, animating principle, or actuating cause of an individual life.” Four-in-five Canadian cat owners (81%) say that their pet has a soul, while 10% think it does not and 8% are undecided.

Methodology:
Results are based on an online survey conducted from February 25 to February 27, 2021, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Canada. 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.
778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

Adults 55+ Most Satisfied with Digital Health Tools During Pandemic

Over the past year, 51 per cent of British Columbians essentially “migrated” to virtual care.

Vancouver, BC [March 3, 2021] – Despite typical narratives about older adults’ reluctance to adopt technology, a poll released today by Research Co. and Digital Health Circle found that, during the COVID-19 pandemic, British Columbians 55 and over have been the most satisfied with digital health tools of any age group (86 per cent were very satisfied or moderately satisfied versus 75 per cent and 80 per cent for ages 18- 34 and 35-54 respectively).

The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred both the innovation and adoption of more and more digital health solutions as healthcare providers and consumers were forced to pivot, and virtual care and wellness activities became necessary. Digital Health Circle partnered with Research Co. to better understand how British Columbians, especially older adults, have been using digital health products during the pandemic, in order to help local businesses and healthcare providers better address their consumers’ needs.

“As Digital Health Circle’s work focuses on assisting tech companies to develop products that meet consumers’ needs, we wanted to learn if and how people were using these tools, if they were satisfied and what the barriers or gaps might be,” said Dr. Sylvain Moreno, Chief Executive Officer and Scientific Director, Digital Health Circle. “We learned that as the silver tsunami continues, clearly those older adults have an appetite and an urgent need for digital health tools, which means there is a real opportunity to help improve health outcomes, as well as for product and job creation in B.C.”

Today’s poll is a follow up to the one Research Co. did pre-pandemic, September 18, 2018 to understand how British Columbians were using digital tools for health care.

“The data in our poll refutes the stereotype that older adults, including baby boomers, are averse to technology adoption and avoid using digital health solutions,” said Mario Canseco, President, Research Co. “The high uptake amongst older adults may be in part due to concerns about exposure to COVID-19 in the community, making this group more likely to avoid going to the doctor in person or seeking traditional health care. Older adults also have higher healthcare needs and less transportation access, making digital health solutions very convenient.”page1image63486976page1image63474112

The data also provides two distinct learnings to inform the Provincial Government’s health policy development:

  • Government should continue to build on the digital capacity the health sector gained during the COVID-19 pandemic—the data tells us that use of digital health solutions holds a promise to satisfy older adults’ care needs.
  • It is now up to Government, including health authorities, to keep their feet on the gas and continue to make these products available in the health care system or incur the frustrations of this cohort, which includes baby boomers.“This data will help DHC as we assist small tech companies increase their chance of developing the best possible digital health solutions for British Columbians,” said Dr. Moreno. “The survey suggests that older adults want digital health solutions and products to be developed for them at least at the same rate as the general public.”

Other findings included:

  • During the pandemic, 51 per cent of British Columbians essentially “migrated” to virtual care. It was even higher for older adults (55+) at 54 per cent.
  • Vancouver Islanders are most divided on whether they will keep using digital solutions post pandemic, with 50 per cent saying they will continue to use them, 16 per cent saying they won’t and 34 per cent unsure.
  • Higher income residents say they will rely on these tools more post-pandemic: 64 per cent of those earning over $100,000/year versus 42 per cent of those earning under $50,000/year. However, the lowest income group had a higher satisfaction level that higher earners. Digital Health Circle plans to further explore the issue of access in the coming year.
  • More than two-in-five British Columbians are relying on digital health solutions, but the way they come into contact with them is different. The 55+ group is more likely to be getting recommendations from their physicians. Word of mouth and ads resonate with Millennials and Generation X.
  • There is generally similar use and perspectives on digital health products across ethnic groups and regions, with similar levels of satisfaction. One of the main differences is observed with tools for mental well-being, where adoption is highest among British Columbians of First Nations descent (23 per cent) but drops among those of South Asian (13 per cent), East Asian (8 per cent) and European heritage (7 per cent). Further investigation would be needed to understand if this is due to need, willingness to adopt technologies or another reason.
  • The most popular digital health care tools were in the following categories: physical activity and exercise (38 per cent), sleep tracking (14 per cent), nutrition (12 per cent), heart health/blood pressure (11 per cent) and mental well-being (9 per cent). This may be due to availability of apps, so this might not correlate to interest or willingness.

This comprehensive poll of 800 adults in British Columbia was undertaken as an online survey conducted from February 22 and February 23, 2021. 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:

Laura Cropper, Coast Communications and Public Affairs
778.323.382790
[e] laura@coastcomms.ca