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Manitobans dissatisfied with pace of lifting restrictions: poll

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AS provincial governments across Canada lift pandemic restrictions, a new poll shows Manitobans are the most uncomfortable with the pace of getting back to “normal.”

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 16/03/2022 (321 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

AS provincial governments across Canada lift pandemic restrictions, a new poll shows Manitobans are the most uncomfortable with the pace of getting back to “normal.”

Some 44 per cent of Manitobans surveyed told the Angus-Reid Institute this month they feel the Tory government is dropping restrictions too quickly, compared with 36 per cent of Canadians overall.

On Tuesday, Manitoba scrapped its mask mandate and COVID-19 isolation requirements. The change comes two weeks after the province suspended requirements for proof of immunization to access public spaces.

Shortly after that change had taken place, between March 1 and 4, the non-partisan polling firm surveyed 2,550 Canadians, including 162 Manitobans, on how they feel about how provinces have managed the pandemic.

The responses suggest minority support for the recent removal of restrictions.

Among Manitoba respondents, 70 per cent supported requiring masks in indoor spaces and 61 per cent agree with requiring a proof of vaccination for restaurants and stores.

Both measures were less popular among supporters of the Conservative party, and significantly opposed by People’s Party supporters.

When asked about the removal of pandemic restrictions, 44 per cent of Manitobans said they felt it was occurring “too quickly” compared with 28 per cent who felt it was the right pace, and just as many who felt the opening was too slow.

That unease is reflected in negative feelings towards the PC premiers who have overseen the COVID-19 pandemic in Manitoba.

An overwhelming 78 per cent of respondents said they felt their premiers had done a poor job of handling the pandemic over the past two years. Nationally, that sentiment is only held by 48 per cent of respondents, and is far less pronounced outside the Prairies.

Manitobans largely echoed national responses in their feelings toward how other officials have handled the pandemic.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had done a good job, according to just 46 per cent of Manitoba respondents. Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam garnered 53 per cent approval. Her Manitoba counterpart, Dr. Brent Roussin, had 51 per cent support.

dylan.robertson@freepress.mb.ca

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