As the inquiry into the federal government’s decision to use the Emergencies Act during the ‘Freedom Convoy’ protests nears the finish line, a new survey has found that two in three Canadians say they support, at least to some degree, the invocation of the Act.
More than 1,000 Canadians were asked about their thoughts on the Emergencies Act in a survey conducted by Nanos Research in the days after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took the stand at the inquiry. Of the respondents, 48 per cent said they support the use of the Emergencies Act, while 18 per cent said they somewhat support the decision.
In addition, 23 per cent said they oppose the use of the Act and seven per cent said they somewhat oppose it.
Support for the use of the Emergencies Act was highest in Atlantic Canada, where 74.6 per cent indicated they support or somewhat support the decision. This was followed by Quebec, where 73.4 per cent said they at least somewhat support the use of the Act.
The strongest opposition to the use of the Act was in the Prairies, where 43.7 per cent said they oppose or somewhat oppose the measure. Canadians aged 55 or older were also more likely to support or somewhat support the use of the Act compared to younger Canadians between the ages of 18 and 35.
When asked about which groups Canadians felt they had the worst impressions of due to the federal inquiry, 46 per cent identified the convoy protesters, while 23 per cent said the federal government. In addition, eight per cent said the Ontario government, while 10 per cent said they have a negative impression of all of these groups.
As well, 40 per cent said the inquiry left them with the best impression of the federal government and 13 per cent said they had the most positive impression of the protesters, while 25 per cent said they were unsure.
CANADIANS DIVIDED ON PREPAREDNESS FOR ANOTHER CONVOY-STYLE PROTEST
Nanos also asked survey respondents whether they believed Canada would be prepared for another protest similar to the “Freedom Convoy.” Of the respondents, 45 per cent said Canada is not prepared or somewhat not prepared, while 50 per cent said Canada would be at least somewhat prepared.
An organizer for the “Freedom Convoy” says there are plans for a “Freedom Convoy 2.0” protest in Ottawa in February 2023.
Canadians also appear to be split on their confidence of the police to handle such a protest in the future. The survey found that 42 per cent said they would have about the same amount of confidence, while 28 per cent said they have less confidence and 25 per cent say they have more confidence.
The Ottawa Police Service’s response to the protests has been met with widespread criticism for allowing the occupation of downtown Ottawa to be dragged on for weeks. Senior police officers, as well as Trudeau, testified at the inquiry that they believe Ottawa police had no proper plan to end the occupation.
Confidence in the police was lowest in Ontario, where the weekslong occupation of Ottawa took place. In Ontario, 35.4 per cent said they have less confidence in the police. Younger Canadians aged 18 to 34 were also more likely to express their lack of confidence in the police.
Nanos conducted an RDD dual frame hybrid telephone and online random survey of 1,025 Canadians, 18 years of age or older, between Nov. 27 and 29, 2022, as part of an omnibus survey.
Participants were randomly recruited by telephone using live agents and administered a survey online. The sample included both land- and cell-lines across Canada. The results were statistically checked and weighted by age and gender using the latest Census information and the sample is geographically stratified to be representative of Canada.
Individuals randomly called using random digit dialling with a maximum of five call backs. The margin of error for this survey is ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
This study was commissioned by CTV News and the research was conducted by Nanos Research. Some numbers may not add up to 100 due to rounding.
With files from CTV News Ottawa and The Canadian Press