Feb 08, 2022

By Jane Brown

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A new poll suggests two-thirds of Canadians oppose the now 11-day old Ottawa protest against COVID-19 restrictions, with more than four in 10 saying they strongly consider the gridlock and the noise caused by hundreds of large trucks a selfish display.

And 57 per cent of the over 15-hundred Canadians surveyed by Leger on the weekend say they believe the convoy was not about vaccine mandates but “an opportunity for right-wing supremacist groups to rally and voice their frustrations about society.”

But almost 30 percent of Canadians surveyed disagree with that characterization of the demonstration against COVID-19 mandates that initially prompted the so-called Freedom Convoy. In addition, 44 percent of those polled say they sympathize with the frustrations being voiced by protesters.

Just over half of Canadians polled said they found the convoy in Ottawa “scary” because it reminded them of the storming of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington last year. Only 23 per cent strongly agreed with this statement.

However, 44 per cent of those polled agreed with the statement: “I am vaccinated against COVID-19 but I do sympathize with the concerns and frustrations being voiced by people involved in the trucker protest in Ottawa.”

The same proportion agreed that the prime minister and premiers “share the blame for the protest in Ottawa because of their condescending attitude toward Canadians who disagree with vaccine mandates and lockdowns.”

The survey highlights the extent of divisions within Canada, said Andrew Enns, executive vice-president of Leger, suggesting the protesters might have tapped into broader concerns than just the grievances of a small minority.

Enns said the poll had tapped into underlying frustration among a wider section of the public with the pandemic and its handling.

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