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Support for government programs such as CERB (87% support), Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (87%), BC temporary rent supplement (85%), and the Canadian Commercial Rent Assistance (81%) are among the highest levels Insights West has ever recorded for any public initiative. BC residents are divided on the idea of contract tracing apps (44% support, 48% oppose).

Vancouver, BC —Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the outpouring of public funding for a variety of programs has been met with an overwhelming level of public support, yet there is opposition to software for contact tracing, and the idea of a 4 day work-week.

The wide range of COVID-19 government programs and initiatives have been met with an astounding level of public support among BC residents with support levels beyond 75%. Support for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) that provides $2K income every four weeks for those who have lost their job due to COVID-19 receives support of 87% of BC residents (including 54% ‘strong support’), the same level of support that the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) receives (including 45% ‘strong support’).

Support for other government programs such as suspension of student loan repayments (88% support, including 52% ‘strong support’), temporary wage top-ups for essential workers (87% support, including 57% ‘strong support’), the BC Temporary Rent Supplement (85% support, including 49% ‘strong support’), one-time GST payments (85% support, including 52% ‘strong support’) old age security extra payments (85% support, including 58% ‘strong support’), the Canada Commercial Rent Assistance program (81% support, including 44% ‘strong support’), the Canadian Emergency Student Benefit (78% support, including 42% ‘strong support’), increased child benefits (75% support, including 42% ‘strong support’), all receive strong endorsements from British Columbians.

“In my 30 years in the polling industry covering public support for literally hundreds of public policy initiatives, I’ve never seen higher support levels for any public program than what I’ve seen for COVID-19 relief efforts” says Steve Mossop, president of Insights West. “British Columbians and Canadians across the country have rallied to support our political leaders in making unprecedented spending decisions to help the country survive and recover from this pandemic.”

Newer programs that are being discussed and debated received mixed results. The national plan for 10 days annual paid sick leave to all Canadians is supported by the vast majority (74%) but has a measurable group of opponents (19%). The concept of a Canada-wide universal guaranteed basic income receives the support of 68% of British Columbians, but a sizeable number (25%) is opposed to the idea. The idea of a four day work-week (at 80% salary) is supported by just over half of BC residents (55%) and opposed by 33%.

As the province begins to open up in phases 2 and 3, many COVID-19 related public policy initiatives are met with some equally high support numbers. The decision by our provincial government to limit campground access to British Columbians is supported by 85% of us (including 57% ‘strong support’), and the decision to open up more restaurant patio licenses receives and equally high level of support (87%, including 51% ‘strong support’).

However, some newer potential public initiatives have been met with a wider level of opposition. Only 44% support the idea of us having a tracking app on our phone to enable the government to have contact tracing if a second wave comes, while 48% are opposed to this idea. Public support for opening up parks to alcohol consumption is supported by the majority (59%), but many (35%) oppose the idea.

“While support for some of the newer public policy ideas is still high, it seems the ones that are perceived to infringe on our right to privacy or personal freedoms seem to be met with greater resistance” says Steve Mossop, president of Insights West. “We have to be careful, as this will make contact tracing less effective than if larger numbers of residence backed those proposals.”
About Insights West:


Insights West is a full-service marketing research firm based in Western Canada. Since 2012, the company has conducted over one million surveys, executed 2,000 studies, and issued over 350 press releases on a variety of topics, correctly predicting the outcomes of 24 out of 25 elections and plebiscites. Insights West is a team of passionate, truth-seeking researchers who question everything to uncover the truth and what is emerging for a diverse set of clients. With an understanding of shifting markets, consumer and societal trends, and commitment to uncovering truths through a proprietary toolkit and innovative research approaches, Insights West helps organizations make better decisions.


About this Release:


Results are based on an online study conducted from May 27, 2020 to May 31, 2020 among a sample of 893 BC residents. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies between totals are due to rounding. Click HERE to view the detailed data tabulations.


For further information, please contact:

Steve Mossop
Insights West