Across the country, a poll found 67 per cent of Canadians support mandatory masking for all indoor public spaces, compared to 58 per cent just over two weeks ago. CP photo

Across the country, a poll found 67 per cent of Canadians support mandatory masking for all indoor public spaces, compared to 58 per cent just over two weeks ago. CP photo

Canadians are reluctantly wearing masks as support for mandatory masking climbs

Poll: Only 55 per cent of Canadians are wearing masks regularly

TORONTO — As fears of a resurgence in COVID-19 cases increase, many Canadians are reluctantly donning masks to stop the spread of the virus.

This is according to a new Angus Reid poll which found only 55 per cent of Canadians are wearing masks regularly when they leave home.

The other 45 per cent either wear masks rarely or not at all.

Every province except for Alberta and Saskatchewan registered over 70 per cent support for mandatory masking laws — the former at 60 per cent and the latter with just 55 per cent support for the measure.

Only a quarter respondents said their reason for not wearing a mask was that they forgot to bring one, while 74 per cent pointed to discomfort, lack of concern about catching COVID-19, a perceived ineffectiveness of masks, or simply mimicking others not wearing them.

The poll also found that men were much less likely to wear masks than women, and a majority of women across all age brackets reported wearing one when they leave home.

This is despite the poll’s finding that national concern over the threat posed by COVID-19 is at its highest since April.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney addressed the reluctance of some Albertans to wear a mask at a press briefing in Red Deer today, noting the potential for further economic damage if the province needs to go into lockdown again.

“I hear people say that mask wearing is a globalist idea. I will remind them that I was advocating mask use when the World Health Organization — a global organization — was recommending against it,” Kenney said.

“My pitch to those folks, if they’re upset about mask usage, the alternative will inevitably be more widespread suspensions of economic activity if we get a second outbreak.”

A different poll on COVID-19 from Leger and the Association of Canadian Studies found a nearly 10 per cent increase in support for masking between June 26 and July 12.

Across the country, the Leger poll found 67 per cent of Canadians support mandatory masking for all indoor public spaces, compared to 58 per cent just over two weeks ago.

Only 27 per cent were against the measure and six per cent were not sure.

On Saturday, Quebec became the first province to mandate masks inside public spaces across the region.

Similar orders had already been issued on the municipal level in various cities across Ontario, with Toronto enacting the order on July 7.

And as the city prepares to enter the Stage 3 reopening phase, the Ontario Medical Association has asked the provincial government to keep indoor bars closed, saying it presents “significant risk” for potential outbreaks.

“When people consume alcohol, inhibitions are lowered, making them much less likely to practice physical distancing, proper masking behaviours and good hand hygiene,” OMA President Dr. Samantha Hill said.

A number of incidents in Toronto have highlighted the divide over masking and physical distancing rules, with some bar and restaurant owners bending public health bylaws in order to serve more customers or run illegal parties.

Earlier this week, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario announced an investigation into popular King St. restaurant MARBL due to a video that emerged on social in which dozens of patrons could be seen crammed into a semi-indoor space while celebrating a birthday.

The video, which also showed staff failing to wear masks, prompted outrage online.

At the beginning of July, another King St. bar — Goldie — lost its liquor license after it was revealed the establishment hosted a club night for 125 people last month.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said the province still hopes to bring the hospitalization number down before relaxing restrictions. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
14 new deaths, 366 new COVID-19 cases in Alberta

Province nearing 100K COVID-19 vaccine doses administered

The first pages of the book, by Kristy Walker.
Sylvan Lake author pens first children’s book about COVID-19

“The Coronavirus Isn’t Scary” by Kristy Walker teaches children to take care of themselves

Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, MLA Innisfail-Sylvan Lake, Devin Dreeshen. (Photo Submitted)
Ag Minister announces 20% off crop insurance for Alberta farmers

Dreeshen says this will support job creators and boosting rural economy during a difficult time

An x-ray tech demonstrates the new equipment in use. (Photo Submitted)
New diagnostic equipment now operational at Sylvan Lake AACS

In August it was announced that Stephen and Jacqueline Wuori donated $850,000 to AACS

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

(Photo submitted)
Central Alberta researchers recognized for studies in agricultural sciences

Jessica Sperber of Ponoka and David MacTaggart of Lacombe awarded prestigious scholarship

FILE – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers his opening remarks at a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine CEO ‘very, very clear’ that Canada’s contracts will be honoured: Trudeau

Trudeau says he spoke to Moderna CEO on the morning of Jan. 26

A ground worker wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 unloads lobsters from a WestJet Airlines flight at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., on Thursday, January 21, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Trudeau teases stricter travel measures; Canadians flying to U.S. now need COVID test

Prime minister says measures need to not hurt imports and essential trade

(Photo submitted)
Ponoka RCMP receives new police puppy trainee

Detachment says goodbye to ‘Maja’ and welcomes ‘Neutron’

Art Kempf, originally from the Stettler area but now living in Lacombe, is pictured here with his late wife Lillian. Art’s 100th birthday is coming up on Feb. 22nd.
photo submitted
Former Stettler area resident Art Kempf will be celebrating a very special day next month

Kempf, now a Lacombe resident, marks his 100th birthday on Feb. 22nd

Whistle Stop Cafe owner Christopher Scott and his sister Melodie are serving sit-down customers in their Mirror diner to protest health restrictions that they say are unfair to restaurants and other small businesses. (Photo by Paul Cowley/Advocate staff)
Central Alberta restaurant owner defies health restrictions by serving diners

Whistle Stop Cafe owner says pandemic restrictions unfair to restaurants and small businesses

The Northwest Territories flag flies on a flagpole in Ottawa on July 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Alberta man charged with threatening Northwest Territories public health officer

Police did reveal the nature of the threats, but said it was concerning

A healthy volunteer receives an injection in this undated handout image provided by Providence Therapeutics. Human clinical trials have begun in Toronto for a proposed COVID-19 vaccine by a Canadian company. Providence Therapeutics of Calgary says 60 subjects will be monitored for 13 months, with the first results expected next month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Providence Therapeutics
*MANDATORY CREDIT*
Calgary company begins human clinical trials for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate

If successful, the vaccine could be released by the end of the year

Most Read