A new survey shows a noticeable drop in the number who said they trusted the police somewhat or a lot in recent months, in a June 16, 2020 story. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

A new survey shows a noticeable drop in the number who said they trusted the police somewhat or a lot in recent months, in a June 16, 2020 story. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Trust in police drops amid anti-racism protests, poll suggests

90 per cent in favour of body cameras for police

OTTAWA — More Canadians are questioning their trust in the police as protests against racism and police brutality sparked by the killing of George Floyd last month sweep across North America, a new poll suggests.

While the majority of Canadians remain largely trusting of their law-enforcement agencies, the Leger and Association for Canadian Studies survey shows a noticeable drop in the number who said they trusted the police somewhat or a lot in recent months.

Seventy per cent of survey respondents over the weekend indicated they trusted the police a lot or somewhat — a decline of nine percentage points from May and 11 points from April.

The decline coincides with the May 25 killing of Floyd, a Black man, by white police officers in Minneapolis, which was captured on video and has since sparked anti-racism protests in the U.S. and Canada as well as calls for changes to police conduct.

“It does signal that a percentage of Canadians are asking themselves questions about how police forces are doing their work,” Leger executive vice-president Christian Bourque said of the survey results.

On that score, the poll found that 90 per cent of respondents were in favour of police wearing body cameras while 87 per cent supported providing more hours of training for officers on relations with visible minorities.

RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki said last week that she had agreed to equip some Mounties with body cameras and calls have been growing for other police forces to follow suit to increase transparency and curb police brutality in Canada.

Yet only 52 per cent of respondents supported the idea of prioritizing the hiring of visible minorities by police services while 32 per cent were in favour of taking firearms away from officers patrolling urban centres on foot.

Bourque could not immediately explain why respondents were lukewarm to putting a premium on hiring more visible minorities, and said that there is also limited support for disarming police in the same way as countries such as Britain have done.

“Anything that has to do with disarming police officers, Canadians do not seem to see that from a very positive perspective.”

The online poll was conducted June 12 to 14 and surveyed 1,527 adult Canadians. It cannot be assigned a margin of error because internet-based polls are not considered random samples.

The poll also found the majority of Canadians support extending the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, the $2,000-a-month payment the federal government established to help those whose livelihoods have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CERB was set to expire in mid-July, though Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Monday that the federal government is working on an extension as many Canadians continue to struggle to make ends meet because of the pandemic.

Eighty-one per cent of respondents said they supported the CERB, which was largely unchanged from last month.

As for what happens to it from here, 38 per cent wanted it maintained in its current form and 25 per cent wanted it maintained but with a reduced amount for recipients.

Only 21 per cent said they wanted it ended entirely. The remaining 16 per cent said they did not know or preferred not to answer.

“There’s still broad support for it everywhere,” Bourque said. “So even though we’ve heard debate about whether we should stop it, should we keep it … if you were the federal government, you would think people want them to keep the CERB for longer.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 16, 2020.

Policeracism

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

Just Posted

skip2
Rimbey Christian School students experience the joy of giving

Grades three and four students raised $2,000 for Somalian children

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Alberta reports 1,731 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday

The province’s central zone has 992 active cases

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said growing COVID-19 case numbers continue to be a concern in the province. (Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta announces 1,077 new COVID-19 cases Thursday

There are currently 14,052 active cases in the province

Bids for Kids poster
Wolf Creek Youth Foundation online auction gets ‘overwhelming’ response

Santa’s Bids for Kids auction to benefit youth programs in Rimbey, Ponoka

Idyllic winter scenes are part of the atmosphere of the holiday season, and are depicted in many seasonal movies. How much do you know about holiday movies? Put your knowledge to the test. (Pixabay.com)
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

In this undated photo issued by the University of Oxford, a volunteer is administered the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said Monday Nov. 23, 2020, that late-stage trials showed its coronavirus vaccine was up to 90% effective, giving public health officials hope they may soon have access to a vaccine that is cheaper and easier to distribute than some of its rivals. (University of Oxford/John Cairns via AP)
Moderna chairman says Canada near head of line for 20 million vaccine doses

Trudeau created a firestorm when he said Canadians will have to wait a bit to get vaccinated

Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre speaks during a news conference Monday, Nov. 16, 2020 in Ottawa. Poilievre says building up the Canadian economy post-pandemic can't be achieved without a massive overhaul of the tax system and regulatory regime. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Conservatives attack Trudeau’s ‘reset’ but they have ideas for their own

‘We don’t need subsidized corporate welfare schemes that rely on endless bailouts from the taxpayer’

There were 47 new COVID-19 cases in Alberta Tuesday. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
Spread of COVID-19 in Brampton, Ont., linked to systemic factors, experts say

‘We’re tired. We’re numb. We’re overworked. We’re frustrated, because it’s not our rules’

A couple embrace during a ceremony to mark the end of a makeshift memorial for victims of the Toronto van attack, at Yonge St. and Finch Ave. in Toronto on Sunday, June 3, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston
‘I’ve been spared a lot,’ van attack survivor says as she watches trial alone

Court has set up a private room for victims and families of those killed in the Toronto van attack

A person enters a building as snow falls in Ottawa, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. Ottawa has been successful in limiting the spread of COVID-19 during its second wave thanks to the city’s residents who have been wearing masks and staying home, said Ottawa’s medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
People to thank for Ottawa’s success with curbing COVID-19: health officer

The city’s chief medical officer said much of the credit goes to the people who live in Ottawa

The Red Deer Games Foundation has made changes to its grant program as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo supplied)
Red Deer Games Foundation adjusts grant program due to COVID-19 pandemic

The foundation postponed the spring 2020 grant program due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Gold medallists in the ice dance, free dance figure skating Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, of Canada, pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Charlie Riedel
Olympic champions Virtue, Moir and Tewksbury among 114 Order of Canada inductees

Moir and Virtue catapulted to national stardom with their gold-medal performances at the Winter Olympics in 2018

Most Read