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Nearly 80% of B.C. residents support province’s plan to re-open: poll

Despite the overwhelming support, many residents said they feel the re-opening plan is moving too quickly.
camping in forest GettyImages-589455644
Campgrounds in B.C. could reopen at end of May, provided COVID-19 transmission rates remain low. Photo: Getty Images

Four in five British Columbians support the province’s recently unveiled plan to gradually open B.C. through a phased-in approach. 

That’s according to a recent survey conducted by the pollster Insights West, which quizzed 747 B.C. residents immediately following Premier John Horgan’s announcement of the plan.

Despite the overwhelming support, many residents said they feel the re-opening plan is moving too quickly, and that “there is some resistance towards social gatherings of small groups, eating at restaurants, in-person schooling, and hair salons,” wrote the spokesperson for the pollster in a written release.

Of the 79% who back the plan, 32% “strongly support” it, 47% “somewhat support” it, 18% oppose it and 5% “strongly oppose” the plan. Younger British Columbians were less likely to support the plan, with 68% of those 18 to 34-years-old expressing support versus 81% for those between 35 and 54 and 84% for those over 55-years-old.

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“Rarely in polling do we find support above 70% for any public initiative that is announced by a standing Premier,” said president of Insights West Steve Mossop in a written statement.

Some of the elements of the province’s “Phase Two” re-opening of the province’s economy were more popular than others, with the biggest majority of respondents saying they would feel comfortable visiting a provincial park (76%), playing outdoor sports (72%) and seeking out the services of a dentist, chiropractor, physiotherapist or in-person counselling service.

On the other hand, a majority of respondents said they would not feel comfortable taking a trip out of province (74%), visiting indoor or outdoor tourist destinations (72% and 53%, respectively), eating in restaurants (65%), sending their kids to school (61%) or playing sports inside (53%).

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“Generally speaking, the phased approach of re-opening the Province of BC is supported overall, but the individual comfort level with different aspects of re-opening is widely varied” added Mossop.

“People are more cautious than I had anticipated, and the Province will have to consider each sector activity separately in terms of public reaction and participation.”



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