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Nearly 30% of Canadians broke health rules during the pandemic

Nearly 30% of Canadians broke health rules during the pandemic

The study, conducted by the Canadian Hub for Applied and Social Research (CHASR) at the University of Saskatchewan, analyzed responses from 1,000 Canadians contacted between June 1 and June 15.

In particular, it shows that nearly 1 in 3 Canadians has defied public health guidelines on COVID-19.

In all, 29% of people violated at least one measure relating to the pandemic.

Of these, 16% did not respect indoor assembly limits, 11% did not respect outdoor assembly limits, and 12% did not wear a mask in outdoor public spaces. .

Various reasons

Meeting with friends or family (27%) is the most common reason given for breaking rules, followed by rules that don’t make sense (21%) and rules that are broken. way safe (17 %).

According to CHASR director Jason Disano, the latter category was created after the investigation.

Many offenders who answered “other reason” for their behavior cited justifications such as believing that there was no danger, since they were alone or socially estranged outside, or that they were fully vaccinated and did not consider themselves to be a risk, he explains.

In the Prairies, 66% of respondents say they break the rules to visit friends or family.

There is a lot of useful data – interesting, thoughtful, and retrospective information provided by respondents – that will play a role and help improve the way we continue to manage the current pandemic and deal with future pandemics., adds Jason Disano.

Differences according to age

The survey found that people under 35 were more likely to violate indoor assembly limits, while those under 55 were more likely to challenge outdoor assembly limits.

Residents of Quebec (22%) and the Prairies (24%) were more likely than other Canadians to violate indoor assembly limits.

The survey revealed clear regional differences. Among the offenders, British Columbians are by far the most likely (90%) to justify their behavior by saying that the rules do not make sense.

Only 8% of Prairie residents agreed. In addition, seeing friends or family members is a more common explanation among women (62% versus 30% among men) and among residents of Quebec and the Prairies (59% and 66% respectively). compared to 11% among Atlantic residents.

How is the population informed

The University of Saskatchewan study also shows that respondents have different ways of learning about COVID-19.

There is no primary source of information for Canadians on the COVID-19 pandemic, underlines Mr. Disano.

It is really incumbent on governments and communications officials to ensure that they are reaching all demographic groups of the population., concludes the director of CHASR.

Social networks and television news lead the sources of information cited, with 88% of responses on this question.

Of the respondents, about 70% mentioned word of mouth or government websites.

People over 55 use print media more often, while Twitter was more often cited by those under 55.

Instagram, Reddit, Snapchat and TikTok are more common sources of information for people under 35.


The University of Saskatchewan surveyed a random sample of 1,000 Canadians reached by cell phone and landline between June 1 and June 15. The margin of error is + or – 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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