Canadians strongly opposed to calling COVID-19 'Chinese virus' or 'Chinese flu,' poll finds
VANCOUVER -- The vast majority of Canadians say they're opposed to labelling COVID-19 the "Chinese virus" or "Chinese flu," according to a new survey.
Research Co. polled people across the country and found only 20 per cent believe it's OK to use those labels, which link the novel coronavirus to the country where it was first discovered back in December 2019.
Similar terms have been spray painted onto bus stops and other locations in Vancouver, which has seen an alarming increase in racist incidents targeting people of Asian descent since the pandemic began.
In most of the regions Research Co. surveyed from B.C. to Atlantic Canada, upwards of 70 per cent of respondents said they don't find the terms acceptable descriptors for COVID-19.
There was less objection in Quebec, where 64 per cent opposed the labels and 31 per cent said they are acceptable.
Pollsters also asked Canadians whether they feel China's government should "take responsibility for its role in the COVID-19 outbreak." Early reports indicated that officials fought to control the information that was being shared about the virus.
According to the poll results, more than seven-in-10 respondents said they either "strongly agree" or "moderately agree" that the Chinese government should take some responsibility, though most stopped short of wanting Canada to take legal action against China over the pandemic.
Just 31 per cent of those polled said Canada should do so.
When it comes to their own government, there appears to be wide support among Canadians for the measures being taken to deal with COVID-19.
A majority of respondents said they are either "very satisfied" or "moderately satisfied" with the work being done at the local, provincial and federal levels.
British Columbia's provincial government received the highest marks of any region polled, with 69 per cent expression satisfaction with its response to the pandemic. Satisfaction was lowest next door in Alberta, at 56 per cent.
Research Co.'s survey was conducted online from May 11 to 13 among 1,000 Canadian adults. The results carry a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.