There is strong opposition to opening the Canada-U.S. border within the next month, with the exception of Quebec where opinions are mixed.

Overall, there is moderate support for opening all provincial and territorial borders within Canada over the next month, without quarantine restrictions. Support is highest in Ontario and lowest in Atlantic Canada.

September 11, 2020

OPENING THE CANADIAN BORDER TO THE UNITED STATES WITHIN THE NEXT MONTH

There is strong opposition to the possibility of opening the U.S.-Canada border within the next month. In fact, seven in ten Canadian residents oppose this idea, including more than half who are in complete opposition. Opposition is strong across the Country, with the exception of Quebec where residents are more divided on reopening the border with the United States (53% support and 47% opposition).

Across the population, opposition is strongest among Boomers (75%) and females (73%). Likewise, resistance to reopening the border with our southern neighbour is stronger among Canadian residents who disagree with reopening inter-provincial/territorial borders (86%).

Despite strong opposition, Atlantic Canadians are modestly warming up to the idea of opening the border with the United States. A survey of Atlantic Canadians on Narrative Research’s East Coast Voice panel showed that opposition stood at 95% in early August (compared to 78% at this time).

Residents who oppose reopening the border with the United States were asked what it would take for them to support this idea. Overall, opinions are equally split between those who seek a consistent low number of COVID-19 cases in both countries, and residents who seek a sustained period of two weeks of no new cases in both countries. Very few say it would take a vaccine being made available to prompt them to support the opening of the Canada-U.S. border.

A few differences of opinions are noteworthy across regions and provinces. While opinions in the Prairie Provinces, Ontario and Quebec are divided between a consistent low number of cases and a sustained period of time with no new cases, residents of British Columbia and New Brunswick seek a consistent low number of cases, while in contrast residents of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador seek a sustained period of time with no new cases.

OPENING PROVINCIAL/TERRITORIAL BORDERS WITHIN CANADA WITH NO QUARANTINE PERIOD WITHIN THE NEXT MONTH

Residents were asked if they support or oppose the opening of all provincial and territorial borders within Canada over the next month, with no quarantine requirement for national travellers. There is a sense of cautious confidence among the public, with a small majority of residents supporting this idea. More specifically, one-third (32%) completely support unrestricted travel for residents within Canada, with a further three in ten (29%) mostly in support. In contrast, four in ten (39%) Canadian residents express some level of opposition. Across the country, Ontario exhibits the highest level of support (66%), while support is lowest in Atlantic Canada (47%) where a regional bubble was established early in July and the incidence of COVID-19 has remained low in recent months. It should be noted that a mandatory quarantine period is currently required in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon, Manitoba and the Atlantic Provinces for out-of-province/territory travellers, with some exceptions.

While support is more prevalent than opposition across key demographic groups, a few differences are worth mentioning. Support is higher among Gen Z (64%), Millennials (66%), and Gen X (62%) than among Boomers (57%). Likewise, males are more open to the idea than are females (66% vs. 57%). Perhaps not surprisingly, residents who support the opening of the U.S. border are more likely than those who oppose it to also support cross-provincial and cross-territorial border opening within Canada.

Residents who voiced opposition were asked under what conditions they would support opening the borders to all Canadian provinces/territories. Two factors hold equal weight, namely a consistent low number of COVID-19 cases in all provinces/territories, and a sustained period of two weeks of no new cases of COVID-19 across the country. Only four percent of residents who oppose unrestricted cross-provincial/territorial travel indicate that it would take the availability of a vaccine to change their opinion.

While opinions of residents of the Prairie Provinces are equally divided, the confidence of those in Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador would most likely increase if there were a sustained period with no new COVID-19 cases, while residents of all other provinces would seek consistently low number of cases before supporting opening the borders to all Canadian provinces.

This survey was conducted online August 20-22, 2020, with 1,230 Canadians 18 years of age or older, from the Logit Group’s Canadian Omnibus. Fielding every month, the Logit Group’s COVID-19 Omnibus surveys Canadians to ask their opinions and behaviours related to topical issues. Results were analyzed by Narrative Research. Data was weighted based on the 2016 Census, by gender, age, and region to reflect these population characteristics in each province. As a non-probability sample (i.e., a panel sample where residents have joined a panel to share their opinions), and in accordance with CRIC Public Opinion Research Standards, a margin of error is not applied.

Narrative Research (www.narrativeresearch.ca), is a leading public opinion and market research company headquartered in Canada. The company was recently certified as WBE (Women Business Enterprise). As a non-partisan, 100% Canadian-owned research company, Narrative Research is dedicated to providing clients with state-of-the-art research and strategic consulting services.

The Logit Group (https://logitgroup.com/) is a leading North American data collection and market research execution company headquartered in Toronto, conducting large-scale projects for a variety of well-known research agencies and brands. Logit employs industry-best technologies across an array of methodologies, and is independent, experienced and quality-oriented.

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For more information, please contact:

Margaret Brigley, CEO, Narrative Research – 902.222.7066, mbrigley@narrativeresearch.ca
OR
Margaret Chapman, COO, Narrative Research – 902.222.4048, mchapman@narrativeresearch.ca
OR
Sam Pisani, Managing Partner, Logit Group – 416.629.4116, sam.pisani@logitgroup.com