OTTAWA – Canadians appear to still have strong confidence in doctors and scientists almost a half year into the COVID-19 pandemic, yet assessments of educators have not fared so well.
A new survey done for Proof Strategies over the Labor Day weekend proposes more than eight out of 10 Canadians trust doctors and almost eight out of 10 trust scientists.
That shows little change from the levels of trust recorded in a comparative overview from the earliest starting point of May and stays higher than the levels recorded by a similar study taken in January.
“We just don’t get that level of trust for any other people,” said Bruce MacLellan, CEO of Proof Strategies.
The survey was done by The Logit Group, interviewing 1,000 people from a panel of volunteers.
The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association say online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error as they are not random and therefore are not necessarily representative of the whole population.
The interviews were conducted Sept. 3-5, just as many parents across the country were preparing to send their kids back to school for the first time since March, after several weeks of delayed starts, changes of plans, confusion and concern about class sizes and health protections.
MacLellan said it’s probably not surprising that Canadians seem to be losing faith in educators. In January, 65 per cent of people surveyed said they trusted educators. In May, about six weeks after lockdowns began and most schools closed across Canada, that had fallen to 59 per cent and over the weekend, it fell to 51 per cent.
Provincial premiers appeared to earn more trust from their constituents than they did before the pandemic, going from 34 per cent in January, to 37 per cent in May and then 44 per cent in September. MacLellan said many premiers were often seen working in lockstep with the scientists and public health doctors Canadians put a lot of trust in, which likely is boosting the premiers’ numbers.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, however, who spent the summer defending his ethics, did not get the same boost. In May the percentage of people who said they trusted the prime minister was 39 per cent. On the weekend, that number was 32 per cent.
Another notable number in the survey, is that after several months of focus on racism in policing, Canadians’ faith in police held firm and high. Faith in police overall was 58 per cent in the May survey, and 62 per cent in September and trust in the RCMP specifically was 61 per cent in both surveys.
Photo credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS / Jonathan Hayward
News source: The Canadian Press