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More Than a Quarter of Canadians Think the Unvaccinated Should Serve Prison Time: Survey

Neil Campbell
Neil lives in Canada and writes about society and politics.
Published: January 25, 2022
27% of Canadians want the unvaccinated to serve prison time. 66% want mandatory vaccination, found a poll of mostly vaccinated Canadians.
A woman is detained by police officers during a demonstration against Quebec’s increasingly extreme COVID measures in Montreal, Canada on March 20, 2021. A recent survey, composed of 91 percent vaccinated individuals, found more than a quarter of Canadians are calling for the unvaccinated to be imprisoned. (Image: ANDREJ IVANOV/AFP via Getty Images)

Not only do two-thirds of Canadians support mandatory vaccination decrees, more than a quarter of all respondents find it appropriate to punish those who won’t submit with a 5 day prison sentence, a recent survey of mostly vaccinated individuals found. 

Results from the survey, titled The Unvaccinated and conducted by Maru Public Opinion, were released on Jan. 19. Data was collected on the 14th and 15th among 1,506 “randomly selected Canadian adults who are Maru Voice Canada online panelists,” stated a press release summarizing the results.

In the actual data tables for the survey, Maru asked, “Do you favour mandatory vaccinations for everyone aged 5+?” to which 66 percent of respondents voted “Yes.”

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Of the 993 people who voted in the affirmative for mandatory vaccination, 473 were male and 520 were female, 412 members of the cohort were aged 65+, 336 reported incomes under $50,000 annually, and 403 held an education level of high school or less.

Notably, the 1,506 respondents were heavily weighted towards those who have accepted vaccination. Only 141 takers, or 9 percent, stated they had refused vaccination.

The firm posed the question, “If someone refused a mandatory vaccination, are any or all of the following measures acceptable to you to be applied to them?”

The most popular responses were those found under the current regime of vaccine passports, such as being segregated from bars, restaurants, cinemas, and retail outlets with 1,156 respondents in favor. 

Findings showed that extreme and polarized attitudes are becoming more prevalent in Canada when 411 of the 1,506 survey takers stated they believed the unvaccinated should “serve up to 5 days as part of a jail sentence for endangering others/overwhelming healthcare system.”

37 percent and 33 percent of all takers also stated vaccine refusers should be denied access to Canada’s socialized medicare system and the renewal of their driver’s license respectively.

The good news for supporters of Canadian values is that Maru also disclosed in their findings that 48 percent of all respondents nonetheless measured the prospect of prison time with the harshest rating of “very unacceptable.”

The majority of Canadians are both prejudiced and callous towards the unvaccinated, according to the survey’s findings.

When respondents were asked the question, “How do you view those who refuse to be vaccinated?” the results showed that the two majorative attitudes held by Canadians at 48 and 40 percent were concerns that the unvaccinated are “responsible for overwhelming our health care system” and “holding us back from having a new normal life” respectively.

36 percent of all respondents said they thought the unvaccinated were “misguided conspiracy theorists” or are “endangering society.”

When asked “When you hear that an unvaccinated person gets seriously ill or dies as a result of contracting COVID, how much sympathy for them,” 55 percent of the 1,506 person cohort voted either “No-somewhat” or “No-not at all.”

77 percent of respondents nonetheless felt that medical exemptions to mandatory vaccination should be available to those with a “legitimate/diagnosed and attested to medical condition,” while 21 percent recognized natural immunity as a valid exemption.