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Plurality of Canadians Support Freedom Convoy Protests, Poll Shows

Published: February 10, 2022
Supporters wave flags as a convoy of trucks leave from Bloor St. and University Ave. on Feb.5, 2022 in Toronto, Canada. A convoy of truckers and supporters have occupied downtown Ottawa since last Saturday in protest of Canada's COVID-19 vaccine mandate, with convoys branching out to other major cities such as Toronto. (Image: Cole Burston/Getty Images)

Almost 30 percent of Canadians outright support the Freedom Convoy protests currently gripping Canada, with 44 percent expressing sympathy with the frustrations voiced by protesters, a new poll indicates. 

The Leger survey polled 1,546 adults across Canada and was conducted between Feb. 4 to 6.

The results of the poll also suggest that the Canadian Prime Minister’s characterization of the protesters as a “small fringe minority” has taken root in the minds of many Canadians. The survey found that 65 percent of the respondents thought the trucker convoy in Ottawa was a “small minority of Canadians.”

While it has been difficult to gauge just how many Canadians are involved in the dissent, when you consider the show of support across Canada in numerous cities, the people lining Canadian highways in support of the convoy, growing protests at at least three major border crossings and the main protest in Ottawa, many suggest the number of supporters to be well into the millions. 

The poll revealed that 57 percent of respondents believed the protests were not about vaccine mandates but rather “an opportunity for right-wing supremacist groups to rally and voice their frustrations about society.” This indicates that the false narrative, driven by Canada’s government funded Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and the heavily subsidized Canadian corporate media, that the protests are being conducted by alt-right extremists has taken hold in the minds of many Canadians. 

On the ground this narrative evaporates as reports from the main protest in Ottawa indicate that participants are from all walks of life, and creeds are gathering to voice their support for the truckers and to abolish COVID-19 measures in Canada that protesters consider “government overreach.”

Forty-four percent of those polled agreed with the statement, “I am vaccinated against COVID-19 but I do sympathize with the concerns and frustrations being voiced by people involved in the trucker protest in Ottawa.” The same amount also agreed that Justin Trudeau and provincial premiers, “share the blame for the protest in Ottawa because of their condescending attitude toward Canadians who disagree with vaccine mandates and lockdowns.”

Andrew Enns, executive vice-president of Leger, said the frustration being expressed by millions of Canadians is a “bit of a message for leadership that this might be a bigger problem.”