Dr. Del Dorscheid, centre, takes part in board rounds in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver on April 21, 2020. Canadians appear to still have solid faith in doctors and scientists nearly six months into the COVID-19 pandemic. A new survey done for Proof Strategies over the Labour Day weekend suggests more than eight in 10 Canadians trust doctors and almost eight in 10 trust scientists. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Dr. Del Dorscheid, centre, takes part in board rounds in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver on April 21, 2020. Canadians appear to still have solid faith in doctors and scientists nearly six months into the COVID-19 pandemic. A new survey done for Proof Strategies over the Labour Day weekend suggests more than eight in 10 Canadians trust doctors and almost eight in 10 trust scientists. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Canadians maintain strong trust in doctors and scientists during pandemic

That shows little change from the levels of trust recorded in a similar survey from the beginning of May

Canadians appear to still have solid faith in doctors and scientists nearly six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, but opinions of educators have not fared so well.

A new survey done for Proof Strategies over the Labour Day weekend suggests more than eight in 10 Canadians trust doctors and nearly eight in 10 trust scientists.

That shows little change from the levels of trust recorded in a similar survey from the beginning of May, and remains higher than the levels recorded by the same survey 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, says 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 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.

MacLellan said this is likely not directed only at teachers, but at all those involved in the education system, including governments, school boards and union leaders.

“There has been a lot of arguing and uncertainty,” he said. “There is a widespread concern that there wasn’t enough planning done and there wasn’t enough health consideration about how to operate the schools.”

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.

“There’s no question that seven points is significant,” said MacLellan.

Trudeau is being investigated by the ethics commissioner to see if he violated the rules when he did not recuse himself from a cabinet decision to award WE Charity a contract to administer a multimillion-dollar student grant program. Trudeau has long been a strong supporter of WE. While he said his close connection to the organization prompted him to demand more diligence on the sole-sourced contract, he did not recuse himself from the final decision.

WE backed out of that contract when the questions arose, and has spent the summer in the hot seat over its own actions.

MacLellan said the spotlight on WE might be why faith in charities fell slightly over the summer, from 56 per cent in May to 50 per cent in September.

Another notable number in the survey, is that after the 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.

READ MORE: What happens if B.C. re-enters a COVID lockdown? Psychologist says we’ll be OK

Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

North Cowicha to extend the time lines of its official community plan update. (File photo)
North Cowichan to extend time line of OCP review

Municipality also adds $55,000 to OCP budget

Cowichan Capitals’ Logan Rands digs for the puck along the boards in the Alberni Valley Bulldogs’ zone midway through the third period of their BC Hockey League game at the Alberni Valley Multiplex on Saturday, April 10, 2021. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Cowichan Capitals pick up first two wins of BCHL season

Brockman, Moffatt both up to four goals on the year

A nearly four-hour standoff at an apartment complex on Cowichan Lake Road in Duncan ended peacefully on Wednesday, April 14. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Standoff at Duncan apartment ends peacefully

Police surround building as homeowner held in apartment by adult son

B.C. Centre for Disease Control maps showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 4-10. (BCCDC image)
Parksville-Qualicum passes Nanaimo in new COVID-19 cases

Greater Victoria had more new cases than any other Island area: B.C. Centre for Disease Control

The cherry trees on Canada Avenue in Duncan are in full bloom this April, 2021. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Duncan’s cherry trees in full blossom

There are a few things that signal the coming of spring every… Continue reading

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C.’s pandemic aid package passing Legion branches by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance eligibility

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Hwy. 4 was shut down in both directions for 10 hours on March 23 as a rock bluff was blasted as part of Kennedy Hill’s ongoing construction. Commuters can expect five more 10 hour closures on five consecutive Wednesdays beginning April 28. (Photo courtesy of Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)
Five 10-hour Pacific Rim highway closures planned in the next 6 weeks

Closures needed for rock blasting as part of the Kennedy Hill Safety Improvement project.

Most Read