Canadians are optimistic concerning Covid-19, believing that the worst of the pandemic is behind us, according to a year-end survey. 

The poll, conducted by Research Co., asked Canadians whether or not they believed the worst of the pandemic was “behind us,” finding that 75% of Canadians agree with this sentiment. This represents a seven percent increase since Research Co. conducted a similar poll in August

Less than one in five Canadians said that they thought the worst of the pandemic was still ahead, while under 10% responded that they were unsure – a three percent decrease to both figures since August. 

The poll also found that Canadians are generally satisfied with the way municipal, provincial, and federal governments have responded to the pandemic, though there remains significant dissatisfaction.

Both provincial and municipal governments poll at a 58% rate of satisfaction, with the federal government polling just one point ahead. British Columbians are most satisfied with their government’s pandemic response, with approval reaching 68%, while the Alberta government’s approval lags behind other provinces at 46%.

Approval of various public health officers has been on the decline since Research Co. last polled Canadians on this issue. The federal chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam’s approval dropped from 66% to 60%, Ontario medical officer Dr. Kieran Moore’s approval dropped by 8 points to 59%, and Quebec’s Dr. Luc Boileau’s dropped from 66% to 60%.

Alberta’s new public health officer Mike Joffe is polling lower than former public health officer Deena Hinshaw, despite Premier Danielle Smith firing Hinshaw for poor performance. 

The poll also found that a majority of Canadians still view the Covid-19 pandemic as a “real threat”, with up to 78% of Canadians aged 55 and older agreeing with the sentiment.

Despite Canadians estimating the worst of the pandemic to be over, government public health officials still recommend precautions and occasionally hint at a return to mandates.

In October, Dr. Moore made a strong recommendation that Ontarians mask up in indoor settings and threatened the re-introduction of a provincial mask mandate if voluntary mask use wasn’t at a satisfactory level. 

On December 5, the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board voted 10-3 to reintroduce a “temporary universal masking requirement” despite facing significant backlash from parents and students alike. 

Research Co. conducted their online survey of 1,000 Canadian adults from December 10-12.