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

Whether the Town of Ponoka gets enough ‘bang for its buck’ under its Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) membership was discussed during town council March 26.
File photo
Town of Ponoka appoints Sandra Lund as CAO

Ponoka town council voted unanimously at its regular meeting on Jan.12 to… Continue reading

Kelowna RCMP Stock Image.
Ponoka RCMP respond to several B&E’s

Calls include complaint of a spray painted garage

Black Press file photo
Maskwacis male charged with 2nd degree murder

18-year-old Kaydence Clark Roasting of Ermineskin Cree Nation was arrested at his residence.

Alberta has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19.  (File photo)
750 new COVID-19 cases identified in Alberta Sunday

Central zone currently has 1,182 active cases of the virus

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Lacombe is looking at its options for reclaiming sewage lagoons that are no longer needed. Vesta Energy Ltd. has signed a deal to use three lagoons to store water for fracking.
Map from City of Lacombe
Energy company to use former Lacombe sewage lagoons to store fracking water

Vesta Energy Ltd. will pay Lacombe more than $100,000 a year in 20-year deal

Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said on Monday that11 more people had died from COVID-19, bringing the province’s death toll to 1,447. (Photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Eleven more Albertans die from COVID-19

There were 739 people in hospital, 120 in ICU on Monday

World Juniors’ referee Mike Langin makes a called during the Canada vs. Slovakia at the 2021 World Junior Championship at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Dec. 27, 2020. (Photo by Matthew Murnaghan/Hockey Canada)
Former Sylvan Lake man lives his dream at World Junior Championships

Mike Langin was one the 25 Canadian officials who worked during the tournament

The Mountain Cree Traditional Band headquarters in Mirror, Alta. has been the target of theft and vandalism. (Photo submitted)
Mountain Cree Traditional Band’s headquarters broken into five times

AWNTB says not enough been done to deter crime in Mirror, Alta.

Indigenous people gather for a ceremony for Cindy Gladue held at the courthouse in Edmonton, Alta, on Wednesday, January 13, 2021. Bradley Barton, a 52-year-old long-haul truck driver from Ontario on trial for manslaughter, is accused of killing Gladue. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
People stand in support of mother as new trial gets underway in death of Cindy Gladue

Bradley Barton, a long-haul truck driver from Ontario, will now be tried for manslaughter in the 2011 death

(Photo submitted)
RCMP say ice climber seriously injured after reportedly falling 12 metres near Abraham Lake

Police say man’s injuries were serious but not life-threatening

U.S. military units march in front of the Capitol, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021 in Washington, as they rehearse for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony, which will be held at the Capitol on Wednesday. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden aims for unifying speech at daunting moment for U.S.

President Donald Trump won’t be there to hear it

Facebook/ The Open Door 24/7 Integrated Response Hub- Wetaskiwin.
Wetaskiwin residents show support for 24/7 Integrated Response Hub

Wetaskiwin residents and City Council members showed support for Hub with positive signs.

Most Read