Canadians who haven’t been vaccinated against COVID-19 more grumpy than those who roll up their sleeves: poll

Canadians who haven’t been vaccinated for COVID-19 are more grumpy than those who roll up their sleeves, a new Pollara poll suggests, as the federal government lifts pandemic restrictions at borders and ends mandatory masking on planes and trains on Saturday.

The survey is second with the company’s new “anger index” and found that older women were outraged at CTV’s firing of news anchor Lisa LaFlamme, nearly double the number of women under 50 — by 65 to 35 percent.

“It’s really a case here where there are a lot of women over 50 who are actually in a relationship with LaFlamme,” said Dan Arnold, chief strategy officer at Pollara.

That’s 43 percent for men over 50 and 22 percent for men under 50.

Conducted from Sept. 2 to 12 — before it was announced that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government would make the ArriveCan app optional and facilitate pandemic border action — the poll found that unvaccinated Canadians were angrier over six main issues than unvaccinated ones.

Those themes are federal and provincial governments, the economy, personal finances, social change and major news stories.

Federal government anger and annoyance from unvaccinated people was 71 percent, compared with 49 percent for Canadians on two doses and 38 percent among those who received boosters.

Unlike the first anger survey, Pollara increased his sample size from 2,013 to 3,105 in an effort to get more accurate results, particularly to capture the opinions of unvaccinated people, Arnold told the Star.

As an online survey, the poll cannot be assigned a margin of error, but as a reference point, a probability sample of this size has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.8 percent, 19 times out of 20.

The anger gap narrowed over the state of the economy — where inflation makes goods and services more expensive — with 68 percent of unvaccinated people feeling irritated or angry, compared with 61 percent for the double-dose and 46 percent for the boosted.

“Obviously there is a lot of anger among the unvaccinated. Whether that changes after the mandates are lifted, I think that’s an open question and something we’ll check in the survey next month,” Arnold said.

“It is also striking that unvaccinated Canadians are much angrier about their own financial situation. I think there is clearly a connection between that economic frustration and fear and vaccine status.”

Ontario raises the provincial minimum wage by 50 cents to $15.50 on Saturday.

With 43 percent, nearly twice as many adults surveyed were satisfied or happy with vaccine mandates, compared with 23 percent frustrated or angry with them.

Ontario lifted mandates and mandatory masking a few months ago.

Overall, the “anger index” fell four points in August to 45 percent about who was annoyed or angry, perhaps because of “acceptance of the situation we find ourselves in,” Arnold said.

“Yet nearly half of Canadians are… it’s not like we’re in a good mood, but it seems people are less excited about some of the things that were a flashpoint for them.”

Healthcare delays — including dozens of emergency hospital closures in Ontario over the summer — the ongoing war in Ukraine and inflation sparked the most widespread anger at 78 percent, 77 percent and 74 percent, well ahead of the next highest trigger, the firing from LaFlamme at 42 percent and vaccine mandates at 23 percent.

“There is often the perception that Canadians don’t care about foreign policy and problems beyond our borders,” Arnold said of the situation in Ukraine, which has gotten worse since the poll was conducted with Russia that contested referendum votes in occupied territories and called in 300,000 reservists for its armed forces.

“Seven months since the invasion and people still care. Sometimes we see anger as something negative, but this is a case where it might be a good thing.”

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