A whopping 70% of Canadians believe doctors, nurses, teachers and police officers who don’t get vaccinated against COVID-19 should be fired from their jobs, a new poll shows.
The Angus Reid survey comes as Canadians are hoping to build on the relative progress the country has made in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, pollsters said.
“As Quebec and Ontario backtrack on vaccine mandates for healthcare workers, new data from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds a majority of Canadians — including in those respective provinces — support dismissing workers who refuse to get the jab across a variety of industries,” pollsters found.
Many governments, airlines, police forces and private companies across the nation have brought in strict mandatory vaccination programs that could see workers lose their jobs for non-compliance.
In October, more than 4,000 health care workers were put on unpaid leave after failing to show proof of vaccination in B.C., while Ottawa’s largest hospital recently announced it had similarly placed 186 staff on unpaid leave.
“The stakes were raised even higher when Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough recently said that it was likely that those who lose their jobs for not complying with employer vaccine mandates will not be eligible for employment insurance,” said the poll.
“There are important regional divides, with support for firing the unvaccinated highest in B.C., Atlantic Canada, and Ontario. Although support varies by profession, the Prairie provinces and Quebec are the least enthusiastic about these measures overall.
“While support for these measures remains deeply divided by a respondent’s own vaccination status, it is worth noting that one-in-10 unvaccinated Canadians are still in favour of dismissing airline employees (12%), medical professionals (11%), teachers (11%), and first responders (10%) if they don’t have the jab.”
Partisan loyalties appear to be another good indicator of support for dismissing unvaccinated employees. Those who voted Liberal in September’s federal election are most supportive, followed closely by past NDP voters and Bloc Québécois voters. CPC supporters are most divided, depending on the profession canvassed, the poll found.
The Angus Reid Institute conducted an online survey from November 3–7, 2021 among a representative randomized sample of 1,611 Canadian adults who are members of the Angus Reid Forum. A probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.