Despite government entreaties , many Canadians did not resist the temptation to travel to sunny locations over the Christmas holiday. (RomoloTavani/iStock)

Most Canadians say discretionary travel should be banned: poll

With large swathes of Canada facing pandemic-related lockdowns, stay home orders and curfews, Canadians are not in a particularly forgiving mood when it comes to compatriots who seek a brief reprieve from these restrictions and the winter doldrums at sunny destinations abroad.

A new poll released by the non-profit Angus Reid Institute in the wake of several scandals involving politicians and high-ranking civil servants taking sea-side vacations shows that two-thirds of Canadians would prohibit all personal travel if the decision were up to them.

Only one-quarter of Canadians agree with the federal government’s current policy of discouraging personal travel but banning it outright.

Nine-in-ten say that while traveling abroad may not be illegal, politicians should be held to a higher standard and stay home, the poll shows.

The study found that the majority of Canadians across the political spectrum support a prohibition on discretionary travel. However, past Conservative voters are the least likely to support such a ban (with only 57 per cent in favour), while nine-in-ten of Bloc Quebecois voters would back such a ban.

The study also found that seven-in-ten Canadians have themselves cancelled or postponed planned international or domestic travel due to the pandemic – a finding that might explain the unforgiving attitude towards officials who have chosen to travel.

The study shows that Canadians remain overwhelmingly concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic. Seven-in-ten are worried about becoming sick themselves, while 85 per cent are concerned about their friends or family.

The study also shows that the number of Canadians saying Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is doing a good job in handling the pandemic has dropped four points since November to 50 per cent.

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