Photo by Etienne Girardet on Unsplash.

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Most of us… support government surveillance to limit COVID-19

A new survey shows that a majority of Canadians would support government surveillance measures to ensure people are staying indoors to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

A new Ipsos poll asked respondents what increased measures they would be in favour of to limit the spread of COVID-19, and 65 per cent of Canadians said they would support the government using cellphone data to monitor those supposed to be in mandatory isolation. A further 76 per cent said they were in favour of having laws limiting their personal movement.

This data indicating a desire for stronger crackdowns comes as the federal government releases national projections for COVID-19 related deaths. The Public Health Agency of Canada indicates that the virus will kill between 11,00 and 22,000 if strong control measures are maintained. A worse case scenario, however, shows that if 70-80 per cent of Canadians become infected, more than 300,000 will likely die.

Other strong consensus for government action would be the 90 per cent of respondents who support calling in the military to build field hospitals for COVID-19 patients and the 87 per cent who would like to see empty hotels used for the homeless.  Eighty- four per cent of Canadians even said they support running whatever federal deficit the Prime Minister feels is necessary to move past the public health crisis.

Ipsos CEO Darrell Bricker told Global News that the recent data suggests that Canadians are prepared for the government to take whatever action possible to fight the pandemic.

“We’ve had some commentary from experts saying the government has overstepped some of its boundaries of what they consider appropriate for this circumstance,” he said. “Whatever the limit is, we certainly didn’t find it in this survey.”