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Majority of Ottawa residents oppose 'Freedom Convoy' protest, poll finds


A significant majority of residents in Ottawa are opposed to the "Freedom Convoy" protest against public health measures, according to the results of a new poll, and nearly nine out of ten say it's time to go home.

The poll, conducted and paid for by Ottawa-based polling firm Abacus Data and obtained by CTV News, found two-thirds of respondents are opposed to the convoy and 22 per cent support it.

"A clear majority of Ottawa residents oppose the Freedom Convoy and their demonstrations in the city. In fact, those who strongly oppose the protest at almost four times as large as those who strongly support it," Abacus Data said.

According to the poll, 47 per cent of residents strongly oppose the protest, and 20 per cent oppose it. In contrast, 10 per cent of respondents said they support the convoy and 12 per cent strongly support it. Eleven per cent said they did not have a clear view.

Opposition to the protest remained strong regardless of political stripe, though Conservative supporters were more likely to support the convoy (25 per cent) than Liberal (12 per cent) or NDP (16 per cent) supporters were. Respondents between the age of 18 and 44 were almost twice as likely to support the convoy at 30 per cent, compared to 16 per cent support from people 45 and older.

Sixty-eight per cent of residents in central Ottawa oppose the demonstration, as do 61 per cent in the west and 73 per cent in the east and south.

Almost nine-in-10 residents said it's time for protesters to leave. The poll found 87 per cent of respondents said yes to the question, "Do you think protesters have had an opportunity to make their point and should leave town?"

Even 46 per cent of respondents who said they support the convoy agreed that it's time for protesters to leave. There was 99 per cent agreement for protesters leaving among those who oppose the protest.

One in five residents said they've been impacted a lot or quite a bit by the protest, with the largest percentage of people most affected being residents in the central parts of the city. Thirty-nine per cent of people said they were only affected a little bit and another 39 per cent said they were not affected at all.


Opinions were divided on the handling of the protest by various levels of government and the police.

"Opinions about the Ottawa Police Service are the most polarized with 30 per cent describing its performance as well while 40 per cent saying they have handled things poorly," Abacus Data said.

"Views of the Prime Minister are the most negative, largely because both supporters and opponents of the convoy feel he has handled it poorly. 45 per cent in Ottawa feel that Premier Doug Ford has handled things poorly as do 38 per cent who feel the same way about Mayor Jim Watson."

Forty per cent of residents feel Ottawa city council has handled the protest "as well as can be expected."

"Those who support the convoy are far more likely to think the Ottawa Police Service has handled the demonstrations well. Not surprisingly, they are also the most likely to feel the Prime Minister has handled things poorly," Abacus Data added. "Among the 67 per cent of residents who oppose the convoy, 53 per cent think the Ottawa Police Service has handled things poorly or very poorly."

Additionally, 53 per cent of respondents said the Ottawa Police Service has not done everything it can. Sixty-four per cent of respondents still believe the protesters can be evicted peacefully.

Nearly half, 49 per cent, of respondents said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Doug Ford should meet with convoy leaders, while 33 per cent said they should not meet and 17 per cent were unsure.


One of the principal demands of the protesters is to remove all public health mandates related to COVID-19, including vaccination requirements for employment or access to businesses and other spaces, as well as the requirement to wear masks indoors in businesses and public buildings.

However, respondents to the Abacus Data poll were largely in favour of keeping mandates in place, with 67 per cent saying we need to keep restrictions in place to protect public health. One-third of respondents said we need to learn to live with COVID and we should remove all mandates and restrictions, even if our healthcare system is overwhelmed.


This survey was conducted with a representative sample of 500 Ottawa residents from February 4 to 7, 2022. A comparable random survey of the same size would have a margin of error of + 4.4%, 19 times out of 20.

You can view the full poll here. Top Stories

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