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Toronto, April 13, 2021

In the latest survey from The Business Monitor by Modus Research, Canadian executives were asked whether the government should be easing or tightening public health restrictions, given the current state of the pandemic. This question was asked in the fall of 2020 and again in spring of 2021.

Canadian businesses are now equally divided on whether public health restrictions should be tightened or eased.

This represents a strong shift from the fall where those supporting tighter restrictions outnumbered those favouring easing restrictions by almost 2-to-1.

As in the fall, Alberta shows a low level of support for tighter restrictions.

The result from Alberta businesses is quite similar to the fall (29%).

Importantly, however, the support for tighter restrictions among Ontario businesses has dropped a full 20 percentage points since the fall (64%). Ontario businesses are losing patience with public health restrictions more than other regions despite the relatively strong support at this juncture.

Position on public health restrictions ties strongly with economic confidence.

Almost three-quarters of business leaders who favour tighter public health restrictions see the economy as improving or staying the same over the next year.

Conversely, those who say public health restrictions should be eased are significantly more gloomy in their economic outlook. Over a half of this group thinks the economy will worsen.

Business leaders calling for tighter restrictions are confident about the efficacy of vaccines

Virtually all business leaders who support tighter restrictions (96%) think COVID vaccines will be at least somewhat effective over the next 12 months. Conversely, those who favour easing restrictions show a relatively high level of skepticism about vaccines.