Most Canadians polled backing Beijing Olympic games boycott

A new poll from Research Co. suggests over half of Canadians think our athletes shouldn’t be competing in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

President of Research Co. who conducted the poll, Mario Conseco says 56 per cent of respondents think athletes should avoid China because of the country’s human rights record.

“Because of the situation that we’ve had, over the past couple of years, the animosity that has grown between Canada and China, there is definitely a high level of support for the boycott,” Conseco tells CityNews adding, Canadians in favour of this move might have something to do with the two Michaels.

Earlier this year, Research Co. polled Canadians, and a majority of them said they believe Canada should boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing because of China’s human rights record.

“We asked this question back in April, we still had the two Michaels being detained, we were still dealing with the situation related to Huawei. And we have more than half of Canadians who believe that the right course of action was to boycott the games. When we asked again, in August, it climbed to 56 per cent. And now, just a couple of months before the games begin, it’s still at 56 per cent. So there’s definitely a healthy majority of Canadians who believe that if we’re going to send a message to China, the best way to do it is to leave our athletes home.”

Conseco says this continued support to boycott could be a reflection that Canadians will not tolerate China’s human rights record.

“To have that many Canadians who believe that the right course of action is to stay home, certainly suggests that they’re ready to do something about it.”

Related Article: China responds to Canada’s diplomatic boycott of Olympics

Based on those Canadians polled, 60 per cent of people from Ontario, 59 per cent in B.C. and 56 per cent in Quebec support the boycott.

How people voted also seemed to reflect which party they voted for in this year’s federal election. Those who voted for the Liberal Party were 61 per cent in favour, the Conservative Party 59 per cent and the New Democratic Party 58 per cent.

Earlier this week, the federal government announced diplomats would be boycotting the games– but athletes would still be sent.

The Research Co. poll suggests 70 per cent of Canadians are worried about the health and safety of the athletes who compete in the games.

“And a part of this has to do with the level of secrecy that the Chinese government has had around COVID-19. But also with the possibility that what happened to the to Michael’s could happen to athletes,” Conseco explains.

Read More: EXPLAINER: Why does Beijing have the Olympics again?

About two-thirds per cent of Canadians say they try to avoid buying products manufactured in China, “all the time.”

“We don’t see that type of reaction for goods coming from other places. And we have almost half who say that they are planning not to watch the game.”

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