By ANGUS REID INSTITUTE
December 7, 2021 – Not since the 1980 Games in Moscow has Canada declined to send athletes – or officials – to the Olympics.
But as the U.S. announces a diplomatic boycott of next February’s Winter Games in Beijing – other Western nations are being asked their intentions.
While the Canadian government contemplates who – if anyone – it will send to the Olympics, a new study from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds just over half of Canadians (53%) supportive of their country taking the same measure as the U.S., denying any diplomatic presence in Beijing.
Two-in-five would go further, keeping athletes home from China as a protest against human rights abuses in the host country.
Overall, four-in-five (78%) support some sort of boycott. Despite this sentiment, the vast majority are resigned to the fact that Canadian protest will have little impact on China’s domestic policy. Nearly three-quarters (73%) say it is “unrealistic” to expect actions taken by this country will change China’s behaviour.
More Key Findings:
- Favourability towards China has increased since Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig were released from prison and returned to Canada, but it is the minority view. One-in-six (16%) Canadians say they hold favourable views of the country.
- Half (48%) of Canadians who view China positively say there should be no boycott of the Games; one-in-five (17%) of those who view the country negatively say the same.
- Men between the ages of 18 and 34 are the most supportive of officials and fans staying home at two-thirds (63%) and half (47%) respectively.