A new Probe Research survey for the Winnipeg Free Press finds that while nearly one-half of Manitobans think the provincial government is lifting health restrictions too quickly, about one-quarter think re-opening is taking place at the right speed – and more than one in five feel it is not happening fast enough. Older Manitobans (especially older women), Winnipeg residents and those who support the opposition New Democratic Party are much more likely to think the restrictions are being lifted too quickly.

graph showing Manitobans' views on lifting public health restrictions

More than six in ten Manitobans expect to continue wearing face masks in public places for the foreseeable future, while three in ten are unlikely to do so now that this is no longer required and one in ten say it depends on the circumstances. Again, older Manitobans, women and those living in Winnipeg are more likely to continue masking up, while men under the age of 55 are much less inclined to do so.

graph showing percentage of Manitobans who will wear masks in public places

Evolving Attitudes Regarding COVID-19

While three-quarters expect public health restrictions to be part of our lives for the foreseeable future, the proportion of the population who strongly agree this will be the case has decreased significantly during the past six months. Women in all age groups and men over the age of 55 are more likely to expect some form of public health restrictions in the future.

graph showing percentage of Manitobans who expect public health restrictions to continue

The pandemic has shaken Manitobans’ faith in the ability of governments to deal with major challenges, with three-quarters agreeing these public institutions are not well-equipped to deal with significant crises. 

graph showing proportion of Manitobans who think government cannot handle major challenges


Meanwhile, nearly nine in ten Manitobans agree the divisions caused by the pandemic will last for a long time. Manitobans are also somewhat split on whether things will return to how they were prior to the pandemic, with a majority disagreeing that this will be the case.graph showing Manitobans expect the divisions caused by the pandemic to continue


graph showing percentage of Manitobans who expect things to return to normal

After Omicron Variant, More Manitobans Report Having Experienced COVID-19 Personally

The proportion of Manitobans touched directly by COVID-19 increased significantly during the spread of the Omicron variant in early 2022. Today, nearly four in ten are certain they have had COVID-19 (37%, up from 29% in January), with fewer than one in ten not knowing anyone who has had this virus. A majority of men between the ages of 18 and 34 say they have had COVID-19 at some point during the past two years, with younger adults and those with children (as well as those who are not fully vaccinated) much more likely to have experienced COVID-19 themselves.

chart showing percentage of Manitobans who have had COVID-19

chart showing percentage of Manitobans who have had COVID-19 by subgroup

About the Probe Research Omnibus

For more than two decades, Probe Research Inc. has undertaken quarterly omnibus surveys of random and representative samples of Manitoba adults. These scientific telephone surveys have provided strategic and proprietary insights to hundreds of public, private and not-for-profit clients on a range of social, cultural and public policy topics. The Probe Research Omnibus Survey is the province’s largest and most trusted general population survey.

Disclosure Statement

Probe Research is a member of the Canadian Research Insights Council (CRIC) and confirms that this research fully complies with all CRIC Standards including the CRIC Public Opinion Research Standards and Disclosure Requirements. Learn more at: https://www.canadianresearchinsightscouncil.ca/standards/por/


Probe Research surveyed a random and representative sampling of 1,000 adults residing in Manitoba between March 9 and 21, 2022.

With a sample of 1,000, one can say with 95 per cent certainty that the results are within ± 3.1 percentage points of what they would have been if the entire adult population of Manitoba had been surveyed. The margin of error is higher within each of the survey’s population sub-groups.​

The sample consists of 390 Manitobans randomly recruited via live-agent operator; 363 Manitobans randomly recruited via Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and 247 members of Probe Research's online panel. All respondents completed the survey on an online platform.

Modified random digit dialing, including both landline and wireless numbers, ensured all Manitoba adults had an equal opportunity to participate in this Probe Research survey.

Minor statistical weighting has been applied to this sample to ensure that age and gender characteristics properly reflect known attributes of the province’s population. All data analysis was performed using SPSS statistical analysis software.​