As fears of a resurgence in COVID-19 cases increase, many Canadians are reluctantly donning masks to stop the spread of the virus.

This is according to a new Angus Reid poll which found only 55 per cent of Canadians are wearing masks regularly when they leave home.

The other 45 per cent either wear masks rarely or not at all.

Every province except for Alberta and Saskatchewan registered over 70 per cent support for mandatory masking laws — the former at 60 per cent and the latter with just 55 per cent support for the measure.

Only a quarter respondents said their reason for not wearing a mask was that they forgot to bring one, while 74 per cent pointed to discomfort, lack of concern about catching COVID-19, a perceived ineffectiveness of masks, or simply mimicking others not wearing them.

The poll also found that men were much less likely to wear masks than women, and a majority of women across all age brackets reported wearing one when they leave home.

This is despite the poll's finding that national concern over the threat posed by COVID-19 is at its highest since April.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney addressed the reluctance of some Albertans to wear a mask at a press briefing in Red Deer today, noting the potential for further economic damage if the province needs to go into lockdown again.

"I hear people say that mask wearing is a globalist idea. I will remind them that I was advocating mask use when the World Health Organization — a global organization — was recommending against it," Kenney said.

"My pitch to those folks, if they're upset about mask usage, the alternative will inevitably be more widespread suspensions of economic activity if we get a second outbreak."

A different poll on COVID-19 from Leger and the Association of Canadian Studies found a nearly 10 per cent increase in support for masking between June 26 and July 12.

As fears of a resurgence in COVID-19 cases increase, many Canadians are reluctantly donning masks to stop the spread of the virus.

Across the country, the Leger poll found 67 per cent of Canadians support mandatory masking for all indoor public spaces, compared to 58 per cent just over two weeks ago.

Only 27 per cent were against the measure and six per cent were not sure.

On Saturday, Quebec became the first province to mandate masks inside public spaces across the region.

Similar orders had already been issued on the municipal level in various cities across Ontario, with Toronto enacting the order on July 7.

And as the city prepares to enter the Stage 3 reopening phase, the Ontario Medical Association has asked the provincial government to keep indoor bars closed, saying it presents "significant risk" for potential outbreaks.

"When people consume alcohol, inhibitions are lowered, making them much less likely to practice physical distancing, proper masking behaviours and good hand hygiene," OMA President Dr. Samantha Hill said.

A number of incidents in Toronto have highlighted the divide over masking and physical distancing rules, with some bar and restaurant owners bending public health bylaws in order to serve more customers or run illegal parties.

Earlier this week, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario announced an investigation into popular King St. restaurant MARBL due to a video that emerged on social in which dozens of patrons could be seen crammed into a semi-indoor space while celebrating a birthday.

The video, which also showed staff failing to wear masks, prompted outrage online.

At the beginning of July, another King St. bar — Goldie — lost its liquor license after it was revealed the establishment hosted a club night for 125 people last month.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 18, 2020.

This article while a good recap of surveys taken raises a question of "Does the population really understand the benefit of wearing a mask when physical distancing is a problem." The media carriers a variety of reasons for wearing a mask; however, the explanation is incomplete. My understanding is "I wear a mask in public to prevent me spreading the virus to others, effectiveness is roughly 95 %, the mask offers roughly a 5% chance of preventing me receiving the virus." The Health professionals need to clearly spell out the benefits of wearing a mask in public, when social/physical distancing is not possible, the reason for social/physical distancing at 2 meters, the benefits of washing ones hands with soap and water." Education is needed and not just a one off notice, it needs to be done through the main stream media both Newspaper wise and TV/Radio commercial spots.

Mandatory masking has no medical basis. It did not work in 1918, it does not work now. This is simply further erosion of our civil liberties. You may speculate or research for yourself as to the reasons behind this agenda. I will not comply.

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees an individual's right to security of the person. Human Rights legislation prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability, perceived or otherwise. I will not comply.

Any law that contradicts the Constitution is of no force or effect (Section 52). I will not comply.

Any government that passes legislation in violation of the Constitution has lost all mandate and broken faith with the citizens of this country. The only way out of this mess at this point is non-compliance. I will not comply.

If a majority of citizens of this country elect a government that campaigns on the basis of mandatory masking and invokes the Notwithstanding Clause, a case could be made for it's validity. I still would not comply.

It's stupid to pretend that there is any legitimacy to any of this. I will not comply.

And if you think I'm ornery now, just try and make a vaccine mandatory. I will not comply.

There is no justification for mandatory masking, medical or legal. I will never comply.

And just how does your supposed Charter Right to never comply effect the right to security of other Canadians to not be exposed to your quite possibly infecting them?