(file photo)

Nearly half of Canadians visited friends or family from outside of their household over the holidays, according to a new poll.

The latest biweekly survey from Leger, measuring perspectives of Canadians and Americans, found that 48 per cent of Canadians took time for a holiday visit at least once.

Of those, 34 per cent said they did so once, 12 per cent did so two or three times, and 2 per cent did so more than three times.

The provinces least likely to report visiting people outside their household were B.C. and Alberta, with 68 per cent of Albertans and 61 per cent of British Columbians saying they never did so.

Atlantic Canada saw the highest proportion of those who said they visited people over the holidays, with 41 per cent saying they did two or three times, and 4 per cent saying they did so more than three times.

The survey also showed a decline in attitudes towards government responses during the pandemic.

61 per cent expressed satisfaction with provincial government actions responding to COVID-19, a decrease of 18 per cent from a high of 79 per cent in March 2020.

Dissatisfaction is highest in Alberta, where 43 per cent of respondents expressed their disapproval of the provincial government’s actions, compared to 52 per cent satisfied.

Approval was highest in Atlantic Canada, with 80 per cent of respondents happy with their provincial government’s actions, compared to 19 per cent dissatisfied.

Albertans are particularly angry at their premier, with Jason Kenney hosting a net satisfaction of just 27 per cent, while 69 per cent are dissatisfied with the UCP leader’s COVID-19 performance.

Kenney’s approval rating is more than 30 per cent behind the next-lowest rated premier, Ontario’s Doug Ford, who scored 57 per cent satisfaction for his COVID-19 response.

Ford and Kenney attracted international attention when members of their governments were found to have travelled outside of the country during the holiday season, despite federal advisories against non-essential travel dating back to March.

Leger, the largest Canadian-owned polling and marketing research firm, in collaboration with the Canadian press, conducted this Web survey with a representative sample of 1,506 Canadians over the age of 18, from December 30th, 2020 to January 3rd, 2021. For comparison purposes, a probability sample of this size would have a margin of error ±2.53%, 19 times out of 20.

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