MONTREAL -- Most Canadians are afraid of a potential second wave of COVID-19 in the fall but the least scared among them are Quebecers, a new survey shows.

Conducted by the Association for Canadian Studies, the survey shows that British Columbia and Ontario are the most concerned, at 91 per cent each, followed by Manitoba and Saskatoon at 90, Alberta at 84, and the Atlantic provinces at 80. Quebec stands alone at 78 per cent. 

What’s more is that Quebec also holds the title of the least concerned across North America, according to the survey. When it comes to worrying about a second wave of the virus in the fall, as well as the government’s capacity to fight it, the United States stands at 53 per cent and 48 per cent, respectively. Only 32 per cent of Quebec respondents said they’re worried about a second wave, and 33 per cent about the ability to fight it if and when it happens. 

While these results suggest that Quebec is divided from the rest of the country, as well as the rest of the continent, there’s also division within the province. Just under 28 per cent of French-speaking Quebecers say they’re worried about a second wave, compared to 59.5 per cent of the province’s English speakers.

When a separate survey presented this division a few weeks ago, Quebec Premier François Legault blamed the media, saying “Journalists, you have a responsibility," in reference to daily COVID-19 updates by the Montreal Gazette's health reporter on Twitter.  

Among French-speaking Quebecers, worry about a second wave is correlated to satisfaction with the provincial government’s measures to fight the virus, according to the new survey. Among those who reported being very satisfied with the government, nearly 30 per cent said they were very concerned about the virus, compared to 53 per cent among those who said they were dissatisfied. 

Quebec began its gradual reopening just a few weeks ago, with Montreal lagging behind by a week or two as it remains the COVID-19 epicentre of both the province and the country. As of Thursday, the total number of COVID-19 deaths in Quebec totalled 4,302, and confirmed cases in the province reached 49,702. 

Last week, the government announced it would allow outdoor gatherings of 10 people or less as long as the two-metre rule was respected. 

The survey was carried out online from May 22 to May 24 and reached 1,005 Canadians and 1,005 Americans aged 18 or older.