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Several studies have shown a population’s willingness to comply with public health directives correlates directly with its faith in government measures, said Simon Bacon, professor in Concordia University’s Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Applied Physiology and co-director of the Montreal Behavioural Medicine Centre. “That belief and faith is decreasing over time — we’ve seen that consistently,” Bacon said. The Quebec government’s mixed messaging on public gatherings — telling people they can’t meet for family get-togethers but saying it’s OK to have 30 children in a classroom, or that religious gatherings of up to 250 people are acceptable — “leads to a loss of credibility, and allows people the latitude to make decisions around what they believe is the right thing to do.”

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