Canadian Manufacturing

Canadians want feds to make Canada more self-sufficient: survey

Canadians want governments to spend whatever is required to rebuild the economy, survey finds

May 22, 2020   by CM Staff

OTTAWA – Canadians – by a 2 to 1 margin – want governments to spend whatever is required to rebuild and stimulate the economy, even if it means running large deficits for the foreseeable future according to a new poll conducted by Abacus Data for the Broadbent Institute.

Canadians also widely support an economic recovery that meet specific criteria, including:

  • Building Canada’s ability to produce key products like food and medical supplies domestically instead of relying on global markets (79% say this is extremely or very important).
  • Investing in strengthening the health system, including universal public pharmacare (72% say this is extremely or very important).
  • Not letting richer Canadians off the hook for contributing their fair share (71% say this is extremely or very important).
  • Helping people who need it the most (71% say this is extremely or very important).
  • Focusing on helping people and preventing corporations from using funds for excessive executive pay, stock buy-backs, or increased dividends (70% say this is extremely or very important).

“Canadians want a recovery that is fair, focused on people, and builds up our resilience for future challenges,” said Rick Smith, executive director of the Broadbent Institute, in a prepared statement.

When it comes to Canada’s social safety net, 97% think that the long-term care system for ageing Canadians needs improvement. Improvements to the availability of paid sick days and livable wages, as well as greater access to income supports and employment insurance also received broad support, 90% and 88% respectively.


“The coronavirus pandemic has tested the country’s safety net, sometimes with concerning results”, said David Coletto, CEO of Abacus Data, in a prepared statement. “Now Canadians want to see significant work to improve the supports we depend on in tough times.”

The poll also found support for a wealth tax (75%), and 8 in 10 Canadians (81%) believe that companies receiving government assistance should be required not to use foreign tax havens, and not use the money for excessive salaries, share buybacks, or increasing dividends, rather than allowing companies to decide how best to run their businesses.

Canadians also believe governments should provide financial assistance and debt relief to municipalities to help with budget shortfalls (77%).

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