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Survey finds Canadians want to see bold new ideas in next week’s throne speech

Majority say they may not vote Liberal if government does not announce changes

New information from a survey commissioned by the Broadbent Institute shows that a majority of Canadians (54 per cent) want to see the federal government announce bold new ideas for how to fundamentally improve people’s lives and deal with climate change in next week’s throne speech. The desire for major changes is consistent across Canada and across the political spectrum. This is likely informed by the fact that only 19 per cent of Canadians think the worst of the pandemic is behind us and 65 per cent believe the pandemic has highlighted problems with how the economy and social programs are run that require major changes.

The survey, carried out by Abacus Data, also shows there is a political price to pay for inaction. Half say they will definitely or probably not vote Liberal if they do not present a plan with new ideas.

“Nearly half of Canadians think the worst of this pandemic is yet to come,” says Rick Smith, executive director of the Broadbent Institute. “People are worried, they want to see major action to address this worry, and there will be a political price to pay for any political party that doesn’t act accordingly.”

According to Canadians, the plan should include:

  • Help to build up Canada’s ability to produce key products like food and medical supplies domestically (74 per cent).
  • Investments to strengthen our health system including universal public pharmacare (70 per cent).
  • Focuses on helping people and doesn’t allow corporations to set the agenda and benefit the most from the recovery (67 per cent).
  • Increasing or creating new taxes on Canada’s richest people (60 per cent).

“The pandemic has highlighted many aspects of the economy and society that Canadians feel are not working right. From finding a good job to preparing for retirement to finding affordable housing – many recognize that the pandemic has made life harder,” says David Coletto, chief executive officer of Abacus Data. “There is clear majority support for new ideas to improve the problems the pandemic has exposed. Most Canadians expect strong action from the government.”

Fast Facts

  • 45 per cent of Canadians believe the worst of the pandemic is still to come, while only 19 per cent believe the worst is behind us.
  • The survey found broad support for a new wealth tax on the wealthiest multi-millionaires and billionaires in Canada (76 per cent) and for a new tax on corporations who have made large profits during the pandemic (73 per cent).
  • Most Canadians think the economic and social well-being of youth, racialized Canadians, and women have been negatively impacted. In contrast, almost all Canadians (82 per cent) believe that the wealth of Canada’s richest people is better off or has not been impacted by the pandemic. 



About the Broadbent Institute

The Broadbent Institute is Canada’s leading progressive, independent organization championing change through the promotion of democracy, equality, and sustainability and the training of a new generation of leaders.

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Download Abacus Data Broadbent Institute Public Opinion Research Poll