Active speculation that the country is no more than a month away from a federal election campaign means political leaders are already trying to pierce the long-deserved summer reverie of Canadian voters.
New data from Angus Reid Institute indicates that should a federal election be declared for the fall, there would be a statistical tie between the incumbent Liberals and the Conservative Party led by Erin O’Toole.
The Liberals would squeeze in an electoral victory earning a third of the votes, compared to 31 percent for the Conservatives. The NDP remains in third place at 20 percent, with the Green Party (3%) and Bloc Quebecois (7%) in single digits nationally.
According to Angus Reid, the prospect of another Liberal victory would split the country. Only six percent said they’d be “thrilled,” while 33 percent said they’d be “content” with the outcome. Another 53 percent of Canadians are less enthused by a third-term for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. One-quarter would be unhappy with that result, while 28 percent would be distraught.
As the favourability of Trudeau and O’Toole decline, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh and Bloc Quebecois leader Yves-Francois Blanchet enjoy slight net positive favourability.
These numbers reflect the Trudeau Liberal’s management of the COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to fall. While the handling of the pandemic has been a relative strength for the federal government over the last year and a half, public confidence reached its lowest point since the pandemic began. Only 19 percent identify it as a top issue, down from 45 percent in March.
In another poll, 29 percent of people surveyed broke at least one COVID-19 measure since 2020, typically failing to wear a mask and disregarding gathering limits — especially younger people in Quebec and on the Prairies.
Climate change, economic recovery, the size of the deficit, and Indigenous issues have gained steam, with the latter picking up notable traction in recent months.
According to recent government budgets, government debt ranges between $47,300 and $65,200 per Canadian depending on the province by the end of 2021. When you add up all provincial and federal debt, each Canadian will owe $57,500 on average.
The federal government produced massive deficits in succeeding years — $381.6 billion last year and $363.4 billion the current year — spending $17,091 per Canadian last fiscal year. The federal debt surpassed $1 trillion, and the combined debt with the provinces and territories exceeded $2 trillion during the course of the pandemic response.
According to a Nanos Research poll published Wednesday, Canadians are mixed on the federal government’s response to COVID-19 and its handling of the economy.
Only 53 percent of Canadians said the federal government did a “good job” managing the COVID-19 pandemic per a Nanos Research poll conducted for the Globe and Mail. 21 percent were “neutral” on the government’s handling of the pandemic, with the remaining 26 percent noting they did a “poor job,” predominantly focused on the government’s vaccine rollout.
On handling the economy, residents painted a less rosy picture. 42 percent said the government did a “good job,” while 25 percent were “neutral” and 32 percent citing they had done a “bad job.” Only one percent of 1,051 Canadians polled were unsure.
In a Leger poll commissioned by Postmedia, 67 percent of Canadians did not support calls to "cancel Canada Day" and believe Canadian history is worth celebrating. Only 14 percent of Canadians polled support calls to cancel the national holiday in the wake of heightened tensions following the horrific uncovering of thousands of unmarked graves on site of former residential schools. However, more Indigenous Canadians had an attachment to Canada than those who are non-Indigenous, at 58 to 52 percent.