The Economy Is Top Issue For Canadian Voters: Poll

The economy remains top of mind with Canadian voters heading into a possible election this summer or fall.

Just over one-quarter (28%) of Canadians surveyed by Nanos Research said the economy is their most important policy issue. Concerns about the federal deficit resonated with 16% of people polled, ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic, which ranked as the most pressing policy issue for just 10% of respondents.

Speculation is mounting that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will trigger a national election in coming weeks and seek to regain the majority government his Liberal Party lost the last time Canadians went to the polls in 2019.

The Canadian economy has recovered from the depths of the pandemic, but growth has been slow so far in 2021 amid a rash of business restrictions in Canada’s most populous provinces of Ontario and Quebec.

In April, Canada's gross domestic product (GDP) fell 0.3%, the first decline since the start of the pandemic, according to Statistics Canada. Canada's economy also shed more than 200,000 jobs in April.

The timing makes sense for a snap election, say analysts, because polls favour the Liberals to continue governing the country as Conservative Party Leader Erin O’Toole has been unable to gain any traction with voters.

If an early election is called, the Liberals will be scrutinized for their latest budget, which included $101.4 billion in new spending. The Liberals have been saying that the deficit will be easy to pay down due to low interest rates.

The Nanos Research survey polled 1,051 Canadians over the age of 18 between June 30 and July 5. The poll is accurate to within plus or minus 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.