The Trust Barometer survey was taken before the current Indigenous crisis and rail blockades, but even at that trust in institutions and government shows a decline (CBC news)

International survey indicates trust in key institutions declining

Do you trust government to do the right thing for their citizens? Do you trust the media to tell the story truthfully and fully? Do you trust business on environmental issues, or NGO’s on their claims and efforts.

The latest annual Edelman ‘trust barometer’ survey shows Canadian trust in such institutions has declined.

The American-based Edelman firm is an influential public relations and marketing consultancy firm with offices in many countries around the world.

Lisa Kimmel is Chair and CEO of Edelman Canada.


The trust barometer is now in its 20th year. The firm tracks the rise and fall of trust, originally so the firm could advise its clients on their reputation, but the survey has now expanded greatly in scope. It looks at 28 countries responses and their responses to questions of citizens faith in the institutions of government, media, business, and NGO’s/

Lisa Kimmel is chair and CEO of Edelman Canada (supplied)

Ms Kimmel explains China’s surprisingly high rating in that the survey may be due to the fact it is conducted over the internet, which is controlled in China, and that the Chinese have no real experiences other than with that of a centrally controlled Communism.

Ms Kimmel says trust in institutions is based on two things, competence- to get the job done, and even more important by far is ethics, the desire and ability to ‘do the right thing’.

The 2020 survey shows a surprisingly high number of Canadians who say capitalism is doing more harm than good, and they feel a strong sense of injustice (Edelman)

Having polled some 1,500 Canadians, the trust barometer found firstly, that more that three quarters of Canadians (76%) feared for the jobs. A majority also felt that technology was out of control, that it was too fast (62%),  that government doesn’t understand them enough for proper regulation (65%), and that technology is making it impossible to know what is real (66%).

The survey shows Canadians generally do not trust leaders to properly deal with current problems, including politicians (Edelman)

The survey showed the highest trust in scientists (83%) but below 50 per cent or distrust in CEO’s, government leaders,, religious leaders, and the super rich.

More than half (15 of 28) countries respondents felt they and their families will not be better off in five years. Canada was among that group with a dim view of their future prospects, just as it was last year, although this time down another 2 percent from the previous survey.

This the 20th annual Edelman international survey of trust in institutions like government, NGO’s, media, and business.

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