A new poll suggests that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has about half the country onside with the Liberals’ economic recovery plan outlined in last week’s speech from the throne.
Painting in large brush strokes, the Liberals pledged to create over one million jobs, build a more resilient economy, boost and extend existing aid programs, while fighting climate change and tackling systemic racism.
Fifty-two per cent of respondents to the survey, conducted by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies, said they were very (9%) or somewhat (43%) confident that the recovery plan will create jobs and strengthen the economy in future.
Thirty-nine per cent were not very or not at all confident.
The poll also suggests that the throne speech may have given the Liberals a boost–with their popularity rising five points over the past week–to 40 per cent of decided voters.
The Conservatives had the support of 30 per cent, the NDP 17 per cent and the Greens five per cent.
In Quebec, the Bloc Québécois was slightly ahead of the Liberals, 32 per cent to 30 per cent.
As well, the survey found that a vast majority of Canadians are in no hurry to return to their workplaces and are more than happy working from home, especially as many see the second wave of the virus coming, or already here.
As COVID-19 cases spike in many parts of the country–including Canada’s two most populous provinces, Ontario and Quebec–the survey found that 72 per cent of those polled agreed with Trudeau when–following the throne speech–he told the country the second wave could be worse than what happened in the spring, when the country was forced into lockdown.
Fully 86 per cent of respondents thought a second wave of COVID-19 will sweep the country, 62 per cent said Canada had already entered the second wave, and 55 per cent predicted the worst of the crisis is yet to come.
Seventy per cent said they think it’s very (20%) or somewhat (50%) likely that Canada will go back into a lockdown similar to last spring and And 61 per cent said they’re very or somewhat afraid of contracting COVID-19.
The Canadian Press reports that fear of a worse second wave may explain why 82 per cent of respondents who’ve been working from home said they’d prefer to commute to work only when needed and continue working from home “much more often” in the coming weeks.
Only four per cent said they’d prefer to return to their usual commuting schedule.
The poll also suggests Canadians have also found they’re quite happy working from home.
Eighty-nine cent said they had found working from home to be a very (48 per cent) or somewhat (41 per cent) positive experience. Just nine per cent said it’s been a somewhat or very negative experience.
Eighty-six per cent per cent agreed with the statement, “I am getting used to this new lifestyle and I like it.”
Thirty-one per cent agreed that “working from home was great for a while but I now feel the need to go back to the office.”
But 32 per cent said that if ordered to go back to their workplaces, they’d look for another job where they could work from home.
Overall, 32 per cent of respondents said they are still working from home, while 23 per cent said they’re back in their work places and another 29 per cent said they never left.
Just five per cent of respondents said they’ve lost their jobs permanently as a result of the pandemic. But another 11 per cent said they’ve experienced temporary job loss and 12 per cent said they’ve lost some income.
Fifteen per cent said they fear losing their jobs in the next few weeks.
The online poll of 1,514 adult Canadians was conducted Sept. 25 to 27.
It cannot be assigned a margin of error because internet-based polls are not considered random samples.
With files from The Canadian Press (Joan Bryden, Will LeRoy)
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