Today, INNOVATIVE is releasing key highlights from the second survey in our ongoing project to understand public opinion as the COVID-19 situation evolves in Canada.
This survey looked in-depth at a number of topics, and we will be releasing more results in the coming days. Today’s release focuses on 4 key questions:
Are Canadians changing their behaviour – and, if so, what are they doing?
How is the situation affecting views of the economy and personal finances?
How are Canadians feeling the impacts on their health, finances, and well-being?
How is approval of the government’s response changing over time?
A majority (56%) of Canadians report changing their behaviour a great deal in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. This is a 24 percentage point increase from last week. However, many Canadians say they are still getting together with friends and family despite advice not to. Young Canadians are still being the most social – in the past week over half have (56%) met up with a group of friends or hosted/visited with someone inside a home.
When it comes to the economy, nearly half of Canadians – 47% – have experienced a direct economic loss in their household as a result of COVID-19 including layoffs, reduced hours, losing contract work and owning business that have lost sales or closed. The same number – 47% – now expect that Canada is headed into a severe recession. This is the highest ever in our tracking at nearly double the previous high of 26% in April 2009 and a 37-point jump from 11% just one month ago. However, personal assessments have only changed slightly from last month. 57% feel confident about their household’s financial situation, down only 4-points from 61% a month ago.
Despite ongoing confidence in their household’s financial situation, 4-in-10 Canadians are feeling a significant negative impact due to COVID-19 on their quality of life. 50% expect they will feel those impacts if the situation continues for at least two months. Health care workers expect a larger negative impact on their physical health than other Canadians—now and in the near future.
Finally, approval of the government response is rising for both the provincial and federal governments. This week 69% (up from 63%) are approving of their provincial government’s response and 59% (up from 50%) of the Federal government’s response . Just 10% think that governments have gone too far, compared to 38% who would like to see more, while a plurality (47%) think the response has been ‘the right amount’.