What should governments be doing now to prepare for the future of the COVID-19 outbreak? Our latest polling shows that Canadians want governments to be prioritizing improvements to the healthcare system and our capacity to fight the virus much more so than efforts to manage the economic recovery, reduce spending, or get school back in session.
When it comes to governments’ performance on these issues so far – we mostly see high marks across the board. The federal government receives the most credit for helping companies survive and manage – despite those efforts being lower on Canadians’ priority list. Provinces, on the other hand, stand out most on their efforts to prepare both the hospital and public health systems. Both levels of government also see high satisfaction from efforts to stop the spread from international travelers.
There is no sign yet of significant backlash to the deficit spending – but reactions are highly political. Concern about the deficit is relatively high, especially compared to 2010 during the last major stimulus effort (55% now versus 34% then). However, roughly 3 times more want to see COVID-19 spending continue (32%) than stop entirely (just 12%); with 45% staking out a middle ground.
This response is highly associated with pre-existing political beliefs, with the only group showing a clear preference for stopping extra spending over continuing it being populist conservatives.
For full details on these results download our report here.