Two thirds now see Canada in recession

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Two thirds now see Canada in recession

Infrastructure investment preferred to austerity

TORONTO September 2nd, 2015 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1384 Canadian voters, fully two thirds say Canada is now in a recession (67%), and this is a significant increase from the 6-in-10 who said this in July (July 21 - 58%). This attitude is especially common to the youngest (72%), in Ontario (72%) and the prairies (71%), among Liberals and New Democrats (75% and 76%, respectively) but only to one half of Conservative voters (48%).

Few want austerity, cutting deficits

Close to one half of voters agree the best course of action for a government in a poor economy is to invest in infrastructure to create jobs and stimulate growth (45%), and very few take the opposite view, that it is preferable to impose restraint and pay down deficits (18%). Relatively equal proportions say to do something else or don’t know (16% and 13%, respectively). Conservatives have a narrow margin in favour of austerity (37% to 26%), while Liberals and New Democrats firmly choose investment (63% and 52%, respectively).

Plurality approve of Liberal deficit spending plan

Close to one half of voters approve of Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s plan to run deficits for 3 years after the election before balancing the budget in 2019 (44%), while more than a third (38%) do not approve of this plan. Close to one fifth don’t know what to think (17%). Three quarters of Liberals approve of the plan (78%) not surprisingly, but close to one half of New Democrats do as well (45%). Just one sixth of Conservative voters agree with this idea (15%).

Two thirds agree deficits are not always a “bad thing”

Two thirds of Canadian voters say it is not always a bad thing to run a deficit (63%), while just fewer than a quarter think it is (22%). One sixth don’t have an opinion (15%). As many as one half of Conservative voters don’t think deficits are always bad (52%), while close to three quarters of Liberals (71%) and New Democrats (72%) are of the same opinion.

 “It appears Canadians have suffered through enough restraint in bad times to realize that a little spending goes a long way towards improving the economic climate, and getting voters, in turn, to spend more. It’s a simple cycle, really; governments spend, people work, people spend, taxes are paid. It usually works," said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at or at (416) 960-9603.