September 11, 2020

New poll shows economic concerns are top for Canadians in COVID recovery

ALBERTA—Today the Business Council of Alberta in partnership with Ipsos Public Affairs released a new set of polling data on Canadians’ priorities for the COVID recovery. The research shows that economic issues have emerged as the top priority for Canadians (61%), with COVID-19 in second place (46%) as Canadians are focusing on issues they perceive as immediate or related to their personal situation.

Canadians indicate they want a recovery that balances economy and environment (52%), and they want that recovery to be inclusive of natural resources industries, such as energy, forestry, and agriculture (71%). 75% feel if natural resources companies are working to fight climate change, they should be encouraged to grow.

“These numbers point towards a broad consensus among Canadians on their priorities, and the fact that they want to see an inclusive recovery,” says Adam Legge President of the Business Council of Alberta. “Canadians are looking for a recovery that includes both the environment and economy, includes every region in this country, and includes the natural resource sector. I think this shows a moment of opportunity for business and political leaders alike to work collaboratively to deliver that recovery.”

The results paint a picture of Canadians concerned with the economy and their personal future. 69% believe the national economy is performing somewhat or very badly, and this is highest in Alberta and in Atlantic Canada. 

“We’re encouraging the federal government to view Alberta, and the county’s largest resource industries, as a welcome partner in a green recovery. These aren’t just Albertan ideas or even western ideas; these are ideas that are broadly supported by Canadians of all types across the country,” says Legge.

Canadians are divided on whether current times call for more spending—even with higher deficits (38%)—or shifting to focus on the deficit and debt (39%). Showing the need for a path forward that focuses spending in ways that will grow the economy.

All polling questions as well as accompanying data tables have been made available to the public at this page.


This Ipsos poll was conducted on behalf of the Business Council of Alberta between August 24 and 27, 2020, using a sample of 1,003 Canadians aged 18+ from the Ipsos online panel, who were interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/ – 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults been polled.

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