Trust in Canadian Politicians and Big Business Falls Sharply During COVID Crisis

·3 min read
Discover by Navigator Logo (CNW Group/Navigator Limited)
Discover by Navigator Logo (CNW Group/Navigator Limited)

TORONTO, May 12, 2021 /CNW/ - Canadians have lost trust in the Prime Minister, the majority of Canadian premiers, and the country's large businesses and corporations during the COVID-19 crisis, according to new research from Discover by Navigator.

Discover by Navigator surveyed 1500 adult Canadians from April 30 to May 4 to track how their trust in politicians, organizations or institutions has changed over the course of the pandemic. The results were used to generate pandemic trust progression scores, or the percentage of people who gained trust minus the percentage who lost trust.

Political Crisis of Confidence

Canadian's trust in their political leaders declined sharply at both the federal and provincial level with Ontario and Alberta residents reporting the biggest losses of trust and only Quebec and Atlantic Canada reporting increases in trust.

Fully 44% of respondents said they trust Prime Minister Trudeau less now than compared to the start of COVID-19 while just 19% reported trusting the Prime Minister more giving Trudeau a pandemic trust progression score of -25.

The Prime Minister faced his lowest pandemic progression scores in Alberta (-43), British Columbia (-35), Ontario (-28) and Quebec (-14). Trudeau experienced a slight gain in trust in Atlantic Canada (+3).

Provincially, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney experienced the most dramatic decrease in trust with over half of Albertans (54%) saying they trust Kenny less now while only 11% reported trusting him more resulting in a pandemic trust progression score of -41.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford received the second biggest drop in trust with 51% of Ontarians reporting they trust the premier less now while 20% said their trust had increased for a pandemic trust progression score of -31.

BC Premier John Horgan fared slightly better with 35% of British Columbians saying they trust him less now while 22% say they trust him more providing a pandemic trust progression score of -13.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault, in contrast, gained trust with 43% of Quebec respondents saying they trust Legault more now than they did when the pandemic began compared to 20% who trust him less affording Legault a pandemic trust progression score of +23.

"While voting intentions tend to be positive for incumbents right now, this erosion in trust suggests that Canadians may be running out of patience and may soon be shopping around for alternatives. Apart from Premier Legault, incumbents should be a little nervous right now" says André Turcotte, Associate Principal at Discover by Navigator.

Trust Boom or Bust for Business and Institutions

Large business and corporations experienced a significant loss in trust with 32% of Canadians saying they have less trust compared to 14% having more trust for a score of -18. Small and medium businesses fared far better with 31 percent of respondents saying their trust had increased while only 9 percent reported having less trust resulting in a pandemic progression score of +22.

Canadians reported the largest overall rise in trust for doctors and healthcare workers during the pandemic. Almost half (49%) said they trust doctors and healthcare workers more now while only 11% said they trust them less for a total pandemic trust progression score of +38. The scientific community gained the second most trust with a score of +34.

Discover is Navigator's full-service, in-house research offering that delivers state-of-the-art research solutions and truly stakeholder-focused insights, while leveraging access to the strength of Navigator's public affairs offering.

Discover by Navigator is an accredited member of the Canadian Research Insights Council (CRIC), an advocacy organization that represents the research profession in Canada. Its members include many of the country's top research agencies, research-guided companies and other industry partners. CRIC members are held to the highest world-class standards, ethics and best practices in research, analytics, and insights.

SOURCE Navigator Limited


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