Most Canadians say they’re financially worse off since Trudeau elected: poll
Most Canadians say they’re financially worse off since Trudeau elected: poll

A new Nanos poll has revealed that over half of Canadians say their personal finances are worse off today than they were in 2015, when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau first took office.

In 2015, Trudeau ran on an election campaign promise to “help the middle class and those aspiring to join it.”

However in 2023, with the high cost of living, inflation and interest-rate hikes, millions of indebted Canadians said that they will be voting with these issues being their top priority.

The polls saw 53% of respondents saying that their personal finances are worse now than they were eight years ago.

The poll, conducted by Nanos Research on behalf of Bloomberg News, found that only 24% of respondents said that they were better off financially today than in 2015, while the remaining 21% said that there had been no change in their finances.  

Respondents aged 35 to 54 years old were the most likely to be taking a negative hit financially, with 61% of that cohort saying that they were now worse off.

Polls like this are a good indicator as to why Trudeau and his Liberal government are suffering from such low approval ratings lately.  

“When the economy is flat and people worry about paying the bills they get grumpy and look to punish the incumbent government,” said the polling firm’s chief data scientist Nik Nanos. 

“If you are struggling to pay for housing or the groceries, you might think, ‘What do I have to lose with a change in government?’”

Should a federal election be held today, polls suggest that about 45% of Canadians said that the cost of living, things like housing, groceries and energy bills, would be the determining factor in who they voted for. 

Below the cost of living concerns were the environment at 14% and healthcare at 12%. 

Inflation is beginning to ease in Canada, holding steady at an annual pace of 3.1% in November, down drastically from 8.1% in June of last year. 

However, it’s still at record highs in terms of generational inflation for things like food and nondurable goods, like clothing and soap for example.

In the early 1990s, the Bank of Canada adopted inflation targeting, which kept inflation around 1.8% annually up until the pandemic began in 2020. 

Shelter and food inflation are now both almost 14% higher than they were just three years ago. 

The Bank of Canada recently announced that housing hasn’t been this unaffordable since the beginning of the 1980’s.

While the next official election isn’t scheduled until 2025, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre has repeatedly laid the blame of high housing costs and food and energy prices at the feet of Trudeau.  

“After eight years, Justin Trudeau is not worth the cost,” Poilievre often says in interviews and in the House of Commons. 

His message appears to be resonating, as Poilievre is often leaps and bounds ahead of Trufeau across numerous polls. 

Recently, the Liberals announced a $4 billion dollar fund to help cities build new housing as well as changes to competition laws, in an attempt to reduce grocery store prices.  

“People are working hard to keep up with the cost of living,” said Trudeau Dec. 15. 

“That’s why our government never stops fighting to secure the promise of Canada — the promise that each generation stands on the successes of the previous one and can achieve even more.”

However, after eight years in power, many Canadians are finding much of what Trudeau and his administration have to say as little more than familiar rhetoric. 

“Inflation kills governments,” said Mike Moffat, a former economic advisor to Trudeau from 2013 to 2015. 

“There is this discontent. People see costs going up and up and up and don’t necessarily see their paychecks going up,” he said. 

The Nanos poll was conducted by telephone and online between Nov. 30 and Dec. 2. 

It had 1,069 Canadian participants with a margin of error of 3 percentage points or 19 times out of 20.

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