Nine in 10 Canadians Want a "Canada-First" Strategy for Economic Recovery, KPMG in Canada Survey Finds

Nine in 10 Canadians want COVID-19 stopped in its tracks 'by whatever means necessary' and for the country to take a 'Canada-first' strategy to jumpstart our economy, finds a new survey by KPMG in Canada.

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"Our research found most Canadians recognize we won't be able to get our economy back on track until we have crushed the pandemic and vaccinated the majority of the country," says Silvia Montefiore, a Canadian Managing Partner and Chief Operating Officer for KPMG in Canada.

"To get the economy moving again, Canadians want the country to adopt a 'Canada-first' mindset. This includes our government establishing 'buy Canadian' incentives and for big companies to increase the amount of contracting they do with local suppliers. Individual Canadians told us they are committed to doing the same by focusing their own spending on domestic opportunities."

Key Poll Highlights:

  • 87% of Canadians say we must stop COVID-19 in its tracks by whatever means necessary with 89% seeing the rollout of approved vaccines as the only way to protect public health and jumpstart the economy
  • 92% want government to create incentives to 'buy Canadian' to restart our economy and ensure we build necessary domestic capacity to supply our critical needs
  • 86% want corporate Canada to allocate a share of all its contracts to small- and medium-sized Canadian businesses
  • 89% plan to focus their personal spending on domestic opportunities to help Canada's economy get moving again

"Canadians right across the board – from business owners to people who lost their job due to COVID-19 to essential workers – also believe that continued government investment is required to strengthen our healthcare system and support people hurt by the lockdowns – especially small- and medium-sized businesses in a number of sectors that have suffered significant economic losses as a result of the pandemic.

"The pandemic has made Canadians far more aware of the importance of our healthcare system and the people who make the system work," says Ms. Montefiore. "But it has also given us a much greater appreciation of the many small- and medium-sized businesses in our communities that make our economy click."

Other key poll findings

  • 83% want government to continue to make investments to strengthen the healthcare system and support people hurt by the lockdowns
  • 82% want government to create incentives to get individuals and businesses who have saved money through the pandemic to start spending again
  • 91% want corporate Canada to think bigger by making significant investments in technology and people
  • 87% said we need less red tape and more incentives for entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses
  • 90% say the pandemic has left them with a greater appreciation for small businesses in their communities
  • 91% say the pandemic has left them with a greater appreciation for the unsung essential workers (like garbage pickup and truckers) who have kept the economy going
  • 82% say the pandemic has exposed inequities in our society that need to be addressed now for Canada to rebound stronger and be more resilient

An earlier KPMG survey of 2,002 Canadians in December 2020 found that eight in 10 would line up for a vaccine shot within the next three months if it were offered, and 96 % wanted full transparency.

About KPMG in Canada's Omnibus Confidence / Outlook Survey

KPMG surveyed over 4,000 Canadians from January 12 to January 23, 2021 to discern the public's opinion on their confidence in and attitudes toward the health and economic impacts of COVID-19. KPMG leveraged the AskingCanadians panel by Delvinia through its methodify online research automation platform. The panel consisted of 3,507 adults aged 18+ and 500 small- and medium-sized business owners/decision makers.

The study delved into their current employment status, whether they lost their job due to the COVID-19 pandemic, their ethnicity and changes in household income. Twenty-eight percent of the respondents are "essential workers", defined as first responders, health care workers, critical infrastructure workers (such as hydro and natural gas) and workers who are essential to supply critical goods such as food and medicines. Seventeen per cent of respondents said they or someone close to them contracted COVID-19. Over half (53%) of the business owners or decision makers report annual revenues between $1 million and $50 million, 28% report under $500,000 in annual revenues, and 13% report over $50MM.

The poll is proportionally representative to Canada's population, gender and age demographics.

 

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