Canada Trust Survey Finds Only 1 In 3 Believe They Will Be Better Off In 5 Years

Daniel Tencer
In this stock photo, pedestrians cross a busy street in downtown Toronto. Canadians have serious doubts about their financial future and the economy as a whole, a new survey from Edelman has found.

MONTREAL ― Despite a strong economy that has churned out a record number of jobs in recent years and a housing market that has fattened many households’ assets, Canadians have serious doubts about their financial future and the economy as a whole.

Those are the key findings in the latest edition of the annual “trust barometer” from public relations firm Edelman, which measures public trust in “the system” ― government, business, non-governmental organizations and the media.

Watch: It’s easier to get rich in Canada than in the U.S., but it comes at a cost. Story continues below.


The survey of 1,500 Canadians was carried out from Oct. 19 to Nov. 18, 2019, well before the coronavirus outbreak and the Wet’suwet’en solidarity protests placed large question marks on the economic outlook.

It found that 76 per cent of Canadians are worried about losing their jobs, with the gig economy, a lack of training or skills, and fears of a recession the top reasons for the concern.

This chart from Edelman ranks the top causes for why 76 per cent of Canadians are worried about losing their job.

It found that barely more than a third of Canadians ― 35 per cent ― expect they will be better off in five years’ time. That’s lower than the U.S., where 43 per cent expect to be better off, but higher than in some developed countries, such as the U.K. and Japan.

This chart from Edelman's 2020 trust barometer ranks countries according to the percentage of people who believe they will be better off in five year's time. Canada is among the countries where a majority are pessimistic.

“There is a narrative in Canada that while there are indicators of a strong-performing economy, there are some underlying issues,” said Lisa Kimmel, CEO of Edelman’s  Canada and Latin America operations.

She listed off the country’s high household debt levels, the still-unratified new North American free trade deal, trade tensions with China and “obviously the whole pipeline issue” in a conversation with HuffPost Canada.

“The reality is we are a resource-based economy still, our future economic prosperity to a large degree is dependent on our ability to get oil out of the country. Those are issues that cause great anxiety.

“And there seems to be an inability ― we’re seeing it play out around these...

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