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.
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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.
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.
“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...