A new report released by the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy suggests Canadians are feeling more pessimistic than ever when it comes to the economy, prospects for the middle class, immigration, and foreign trade.
The report by author Frank Graves uses data collected in recent decades by EKOS Research Associates, and the most recent survey suggests Canadians have deep anxiety about the economy, both in the long and short term.
Openness has also taken a hit among Canadians; a flatlining economy coupled with geopolitical tensions has made us more closed off. Additionally, Graves says fewer Canadians describe themselves as middle class now as compared to 2002. Fourteen years ago, 70% of Canadians said they were middle class; that figure dropped to 47% in 2015.
“Nearly half (46 per cent) of those aged 25-44 said they were earning less in inflation-adjusted dollars last year than their fathers earned at the same age. Fewer than one in five Canadians believed their personal economic lot improved last year. Thirty-seven per cent of respondents said they had fallen behind economically in the last year and the last five years,” says Graves.
“When a society sees shared progress as an imperative, it is truly dismal that fewer than one in five Canadians thought things had improved for them last year.”
While the report notes there’s no quick fix to solving Canadians’ anxieties about the economy, it will ultimately depend on steps the new Liberal government will take to ease attitudes towards immigration, foreign direct investing, and trade.
To read the full report, click here.