Deficit growing concern

The federal Liberals were elected with a promise to spend, but a new poll by the Angus Reid Institute finds more Canadians concerned about growing deficits.

As the federal government prepares to release its second budget since winning the 2015 election on a promise to run “modest deficits,” the number of Canadians naming government spending as a top issue has almost doubled.

The quarterly analysis of public opinion finds deficits and spending to be the third most-mentioned concern, behind only health care and the economy. Moreover, the number of respondents naming the deficit as a top concern has nearly doubled since Justin Trudeau’s government took office.

However, the prime minister's personal popularity remains high. More than half of respondents approved of his performance, though relatively few do so “strongly.”

Key findings of the survey include:

  • 54 per cent of Canadians approve of Trudeau’s performance
  • The PM is most popular in Atlantic Canada, and least so in Alberta
  • One in four Canadians (26 per cent) say their standard of living has declined in the last year, the lowest percentage to have said this since tracking began in 2010
  • The percentage of Canadians who name “the deficit/government spending” as a top issue has increased from 12 per cent in December 2015 to 22 per cent now

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