Public Approval for USMCA Declines Slightly after GM Oshawa Plant Closure

January 17, 2019 --- After GM announced the closing of their Oshawa plant, many pundits assumed that public approval for the newly re-negotiated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) - also known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) - would plummet. However, our latest survey on this issue reveals that is not the case.

Compared to October 2018, we now see a slight decline in public approval for USMCA and the Trudeau Government’s handling of the negotiations – with disapproval largely holding steady and uncertainty increasing more than disapproval.

  • Canadians who hold an opinion on the matter are split – as about half approve of the USMCA deal (48%) and the Trudeau Government’s handling of the negotiations (50%).
  • Consistent with our previous waves of research on free trade deals and foreign policy matters, about 20-25% of the public tends to answer Don't Know/Unsure to these questions, likely reflecting a lower level of public engagement or comfort with such subject matter.

A slightly slimmer plurality (35%; -4) of Canadians – 45% of those with an opinion – feel that the Trudeau Government got the best possible deal, but the proportion who feel they should have continued negotiating for a better deal (31%) remains unchanged.

  • Instead, there are slight increases in the proportions who are opposed to any free trade agreement (12%; +2) or express uncertainty in their opinion on the matter (22%; +2).

Regionally speaking, it is notable that Ontarians - residents of the province that is home to the shuttered GM plant - continue to provide among the highest approval levels throughout the survey.

See the full details in our report and associated data tables.

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Economic Outlook 2019: Canadians in Psychological Recession

January 13, 2019 --- The results are in for the 24th annual edition of Pollara Strategic Insights’ Economic Outlook Study – Canada’s longest-running study of the public’s perceptions and expectations of the economy and their personal financial situation. And, it reveals that the public mood has turned anxious and negative.

Although the Great Recession has long been in Canada’s rear-view mirror, Canadians did not actually feel that the economy was out of recession until last year. However, the positive outlook of a year ago has proven short-lived, as Canadians are once again in a psychological recession as they head into 2019. Similar to the 2017 edition of this study, half (56%, +21) feel the economy is in recession, with just a third (32%; -18) correctly perceiving it to be in a period of growth.

  • These negative perceptions of the economy are found across all provinces/regions.
  • Far more Canadians feel the country is experiencing a mild (48%) than a severe (9%) recession.
  • And, among those who believe Canada is in a recession, most (48%) expect it to be of a relatively short duration – either 6-12 months (25%) or 13-18 months (23%).  This is a more positive expectation than in previous years, when Canadians who believed the economy was in recession tended to expect a long period of economic difficulty.

Most Canadians hold a neutral-negative outlook for 2019, expecting the Canadian economy and employment levels to remain unchanged or to worsen. Less than two-in-ten expect improvements.

  • Contextually, the public holds somewhat more negative expectations for the U.S. and global economies.

These negative views of the economy are consistent with the public's assessment of their personal financial situation, where perceptions and expectations have turned negative since last year.

  • Overall, half continue to hold their own, but more are now losing ground (31%; +7) than getting ahead (13%; -8).
  • When considering how their household income will perform vis-à-vis the cost of living in 2019, Canadians are notably less optimistic than last year: 44% (+6) expect to fall behind compared to 42% (-4) who expect to keep pace.

See the full details in our report and associated data tables, as well as further perspective via John Geddes' article in Maclean's.

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Second annual Aviva Fraud Report reveals Ontario auto insurance policyholders are increasingly supportive of actions to combat fraud

December 4, 2018 --- Aviva Insurance today released their second annual Aviva Fraud Report, containing new polling data about auto insurance fraud in Ontario. The survey findings demonstrate that Ontario auto insurance policyholders remain aware of fraud and supportive of government and law enforcement initiatives to fight it - and increasingly so on both counts, when compared to the 2017 survey.

Pollara Strategic Insights conducted the online survey on behalf of Aviva Insurance. A total of N=1,500 adult Ontarians with a current auto insurance policy were surveyed from October 15 to 24, 2018. Online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error, but a probability sample of this size would be considered accurate within +2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

Some of the key findings in the report include:

  • 88% think that auto repair shops inflate the cost of vehicle repairs, compared to 77% in 2017.
  • 86% of Ontarians support government and law enforcement agencies investing more resources to investigate and prosecute fraudulent claims, compared to 78% in 2017.
  • 86% of Ontarians feel that more needs to be done to combat fraud.
  • 73% believe that cracking down on fraud would reduce their current auto insurance premium.

See the Aviva press release for further study details and spokesperson information. Visit Aviva's dedicated insurance fraud website to download the full 2018 Aviva Fraud Report.

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