The vast majority of Canadians want government to launch a major stimulus program to get our economy moving againClick image to enlargeCanadians overwhelmingly support major stimulus to kick-start the country's economic recovery but want future government spending to be prudent, targeted and focused on initiatives that will grow our economy, according to a recent KPMG in Canada survey.

"The vast majority of Canadians want government to launch a major stimulus program to get our economy moving again," says Mary Jo Fedy, national leader, enterprise for KPMG in Canada. "But they also want those investments centred around areas that will drive sustained health and prosperity in the country. The areas they would like targeted are, not surprisingly, healthcare and domestic manufacturing – two key sectors whose importance to the country was highlighted during the pandemic."

Key Findings:

  • 77 per cent want government to step in with a major stimulus program to get our economy back to pre-Covid levels
  • 24 per cent want investments in domestic manufacturing
  • 89 per cent say future spending must be prudent, targeted and focused on initiatives that will grow our economy
  • 88 per cent say small- and medium-sized businesses in Canada have been the economic victims of the pandemic and government needs to do more for them
  • 93 per cent want government to create incentives to "buy Canadian" to restart our economy and ensure we build necessary domestic capacity to supply our critical needs
  • 64 per cent of Canadians are very confident the overall Canadian economy will recover in 2021
  • 84 per cent believe our economy has been forever changed – all businesses, no matter how small, need to be able to operate online

"The last year has seen unprecedented challenges to our health, communities and economy, and most Canadians believe government will need to continue playing an active role until we've crushed Covid and our economy finds its feet again,” says Fedy, noting that no matter what is contained in the upcoming federal budget, the pandemic has reshaped the Canadian economy, placing pressures on companies across all sectors to operate digitally – in both the way they create and sell their products and services.

"Some companies have been able to adapt and make this change effectively, but others have struggled and will need support to build their digital capabilities and workforces," adds Ms. Fedy. "The Canadian economy has an opportunity to come out of this crisis stronger and more resilient that ever with the right kinds of investments and leadership."

While Canadians are optimistic that vaccines will get their lives and the economy back on track soon, one thing they are not ready for is a reopening of the border with the United States. Barely one quarter of Canadians said it is time to start thinking about resuming normal traffic between the two nations.

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