Health care, infrastructure top budget priorities for Canadians: Nanos survey
Josh Elliott, CTVNews.ca
Published Thursday, March 3, 2016 5:17PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, March 3, 2016 10:03PM EST
Canadians want health care and infrastructure to be the top priorities in the Liberals' first federal budget this spring, according to results of a survey from Nanos Research.
In a survey asking respondents to rank their top two budget priorities, 43 per cent of respondents said health care should be the No. 1 priority in the budget, while 28 per cent said infrastructure spending should be prioritized above all else.
Eight per cent of respondents said the economy/jobs/stimulus efforts should be the top priority, while seven per cent chose public safety spending. The military and the environment were each ranked No. 1 by only four per cent of respondents, respectively.
Infrastructure spending was the most frequently-chosen second choice, with 31 per cent of respondents indicating it should be No. 2, followed closely by health care, at 31 per cent. Eleven per cent of respondents indicated public safety should be the second priority, while nine per cent of respondents ranked military spending second.
Struggling industries and real estate
An "overwhelming majority" of Canadians are in favour of temporarily extending employment insurance benefits for workers in hard-hit sectors of the Canadian economy, according to the Nanos survey results.
Nearly half of respondents, or 47 per cent, said they support the temporary EI measures, while 38 per cent said they somewhat support the idea. Only six per cent opposed the notion, and seven per cent somewhat opposed it.
Support for the idea was strongest in the Atlantic provinces, with 89.8 per cent of respondents in favour or somewhat in favour of it.
Respondents were more divided over suggestions the government help prop up struggling companies, or intervene in the housing market.
When asked how they felt about the federal government providing interest-free loans to struggling Canadian companies, 14 per cent of respondents supported the idea, 44 per cent somewhat supported it, 21 per cent somewhat opposed it and 16 per cent were fully opposed to it.
Canadians were only marginally in favour of federal intervention in the housing market. When asked if the feds should take action to cool down the real estate market, 55 per cent said they supported (26 per cent) or somewhat supported (30 per cent) the idea. Thirty-five per cent opposed (17 per cent) or somewhat opposed (18 per cent) the government taking action.
B.C. respondents came out the strongest in favour of intervention, with 62.9 per cent supporting or somewhat supporting the idea. The Prairies showed less than majority support (49.3 per cent), while Ontario had 52.9 per cent supporting or somewhat supporting intervention.
The housing markets in Toronto and Vancouver are considered to be the hottest in the country.
Nanos conducted an RDD dual frame (land-and cell-lines) hybrid telephone and online random survey of 1,000 Canadians, 18 years of age or older, between February 22 to 24, 2016 as part of an omnibus survey.
The margin of error for a random survey of 1,000 Canadians is ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.