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Poilievre and Singh more trusted on housing as Liberal minister promises new policy this fall

After a summer spent refocusing his government on the issue of housing affordability, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberals are still less trusted on the file than the Conservatives and the New Democrats, exclusive new polling numbers indicate.

According to a survey conducted by Nanos Research for CTV News Channel's Power Play with Vassy Kapelos, Pierre Poilievre's Conservatives and Jagmeet Singh's NDP are the most trusted federal parties when it comes to addressing skyrocketing housing costs.

Asked which federal party respondents trusted the most on housing affordability:

  • 25 per cent said the Conservatives
  • 22 per cent said the New Democrats
  • 22 per cent said none of the federal parties; and
  • 15 per cent said the Liberals

As all federal parties are trying to hone in on housing, Nik Nanos said in an interview on the Vassy Kapelos Show that these numbers are "not great news for Justin Trudeau and the Liberals," as the more they have been talking about the issue of affordability, the more they appear to be wearing it.

Another seven per cent of respondents said they were unsure which party they trust the most, four per cent said the Bloc Quebecois, three per cent said the Greens, and two per cent said the People's Party of Canada.

Responding to the poll's findings, Housing Minister Sean Fraser said Wednesday that his takeaway is that Canadians want to see the federal government "step up and play a leadership role."

"I've heard loud and clear in recent months… Canadians want to see us take action," Fraser said, going on to commit to having new measures announced "over the next few months" that will "help address housing affordability across Canada."


Given that those who said either they trusted none of the parties, or were unsure who they trusted the most, make up one third of respondents, Nanos suggested the gap for the Liberals is surmountable.

"There's obviously room for movement, not just for the Liberals, but also for the Conservatives and the NDP, if they can come forward with a housing strategy that captures the attention and interest of Canadians," he said.

Trust for the Conservatives on housing affordability was the highest in the Prairies and Atlantic Canada, while Ontarians, Quebecers, and British Columbians were more likely to say they trusted the New Democrats.

Conservatives and NDP most trusted federal parties on the issue of affordable housing: Sept. 2023 Nanos survey "What it tells me at least is that Canadians are not satisfied with what the Liberals have done so far on housing," Nanos said, adding that it likely explains some of the decisions Trudeau has made this summer.

In July, Trudeau massively restructured his federal cabinet, a reshuffling that they've since sought to frame as being about refocusing the Liberal government around issues of affordability as Canadians continue to grapple with high inflation and an increased cost of living.

On the heels of the shuffle, Trudeau made an effort to pitch his government as centrally preoccupied with ensuring the dream of home ownership can become a reality for as many Canadians as possible, but was quickly panned by his opposition counterparts for suggesting that housing was not centrally a federal responsibility.

Housing was also the top issue on the agenda at the Liberal cabinet retreat in August, but the prime minister and his team left their Atlantic Canada confab without announcing any new housing measures.

The House of Commons is scheduled to resume on Sept. 18. With the NDP pushing for the Liberals to issue an additional $500 Canada Housing Benefit payment and the Conservatives calling for a plan to build more houses and bring prices down, where Canadians call home is set to remain a hot political file this fall.

Asked whether the Liberals' promised new housing plans will come as part of the upcoming fall economic statement, Fraser said he is planning to unveil what he's been working on, in advance of that, with potential funding attached coming as part of the fall economic update.

"There will be a suite of measures that we put forward, but I'm not going to wait for some artificial date to share news of things that could help build more houses today," Fraser said.


Throughout the summer, overall horse race polling from Nanos and other polling firms have shown the Conservatives in the lead, gaining ground on the Liberals as time went on. However, Nanos' latest figures suggest the margin between the Liberals and the Conservatives is closing, to be within the margin of error and Poilievre's party only slightly ahead.

"Four weeks ago, you know, we had the Conservatives with about an eight or nine point advantage over the Liberals, like they were in strong minority territory, just a little shy of majority," Nanos said. "So what was a massive advantage four weeks ago is now a little more of a horse race."

Nanos suggested this may be the result of a stock market-like "technical correction," because "one party is overpriced."

"I think people said, 'well, maybe we'd like change but a Conservative majority government? Not sure if I want that,'" Nanos said.

He compared the current situation for Poilievre, to Stephen Harper in 2006, saying that while there are a significant number of Canadians that are game for change and may be ready for a new prime minister, they aren't sure that they want the Conservatives to have a majority.

"I think that's realistically where we're at right now," Nanos said, suggesting this weekend's Conservative policy convention could be critical for whether Canadians are ready to view the party as a government in waiting.


Nanos conducted an RDD dual frame (land-and cell-lines) hybrid telephone and online random survey of 1,044 Canadians, 18 years of age or older, between September 2ndand 4th, 2023, as part of an omnibus survey. The margin of error for this survey is ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.



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