Only 21% of Canadians support federal budget: poll

By Isaac Lamoureux

Even fewer Canadians have a positive outlook on the recently announced Liberal budget than Canadians who currently support the Liberals in federal polling.

While Liberal support has been hovering around 25%, only 21% of Canadians have a positive opinion of the budget, according to a new Leger poll.

The online survey, taken by over 1,500 Canadian adults between Apr. 19 and 21, showed that 49% of Canadians had a negative opinion of the budget released days before the poll.

Of those with a negative opinion, 25% have a very negative opinion of the budget, while 24% have a somewhat negative opinion. 

The 2024 federal budget proposed $111.2 billion in new spending over the next five years and a $40 billion deficit, with no plan to balance the books.

Of the 21% of Canadians with a positive outlook on it, 3% have a very positive opinion, and 18% have a somewhat positive outlook. The remaining 30% didn’t know or preferred not to answer. 

Despite more Canadians having a negative outlook on the budget than any other opinion, some parts of the budget were looked upon favourably.

All respondents were asked whether certain aspects of the budget were a good or bad thing for Canada and Canadians. 

Nearly two-thirds of Canadians feel that the $8.5 billion investment in housing, with the objective of building 3.9 million homes in Canada by 2031, is a good thing for the country.

True North previously reported that the Liberals would have to build 1.096 homes a minute without missing a beat for the next seven years to meet this goal.

Almost as many, 64%, of Canadians agreed that a $900 million increase for greener homes and energy efficiency programs would benefit Canada and its residents.

Similarly, 58% felt a planned increase in military and defence spending over the next 20 years would benefit the country.

True North previously reported that Canada’s additional funding towards its revised defence policy prioritizes climate change and falls short of meeting NATO’s 2% GDP spending target.

Fifty-six percent of Canadians agreed with the capital gains tax increase, which the Liberals estimate will generate $19.4 billion over the next five years.

Thousands of Canadian CEOs and tech leaders penned a letter to Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, urging her to halt the tax increase, which they said would result in entrepreneurs immigrating south of the border. 

The techies were joined by the Canadian Medical Association, which warned the Liberals that the tax hike would exacerbate Canada’s already pressing issue of physician recruitment and retention.

53% of Canadians agreed that forgiving student loans for different types of health care and education workers would be positive for Canada and Canadians. 

Despite Canadians agreeing with all five aspects, only 16% of respondents said that the Liberals should continue investing in different programs and initiatives even if it results in large future deficits. Meanwhile, 14% of Canadians said that the Liberals should increase taxes to reduce the size of deficits while spending on programs is maintained. 

The largest portion of Canadians, more than double any other option, 47%, said that in the next five years, the Liberals should cut back on spending and cut various programs to return to a balanced budget as soon as possible.

The remaining 22% did not know or preferred not to answer about what the Liberals should do in the next five years.

Leger’s survey featured respondents from across the country, with the highest number of representatives in Ontario and Quebec — Canada’s two most populated provinces. 

The survey respondents were almost evenly split between the two genders, and age groups were pretty evenly distributed amongst three categories (18-34, 35-54, 55+).