Affordability issues are the main priority for Canadians as parliamentarians return to Ottawa on Monday, and as Liberals gain slightly on the Conservative lead in the polls.
Polling by Ipsos exclusively for Global News found that 49 per cent of Canadians say that reducing the cost of everyday items like groceries is their top concern and what they want parliamentarians to focus on in the new session of Parliament. This is closely followed by inflation and interest rates (45 per cent) and access to affordable housing (39 per cent).
During the Liberal caucus retreat on Jan. 25, House Leader Steve MacKinnon said economic issues will be the top priority for the government this session.
“So, economics are the order of the day, making life easier for Canadians and making housing more accessible,” MacKinnon said.
The House leader, who is in charge of implementing the government’s legislative agenda in that chamber and works with other parties to schedule debates and votes, talked about continued work on measures included in the fall economic statement, such as expanding dental care and legislation to ban replacement workers. He also signalled new bills will be coming.
“There are a number of other initiatives that will be coming forward. I’m not going to reveal all of the bills that will be (presented), but the government has a significant pipeline,” MacKinnon said.
Immigration is the fourth biggest parliamentary priority according the Ipsos poll, something the firm says is not traditionally in the top five issues for Canadian.
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Twenty-two per cent of respondents said it is now a top priority.
The pollster says that Canadians are linking immigration policy, including international student caps, to the housing-supply shortage.
Other widely shared priorities identified by more than 10 per cent of respondents include homelessness, the cost of energy and the dental care plan.
The polling also found that the Conservatives still hold a wide lead over the Liberals, but the Grits have reduced it to a single-digit lead.
The Liberals are up three points, to 27 per cent support. The Conservatives slipped four points, but still enjoy 36 per cent support. The NDP are at 20 per cent.
This is the first Ipsos poll in nearly a year where the Liberals saw their support increase. That support bottomed out in November 2023 at 24 per cent.
However, in battleground Ontario, the Conservatives still enjoy a double-digit lead with 39 per cent support over both the NDP (27 per cent) and Liberals (24 per cent).
The large number of ridings in Ontario and especially the Greater Toronto Area make it — along with Quebec — a crucial field of play for political parties in any potential federal election campaign.
The Bloc Quebecois leads polling in Quebec with 34 per cent support, and the Liberals are nipping at their heels at 31 per cent.
Ipsos says Atlantic Canada is a tight, three-way race between the main national parties. Meanwhile, the Conservatives double-digit lead extends across the western provinces, as well as with voters over age 35.
These polls were conducted between January 19th to 22nd, 2024, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 1,001 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed online. Quotas and weighting were employed to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the Canadian population according to census parameters. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 3.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians aged 18+ been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.
© 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.