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Trudeau considered best to manage pandemic, revive economy, survey suggests – TimminsToday

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OTTAWA — A new poll suggests Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would be well placed to fight an election this fall, seen as the leader best able to care for Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic and to get the economy back on its feet.

Respondents to the poll, conducted by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies, were split about the prospect of a confidence vote triggering a federal election this fall, with 42 per cent opposed to an election and 38 per cent in favour.

But if there were an election today, 38 per cent of decided voters said they’d support Trudeau’s Liberals, compared to 30 per cent for the Conservatives, 18 per cent for the NDP and six per cent for the Greens.

The Bloc Quebecois were at 33 per cent in Quebec, statistically tied with the Liberals in that province at 32 per cent, with the Conservatives well behind at 16 per cent, the NDP at 12 per cent and the Greens at four per cent.

When asked specifically which party would earn their vote should Erin O’Toole be at the helm of the Conservatives, Liberal support actually bumped up one point while Conservative support dropped to 27 per cent.

However, the poll suggests O’Toole — who was crowned Conservative leader in the wee hours of Monday morning, one day after the survey was completed —  is an unknown quantity for a majority of Canadians.

Asked if they’d be more or less likely to vote Conservative if O’Toole was at the helm, fully 51 per cent said they didn’t know. Another 37 per cent said they’d be less likely while just 13 per cent said they’d be more likely.

While Conservative fortunes could improve as voters get to know O’Toole, the poll suggests he will need time to make a dent in their largely positive impression of Trudeau.

Respondents rated Trudeau by a significant margin as the most decisive, intelligent, and charismatic leader and the best communicator. He was also deemed the most caring and compassionate, although on that score NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh was rated a relatively close second.

Singh got top marks on honesty and integrity, with 24 per cent saying he best shows those qualities, compared to 16 per cent for Trudeau, who has been mired for months in the WE Charity scandal, and 12 per cent for O’Toole.

In Quebec, Bloc Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet was rated the most honest, decisive and intelligent and the best communicator.

On the issues that would likely dominate an election campaign in the fall, Trudeau enjoyed a substantial lead over rival leaders. (The Greens, who are in the midst of a leadership contest were not included in these questions).

He was seen as the leader who’d do the best job getting Canada’s pandemic-ravaged economy back on track by 30 per cent, compared to 20 per cent for O’Toole, 11 per cent for Singh and just three per cent for Blanchet.

He was rated the best leader to manage the federal deficit, projected to hit almost $350 billion this year due to the pandemic (27 per cent to O’Toole’s 23 per cent, Singh’s nine per cent and Blanchet’s three per cent).

He was also rated the leader who’d do the best job caring for Canadians hurt by the pandemic (35 per cent to O’Toole’s 13 per cent, Singh’s 19 per cent and Blanchet’s four per cent)

And he was seen by far as the leader who would best keep Canadians safe from a second wave of the deadly coronavirus that causes COVID-19 (39 per cent to O’Toole’s 13 per cent, Singh’s 12 per cent and Blanchet’s three per cent).

Trudeau last week prorogued Parliament until Sept. 23, when he intends to introduce a throne speech laying out a post-pandemic recovery plan for the country. Trudeau has all but dared opposition parties to bring his government down over the throne speech, which will be put to a confidence vote.

Leger executive vice-president Christian Bourque said Liberal support has rebounded since the WE Charity affair exploded in late June. But it could dip again if there are new revelations or when the federal ethics watchdog releases the findings of his investigation into possible conflict of interest violations by Trudeau and his former finance minister, Bill Morneau.

If it weren’t for that ethical cloud hanging over the government, Bourque said the poll suggests a fall election “would be great timing for Mr. Trudeau” — while O’Toole is still unknown.

“I think the Conservatives need time,” Bourque said in an interview, adding that Blanchet is the only leader for whom there appears to be no potential downside to a fall election.

The online survey of 1,516 adult Canadians was conducted Aug. 21-23. It cannot be assigned a margin of error because internet-based polls are not considered random samples.

The poll also gauged Canadians’ views on the pandemic and its impact on the economy.

Forty-three per cent of respondents said they fear the economic crisis, already the deepest since the Great Depression, will get worse in the next 12 months; only 21 per cent believe it will get better while 25 per cent think it will stay the same.

Fully 77 per cent predicted there’ll be a second wave of the pandemic. And 58 per cent said they think it is likely that over the next three months the country will be plunged back into lockdown, with businesses closed and citizens ordered once again to stay at home.

Despite those fears, 68 per cent said they would not take a free dose of the untested vaccine Russia has produced to immunize against COVID-19; only 14 per cent said they would take it, 18 per cent said they didn’t know.

Seventy-six per cent said they remain very or somewhat satisfied with the measures the federal Liberal government has taken to deal with the pandemic; 77 per cent said the same of their provincial governments.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 25, 2020.

Joan Bryden, The Canadian Press

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New national poll shows Canadians are most concerned about the economy, want a strong natural gas and oil sector to drive recovery – Canada NewsWire

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CALGARY, AB, Sept. 22, 2020 /CNW/ – The state of our country’s economy is the biggest issue of the day for Canadians, according to a new poll from IPSOS. The poll has 44 per cent of Canadians choosing the economy as the biggest priority for government, even putting it ahead of healthcare (chosen as the top issue by 36 per cent of those surveyed). All other issues fall far down the list of concerns.

When it comes to strategic direction, nearly two-thirds of Canadians (64 per cent) say that natural gas and oil need to be a part of Canada’s recovery and more than half (55 per cent) believe supporting jobs in Canadian natural gas and oil is more important than ever because we need it to kick start our economy.

The new data from IPSOS, which surveyed people across the country, demonstrates Canadians are widely supportive of growth and development for Canada’s natural gas and oil sector.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) is encouraged to see strong support from Canadians and urges the federal government to show the same level of support for the natural gas and oil industry.

CAPP has just published its Vision for Canada’s Recovery report, which highlights the positive potential impact of the industry in creating jobs for Canadians and boosting the country’s economic recovery.

According to Statistics Canada, exports of crude oil, bitumen, natural gas and natural gas liquids generated more than $102 billion in 2019. Add in refined petroleum and the total rises to more than $112 billion — about 19 per cent of the revenue from all of Canada’s exports combined.

The industry supports half a million jobs across the country and a supply chain that reaches from coast to coast and contributes to economic growth and prosperity for thousands of businesses.

As Canadians look toward recovery, the natural gas and oil industry can play a vital role — not only to boost the national economy, but to promote further innovation and develop new technologies which can help the country reach environment and climate goals here and abroad.

Today, Canada is a clear leader in environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance. For example, Canada’s offshore oil production is among the least carbon-intensive in the world, with 30 per cent lower emissions per barrel than the global average.

The country’s leadership in innovation and environmental performance can be a competitive advantage when marketing Canada’s energy sector on the world stage, and a key component of drawing investment back to a responsibly-operated and stable energy industry.

CAPP quotes Tim McMillan, president and CEO:

  • “Government policy must be considered in the context of a strong economic recovery plan. It’s time to signal to the international community that Canada is a good place to do business and market our strengths to attract investment back to our industries.”
  • “Economic recovery is top of mind for Canadians, and we are encouraged to see the support across the country for a strong natural gas and oil industry. A growing industry will create much-needed jobs for Canadians and revenues for governments. Bringing investment back to the industry will also support continued development of new technologies which improve our environmental performance, reduce emissions and further our climate goals.”

Supporting information:

  • The supply chain of oil sands producers alone is associated with close to 10,000 businesses across the country.
  • The offshore oil and natural gas industry makes up one-quarter of Newfoundland and Labrador’s GDP and 41 percent of exports. Approximately 600 supply and service companies in Atlantic Canada rely on work associated with offshore development.
  • Ontario’s participation in the oil sands supply chain was valued at $1.89 billion in the two-year period from 2016-2017.
  • The natural gas and oil industry is Canada’s largest investor in clean technology and environmental protection, spending about $3.5 billion annually.
  • From 2017 to 2019, a period with struggling commodity prices, Canada’s natural gas and oil sector still contributed over $8 billion annually to government revenues across the country.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) represents companies, large and small, that explore for, develop and produce natural gas and oil throughout Canada. CAPP’s member companies produce about 80 per cent of Canada’s natural gas and oil. CAPP’s associate members provide a wide range of services that support the upstream oil and natural gas industry. Together CAPP’s members and associate members are an important part of a national industry with revenues from oil and natural gas production of about $109 billion a year. CAPP’s mission, on behalf of the Canadian upstream oil and natural gas industry, is to advocate for and enable economic competitiveness and safe, environmentally and socially responsible performance.

SOURCE Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers

For further information: Jay Averill, Manager of Media Relations, CAPP, (P) 403-267-1151, (C) 587-225-4534, [email protected]

Related Links

http://www.capp.ca

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AP-NORC poll: Dim view of economy stable as election nears – 570 News

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WASHINGTON — Most Americans view the nation’s economic situation as bleak, but a rising percentage also see signs of stability six weeks before Election Day — if not reasons for optimism.

According to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, 60% of Americans describe the national economy as poor and 40% deem it good. That’s a rebound in confidence from low points in April and May, when just 29% called the economy good as the coronavirus pandemic took hold of the country.

About 4 in 10 Americans — 43% — say they expect the economy to improve in the next year, about the same as in July. But just 28% said they expect things to get even worse, a slight improvement from the 35% who said so in July and a significant improvement from May, when 40% expected things to continue getting worse. This month, 27% expect no change in economic conditions in the next year.

That relative hopefulness may say more about the nation’s politics than the underlying health of the world’s largest economy.

President Donald Trump is seeking reelection against Democrat Joe Biden with stock market gains as a rallying cry. The unemployment rate has improved, but remains high at 8.4%, and lawmakers have failed to agree on additional aid for Americans suffering financially due to the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the continued toll from the virus — including the loss of schooling and revenue shortfalls for state and local governments — threatens the prospect for a wider recovery.

The poll found that 67% of Republicans call the economy good, compared with 16% of Democrats. Republicans are significantly more likely to expect the economy to get better than worse in the next year, 64% to 14%. Among Democrats, 39% expect things to get worse and 28% expect them to get better, while 32% expect no change.

“It’s kind of just in a neutral gear,” said Gary Cameron, 65, a retiree and Trump supporter from Midwest City, Oklahoma. “I do expect after the pandemic is over, it will probably go back to where it was, maybe better.”

But Cameron believes that the world’s largest economy would be hurt by a Biden presidency, saying he does not believe the country suffers from systemic racism and that addressing the demands of civil rights protesters would come at the expense of institutions that drive growth.

“The people the Democratic Party have gotten into bed with do not love America,” Cameron said. “I think it would do damage to the country.”

The poll finds that half of Americans approve of how Trump is handling the economy, which remains his strongest issue. By comparison, 43% approve of how he’s handling his job overall. Eighty-nine per cent of Republicans and 15% of Democrats approve of Trump’s handling of the economy.

About two-thirds of Americans — 65% — say their own personal finances are good. That number has remained largely steady since before the pandemic began. Seventy-eight per cent of Republicans and 58% of Democrats say their personal finances are good. Americans are also more likely to expect their personal finances to get better than worse, 38% to 13%, with 48% expecting no change.

Bob Blanchard, 73, of Augusta, Georgia, lives in a community hurt by the coronavirus and the loss of business locally from a spectator-free Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. A consulting engineer, Blanchard said local businesses are suffering and he can no longer make money by renting out his house to the crowds who came for the fabled golf tournament.

“My wife and I don’t go out to eat,” Blanchard said. “We avoid retail shopping like the plague. No pun intended.”

Blanchard, who intends to vote for Biden, says the blame for this rests with Trump.

“He just was completely irresponsible and incompetent,” he said. “He knew it was bad, but he didn’t do anything.”

The poll shows 22% of Americans who say they or someone in their household lost a job as a result of the pandemic say the job has returned. Thirty-five per cent expect the job to come back, but 44% expect it won’t.

Overall, 27% of Americans say their household lost a job, 36% that someone was scheduled for fewer hours, 26% took unpaid time off and 27% had wages or salaries reduced. All told, 53% experienced at least one form of household income loss during the pandemic. Income losses have been especially concentrated among Black and Hispanic Americans and those without college degrees.

Ryan Wilson, 37, said that half of the workers at the seafood warehouse where he’s a supervisor were furloughed when the pandemic started — and not all have returned to their jobs. A resident of Altamonte Springs, Florida, he said his concern is that the economic troubles are worsening drug addiction and domestic violence.

“People are really suffering,” he said. “They’re facing levels of depression, anxiety and distress — and not just financially. They turn to something to escape the daily pressures of life and that’s ravaging across American right now.”

___

The AP-NORC poll of 1,108 adults was conducted Sept. 11-14 using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 4.0 percentage points.

___

Online:

AP-NORC Center: http://www.apnorc.org/

Josh Boak And Emily Swanson, The Associated Press

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German economy to shrink by 5.2% this year, grow by 5.1% next year – Ifo – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s Ifo institute on Tuesday said Europe’s largest economy would likely shrink by 5.2% this year, raising its previous estimate for a 6.7% drop, in the latest sign the damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic could be smaller than initially feared.

“The decline in the second quarter and the recovery are currently developing more favourably than we had expected,” Ifo chief economist Timo Wollmershaeuser said.

For 2021, Ifo cut its economic forecast for Germany to 5.1% growth from its previous estimate of 6.4%. It expects the economy to expand by 1.7% in 2022.

The number of people out of work is seen rising to 2.7 million this year from 2.3 million in 2019, before edging down to 2.6 million in 2021 and then to 2.5 million in 2022.

That would translate into a jump in the unemployment rate to 5.9% this year from 5.0% last year. The rate would then drop to 5.7% percent in 2021 and 5.5% in 2022, Ifo said.

The Ifo institute cautioned that there was an unusually high degree of uncertainty attached to the forecasts. It pointed to the rising number of coronavirus infections, the risk of a disorderly Brexit and unresolved trade disputes.

(Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Michelle Adair)

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