Spotlight on Atlantic Canada
Spotlight on Atlantic CanadaA report from the 2023 Confederation of Tomorrow Survey of Canadians
The Confederation of Tomorrow surveys are annual studies conducted by an association of the country’s leading public policy and socio-economic research organizations: the Environics Institute for Survey Research, the Centre of Excellence on the Canadian Federation, the Canada West Foundation, the Centre D’Analyse Politique – Constitution et Fédéralisme, the Brian Mulroney Institute of Government and the First Nations Financial Management Board. The surveys give voice to Canadians about the major issues shaping the future of the federation and their political communities. The 2023 study consists of a survey of 5,365 adults, conducted online in the provinces between January 26 and February 9; and by telephone in the territories between January 24 and February 26.
The outlook in Atlantic Canada has changed significantly over the past two years. In 2021, almost a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, people in the region stood out from other Canadians as being much more satisfied with the direction of the country in general, and with the way both the federal government and their provincial governments had managed the crisis so far. Two years later, the situation looks very different.
The region’s more negative outlook today coincides with a growing concern about health care. Since last year, the proportion of Atlantic Canadians naming health care as the most important issue facing their province has doubled. Atlantic Canadians are much more likely than Canadians in other regions to worry about getting timely access to medical treatment, and to say that their health care system needs to be completely rebuilt. And, since 2021, the proportion of the region’s residents who trust neither the federal government nor their provincial government to make the right decisions in managing the health care system has tripled. Women in the region are especially likely to express a lack of confidence in the health care system and a lack of trust in governments’ ability to manage it.
The message from public opinion studies can sometimes be difficult to discern, with opinions changing slowly over time, and the public signalling multiple – and sometimes conflicting – priorities. This is not the case today in Atlantic Canada. In the region, health care has emerged as a pressing concern, and confidence in governments’ ability to respond is declining. The only unanswered question is how long it will take governments to turn these negative trends around.
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For more information contact the Environics Institute or Dr. Andrew Parkin.
Report: Spotlight on Atlantic Canada
Detailed survey tables (for questions covered in this report)
Read reports from previous editions of this study
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