Canadians Say they Trust, Get Better Value from their Municipal Governments than the Feds or Provinces

Most (84%) Believe Political Elite in Ottawa Aren't In Tune with Average Canadian, Nearly half (44%) Think Politicians and Average Canadians Have Nothing in Common

Toronto, ON - A new poll reveals that Canadians have more trust in their local, municipal governments than their provincial or federal governments, and also believe they get better value for the taxes they pay from their local government, according to a new Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of Postmedia News and Global Television. The poll is the 6th in a series conducted for Canada Day examining the values, beliefs, symbols and icons of Canadians.

Thinking about the extent to which they trust governments at the following levels to do the right thing, Canadians overall have a higher degree of trust for their local municipal government (57% total - 9% very much/48% somewhat) than they do for the federal (43% total - 7% very much/36% somewhat) or their respective provincial government (41% total - 5% trust very much/37% trust somewhat).

Conversely, four in ten (43%) say they don't trust (14% not at all/30% don't really trust) their local government to do the right thing, compared to a majority who say the same about the federal government (57% total - 26% not at all/31% don't really trust) or their provincial government (59% total - 23% not at all/36% don't really trust).

Trust in the federal government runs highest in Alberta (59%), and significantly lower in Ontario (47%), British Columbia (40%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (38%), Quebec (36%) and Atlantic Canada (35%). Distrust is most prevalent in Atlantic Canada (65%), Quebec (64%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (62%), followed by British Columbia (60%), Ontario (53%) and Alberta (41%).

Albertans (66%) have the most trust for their provincial government, while fewer residents of Saskatchewan and Manitoba (53%), Ontario (41%), Atlantic Canada (37%), Quebec (33%) and British Columbia (33%) can say the same thing. Distrust of their provincial government is highest in British Columbia (67%) and Quebec (67%), but lower in Atlantic Canada (63%), Ontario (59%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (47%) and Alberta (34%).

Getting Value for Tax Dollars

Thinking about the services offered and programs funded by various levels of government for the taxes they pay to each, Canadians also think they get better value for money in terms of the taxes they pay versus the services they receive from their local or municipal government (55% total - 7% very good value/48% somewhat), compared to the federal government (47% total - 5% very good/42% somewhat) and their respective provincial governments (45% total - 4% very good/40% somewhat good).

On the other hand, nearly half (45%) don't think they get good value from their local government (15% not good at all/30% not very good), while a majority thinks they don't get good value from the federal government (53% total - 19% not good at all/34% not very good) or their provincial government (55% total - 19% not good at all/36% not very good).

Perceptions of good value from the federal government are highest in Alberta (56%) and Ontario (51%), but lower in Atlantic Canada (47%), British Columbia (43%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (41%) and Quebec (39%). Conversely, Quebecers (61%) are most likely to think they don't get good value from the federal government, followed by those living in Saskatchewan and Manitoba (59%), British Columbia (57%), Atlantic Canada (53%), Ontario (49%) and Alberta (44%).

Albertans (62%) think they get the best value from their provincial government, followed by fewer residents of Saskatchewan and Manitoba (52%), Atlantic Canada (50%), Ontario (49%), Quebec (34%) and British Columbia (32%) who can say the same about their provincial tax dollars. British Columbians (68%) are most inclined to say they don't get good value for money from their provincial government, followed by Quebecers (66%), Ontarians (51%), Atlantic Canadians (50%), residents of Saskatchewan and Manitoba (48%) and Alberta (38%).

Overall, eight in ten (77%) Canadians `agree' (33% strongly/44% somewhat) that `overall, we pay too much tax in Canada for the services we receive'. Conversely, two in ten (23%) `disagree' (3% strongly/19% somewhat) that we pay too much for what we get.

Canadians Say Federal Politicians Not in Tune with Them...

Most (84%) Canadians `agree' (38% strongly/46% somewhat) that `the political elite in Ottawa aren't in tune with what is really important to the average Canadian'. Just 16% `disagree' (2% strongly/14% somewhat) with this assertion.

Furthermore, when asked the degree to which politicians in Ottawa and the average Canadian have anything in common, nearly half (44%) of Canadians believe that they have nothing in common with politicians in Ottawa. While a majority (51%) say they have `a little in common', few (5%) believe they have `a lot in common' (5%).

Residents of Saskatchewan and Manitoba are the most likely (50%) to believe they have nothing in common with politicians in Ottawa, while fewer British Columbians (46%), Ontarians (46%), Atlantic Canadians (46%), Quebecers (41%) and Albertans (31%) say they have nothing in common with our federal politicians.

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between June 20-25, 2012, on behalf of Postmedia News and Global Television. For this survey, a sample of 1,101 Canadians from Ipsos' Canadian online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 3.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had the entire population of adults in Canada been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Darrell Bricker
Ipsos Reid
Public Affairs
[email protected]

About Ipsos Reid

Ipsos Reid is Canada's market intelligence leader, the country's leading provider of public opinion research, and research partner for loyalty and forecasting and modelling insights. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos Reid employs more than 600 research professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in the country, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and online panels. Ipsos Reid's marketing research and public affairs practices offer the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada, all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, Ipsos Reid offers syndicated information or custom solutions across key sectors of the Canadian economy, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, automotive, retail, and technology & telecommunications. Ipsos Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group.

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About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. In October 2011 Ipsos completed the acquisition of Synovate. The combination forms the world's third largest market research company.

With offices in 84 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across six research specializations: advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, public affairs research, and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of e1,363 billion (1.897 billion USD) in 2011.

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