Approval of Trudeau Government Hangs in Balance for Next Session of Parliament (48% Approve vs. 52% Disapprove) as Affordability Named Top Priority by Canadians

Plurality (42%) Say Trudeau Should Step Down Before Next Election

The author(s)

  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs
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Toronto, ON, November 21, 2021 – Two months after the federal election, Parliament is reconvening to begin work under Justin Trudeau’s second consecutive minority government. A recent Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Global News shows Canadians are on the fence about the Prime Minister’s future.


Trudeau Approval Steady, Though More “Strongly Disapprove” than “Strongly Approve”

At the outset of his third term as Prime Minister, Canadians’ approval of Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government and its performance sits at 48% (8% strongly approve, 40% somewhat approve). Compared to approval ratings just before the election, very little has changed: Ipsos data from the day before the election had the Trudeau government’s approval rating at 46%.[1] While approval has increased two points, the portion of those strongly approving is lower now than it was mid-September (10%).

In contrast, 52% of Canadians disapprove of Trudeau’s government’s performance (25% somewhat disapprove, 27% strongly disapprove). Notably, the portion of those strongly disapproving is markedly higher than those who strongly approve. While strong disapproval has also decreased since just before election day (33% mid-September), Trudeau still has more strong detractors than ardent supporters. Men (31%) are significantly more likely than women (23%) to express strong disapproval, as are those in the Prairies (40%, compared to 30% AB, 28% ON, 25% BC, 24% ATL, 23% QC).


Four in Ten Say that Trudeau Should Step Down, Three in Ten Say They’re Not Sure Yet

Against the backdrop of the controversial pandemic election call and inconclusive outcome, four in ten (42%) Canadians feel Justin Trudeau should step down as leader of the Liberal Party before the next election. This sentiment was held most strongly in Saskatchewan and Manitoba (57%) and Alberta (50%, vs. 45% ON, 40% ATL, 37% BC, 34% QC). Although approval ratings are divided, very few who approve of the Trudeau government feel the Prime Minister should step down (12% among those who approve, compared to 72% of those who disapprove).

The remainder of Canadians are relatively split on what Trudeau’s next move should be. While one-third (29%) say Trudeau should continue to lead the Liberal Party into the next election, another third (29%) feel it is too early to say if Justin Trudeau should stay on or resign as Liberal leader. Women (33%) are significantly more likely than men (25%) to feel this way. It may be the case that these Canadians are waiting to see what the first few months of Trudeau’s term will hold before making a definitive judgement.


Affordability is on Everyone’s Mind, Though Host of Other Issues Not Far Behind

Utilizing the top-ten vote-driving issues from Ipsos/Global News’ Election Day poll to create a short list of potential priority areas for the upcoming session of parliament, Canadians have now identified their top issues. Affordability and cost of living are cited as the issues Canadians feel the next Parliament should prioritize (33%) followed by a virtual tie between the pandemic (27%), healthcare (25%), housing (24%), and the economy (23%). Given the interconnected nature of these issues during the pandemic, it is not surprising that they are all seen to be priorities. Since affordability and cost of living now rank slightly higher than the pandemic, this suggests that Canadians are moving from being focused on the cause to the effects.

Women are more likely to prioritize healthcare (29% vs. 21% among men) as well as affordability and cost of living (38% vs. 27% among men). Men are more likely to prioritize government deficits (14% vs. 9% among women) and the economy (28% vs. 17% among women).

Older Canadians (those 55 years and older) are more likely to feel healthcare (31% vs. 24% 35-54 and 19% 18-34) and senior’s issues (27% vs. 3% 35-54 and 6% 18-34) should be among the issues Parliament should prioritize. Interestingly, a departure from the perceived norm, this group was also more likely to prioritize climate change, even more than the youngest group of Canadians (26% among 55+, vs. 18% 35-54 and 19% 18-34). This could reflect the fact that seniors tend to be in more stable financial situations than younger people and simply have more mental space to consider non-financial issues. Canadians under 55 are more likely to care about housing (32% 18-34, 27% 35-54 vs.14% among 55+), taxes (14% 18-34, 16% 35-54 vs 7% 55+), and affordability and cost of living (37% 18-34, 41% 35-54 vs. 21% 55+).

Regionally speaking, healthcare is more likely to be priority for those in Quebec (34%) and Atlantic Canada (40%) compared to other regions (29% SK/MB, 22% ON, 17% AB, 16% BC). Housing is more likely to matter more to British Columbians (33%, vs. 26% ON, 25% ATL, 20% SK/MB, 19% AB, 18% QC).

What Canadians think Parliament should prioritize is not necessarily what they think will be achieved. When asked how confident they are that significant progress would be made on either of their top two selected issues, Canadians are the most confident progress will be made on:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic (61%; 10% strongly confident/51% somewhat confident)
  • The economy (39%; 5% strongly confident/34% somewhat confident)
  • Healthcare (37%; 5% strongly confident/32% somewhat confident)
  • Climate change (37%; 5% strongly confident/32% somewhat confident)
  • Senior’s issues/aging population (32%; 6% strongly confident/27% somewhat confident)

While higher confidence in the future handling of the COVID-19 pandemic likely speaks to lessons learned over the last 20 months, lower confidence in other issues shows there is less certainty about them being effectively managed or resolved. This is especially the case for affordability and cost of living (which garnered comparatively lower confidence at 23%). In addition, Canadians are not “strongly confident” that significant progress will be made on any issue.


Top Priorities for Canadians


Place among Top Two Priorities

Confident Significant Progress Will be Made

(among those naming it as a top-two priority)

Affordability and the cost of living



The COVID-19 pandemic






Housing (affordability, availability, etc.)



The economy



Climate change



Senior's issues/aging population



Corruption and ethics in government






Government deficit/debts




About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between November 12 and 15, 2021, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 1,001 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed. 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 ± 3.5 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.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Darrell Bricker
CEO, Ipsos Global Public Affairs
+1 416 324 2001
[email protected]


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The author(s)

  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs