Who do Canadians blame for inflation?

Living costs have soared over the past year

Who do Canadians blame for inflation?

A growing number of Canadians believe that the federal Liberal administration is to blame for inflation, with 30% of would-be voters now saying that government spending is the main factor impelling price gains, according to a new poll by Nanos Research.

This was a higher share compared to the 26% seen in July 2022, back when the central bank’s rate-hike campaign was proceeding in earnest.

Around 10% of Canadians cited this interest rate policy as the leading driver of higher costs (up from 3% last year), while 22% blamed businesses’ price increases (up from 13% last year).

Canadians from the Prairies (41%) and Ontario (34%) were found to be more likely to blame government spending, while residents from Quebec were more likely to blame businesses (30%), Nanos said.

On the other hand, a decreasing number of Canadians (17%, down from 31% in 2022) are blaming pandemic-era supply chain disruptions for the spike in living costs.

Immigration policy in the hot seat

The same Nanos Research poll found that the population growth stemming from the federal government’s boosted immigration targets is currently perceived to have a negative (42%) or somewhat negative (26%) impact on living costs.

Meanwhile, around 7% see intensified immigration having no impact on housing costs, and a markedly higher share expect immigration to have a positive (8%) or somewhat positive impact (12%).

Earlier this year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada will be increasing its target of new arrivals from 465,000 annually in 2023 to 500,000 annually by 2025.

“I don’t see a world in which we lower it, the need is too great.” said immigration minister Marc Miller recently. “That means attracting a younger segment of the population to make sure that people can retire with same expectations and benefits that their parents had. That’s the stark reality of it.”