Canadians Want Federal Budget Economic Stimulus

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Canadians Want Federal Budget Economic Stimulus to Focus on Long-Term Growth

Mary Jo Fedy, the National Enterprise Leader for KPMG in Canada.
Mary Jo Fedy
KPMG in Canada

Canadians continue to support major stimulus to help kick-start the country’s economic recovery but want future government spending to be prudent, targeted and focused on initiatives that will grow our economy, finds a recent KPMG in Canada survey.

“The vast majority of Canadians want government to launch a major stimulus program to get our economy moving again,” says Mary Jo Fedy, National Leader, Enterprise, KPMG in Canada. “But they also want those investments centred around areas that will drive sustained health and prosperity in the country. The areas they would like targeted are, not surprisingly, healthcare and domestic manufacturing – two key sectors whose importance to the country was highlighted during the pandemic.”

Key Survey Findings:

  • 77 per cent believe we need government to step in with a major stimulus program to get our economy back to pre-COVID levels, down from 82 per cent in a January poll conducted by KPMG
  • 25 per cent want investments in healthcare/health sciences, down 9 per cent
  • 24 per cent want investments in domestic manufacturing, up 2 per cent
  • 89 per cent say future spending must be prudent, targeted and focused on initiatives that will grow our economy
  • 88 per cent say small- and medium-sized businesses in Canada have been the economic victims of the pandemic and government needs to do more for them, up 1 per cent from January
  • 93 per cent want government to create incentives to “buy Canadian” to restart our economy and ensure we build necessary domestic capacity to supply our critical needs, up 1 per cent.

“Now that vaccine programs are gaining momentum, we are seeing growing optimism that better days are ahead.”

Mary Jo Fedy, National Leader, Enterprise, KPMG in Canada

Vaccine rollout brings optimism, but questions about Canada’s economic recovery remain

Canadian confidence that the economy will recover this year has slipped a little, with those very confident of a rebound in 2021 falling 4 per cent since January. But the recent ramp up in vaccine rollout has the nation more optimistic that we will see sustained growth in the latter half of the year.

“Now that vaccine programs are gaining momentum, we are seeing growing optimism that better days are ahead,” says Fedy. “But many individual Canadians and businesses still have a big hole to dig out of and will need further support. The last year has seen unprecedented challenges to our health, communities and economy, and most Canadians believe government will need to continue playing an active role until we’ve crushed COVID and our economy finds its feet again.”

Fedy notes that no matter what is contained in the upcoming federal budget, the pandemic has reshaped the Canadian economy, placing pressures on companies across all sectors to operate digitally – in both the way they create and sell their products and services.

“Some companies have been able to adapt and make this change effectively, but others have struggled and will need support to build their digital capabilities and workforces,” adds Fedy. “The Canadian economy has an opportunity to come out of this crisis stronger and more resilient that ever with the right kinds of investments and leadership.”

While Canadians are optimistic that vaccines will get their lives and the economy back on track soon, one thing they are not ready for is a reopening of the border with the United States. Barely one quarter of Canadians said it is time to start thinking about resuming normal traffic between the two nations.

Other poll findings

  • 64 per cent of Canadians are very confident the overall Canadian economy will recover in 2021
  • 91 per cent are hopeful widespread vaccinations by July will boost the economy in the latter half of the year
  • 84 per cent believe our economy has been forever changed – all businesses, no matter how small, need to be able to operate online
  • 91 per cent say the pandemic has shown a real need for Canadian businesses to improve their online presence and service
  • 28 per cent say it in now time to think about reopening the border with the U.S.

Mary Jo Fedy, the National Enterprise Leader for KPMG in Canada, has over 30 years’ experience in public practice and has focused on serving privately held companies and owner managed businesses. As a KPMG Enterprise business adviser, Mary Jo serves her clients in such areas as financing, budgeting, strategic planning, attestation services, tax planning and tax compliance.

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