According to a recent Leger survey, 48% of English-speaking Quebecers are optimistic, and 46% are pessimistic about their outlook for the economy. These results resemble the views of Francophone Quebecers, with 49% of them expressing optimism and 46% expressing pessimism about their economic outlook.
The survey was conducted for the Community Economic Development and Employability Corporation (CEDEC) in partnership with the Association for Canadian Studies (ACS) and the COVID-19 Social Impacts Network from May 1 to May 6, 2020. Including 694 English-speaking Quebecers out of 1638 respondents, it provides insights into the economic outlook of English-speaking and Francophone Quebecers in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, results indicate that English speakers:
- agree with Francophones that reopening and supporting small businesses and getting people back to work should be the priorities for the Post COVID-19 economic recovery. A larger percentage of English speakers stressed the importance of ensuring the safety of workers.
- are more concerned than Francophones about their ability to meet their financial obligations, 16% and 11% respectively;
- self-identified as less likely to qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) than their Francophone counterparts, 54% and 49% respectively;
- are less comfortable to return to the workplace Post COVID-19, with English speakers in Montreal the least comfortable.
“Overall survey results are not surprising,” said John Buck, President and CEO of the Community Economic Development and Employability Corporation (CEDEC). “They indicate a broad spectrum of views and attitudes about Quebecers’ current economic outlook, which is to be expected in this time of unprecedented economic challenge.”
“Of note,” stressed Buck, “is the agreement among Quebecers to prioritize small business and labour force development in COVID-19 recovery plans. In addition, English speakers specifically desire a continuing focus on safety and income support for those who need it.”
“These findings will help us to continue to promote the need for an unprecedented level of public, private and civil society collaboration which is essential for successful post-COVID-19 economic recovery,” concluded Buck.