Most voters feel living in Canada is less affordable now than before last election

WATCH: One of the issues that will be top of mind for many Canadians will be the economy and whether they and the country are in a better financial state than four years ago.

The cost of living is a key issue for Canadians to determine who will form the next government.

According to an Ipsos poll done for Global News, 68 per cent of people say they aren’t able to get ahead financially.

“If folks have a tight budget and the cost of healthy eating is over that budget or is straining the rent or the childcare budget, I think that’s of a real concern to us and to folks using the food bank,” said Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre executive director Laurie O’Connor.

She added that the bank serves about 18,000 people every month.

READ MORE: Unemployment is low. The economy is growing. Why do Canadians feel they can’t get ahead?

The Ipsos poll also found voters are evenly split on whether they are financially better off now than they were in 2015, but four in five participants said living in Canada has become less affordable.

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Despite the unemployment rate dropping and inflation going down since the Liberals took power, one business organization said the regional economy is still in need of help.

“The reality of it is that all economies are local and if I’m laid off as a potash worker or a farmer that can’t get on to the fields, it’s hard for me to get real enthusiastic about a manufacturing company in Quebec that’s doing well,” said Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce chief executive officer Steve McLellan.

READ MORE: What federal leaders have pledged on the economy

The national unemployment rate was 5.5 per cent in September, down from a five-year high of 7.3 per cent in February 2016. In Saskatchewan, the rate at 5.3 per cent in September 2019, down from 7.0 per cent in November 2016

The inflation rate was high as 3.0 per cent in July 2018, though it is currently 1.9 per cent.

A University of Saskatchewan political scientist said lower inflation rates and more people working generally favour the party in power.

“But it doesn’t tell you how the story plays out regionally. We have one Liberal MP in Saskatchewan. There is a realistic chance, though it’s going to be a tight election in northern Saskatchewan, but I wouldn’t expect any other Liberals to get elected this election,” Greg Poelzer said.

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He added pain in the natural resource sector gives the Conservative Party a good chance of winning seats across the Prairies.

READ MORE: Albertans feeling ignored in election campaign amid ‘jobless’ recovery

The Ipsos poll reported 52 per cent of people believe the country will be hit by a recession in the next 12 months.

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between Oct. 4 and 7, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of n = 1,502 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed online via the Ipsos I-Say panel and non-panel sources. Respondents earn a nominal incentive for their participation. Quotas and weighting were 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 (weighting efficiency = 62.6 per cent). The precision of Ipsos polls which include non- probability sampling is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 2.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians 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.