Nine-in-10 want a ‘Canada-first’ strategy to jumpstart the economy

Canada-first strategy wanted to jumpstart the economy

Canadians want COVID-19 crushed ‘by whatever means necessary’


Nine in 10 Canadians want COVID-19 stopped in its tracks 'by whatever means necessary' and for the country to take a 'Canada-first' strategy to jumpstart our economy, finds a new survey by KPMG in Canada.

"Our research found most Canadians recognize we won't be able to get our economy back on track until we have crushed the pandemic and vaccinated the majority of the country," says Silvia Montefiore, a Canadian Managing Partner and Chief Operating Officer for KPMG in Canada.

"To get the economy moving again, Canadians want the country to adopt a 'Canada-first' mindset. This includes our government establishing 'buy Canadian' incentives and for big companies to increase the amount of contracting they do with local suppliers. Individual Canadians told us they are committed to doing the same by focusing their own spending on domestic opportunities."

Key poll highlights:

  • 87 per cent of Canadians say we must stop COVID-19 in its tracks by whatever means necessary with 89 per cent seeing the rollout of approved vaccines as the only way to protect public health and jumpstart the economy
  • 92 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
  • 86 per cent want corporate Canada to allocate a share of all its contracts to small- and medium-sized Canadian businesses
  • 89 per cent plan to focus their personal spending on domestic opportunities to help Canada's economy get moving again

"Canadians right across the board – from business owners to people who lost their job due to COVID-19 to essential workers – also believe that continued government investment is required to strengthen our healthcare system and support people hurt by the lockdowns – especially small- and medium-sized businesses in a number of sectors that have suffered significant economic losses as a result of the pandemic.

"The pandemic has made Canadians far more aware of the importance of our healthcare system and the people who make the system work," says Ms. Montefiore. "But it has also given us a much greater appreciation of the many small- and medium-sized businesses in our communities that make our economy click."

Other key poll findings

  • 83 per cent want government to continue to make investments to strengthen the healthcare system and support people hurt by the lockdowns
  • 82 per cent want government to create incentives to get individuals and businesses who have saved money through the pandemic to start spending again
  • 91 per cent want corporate Canada to think bigger by making significant investments in technology and people
  • 87 per cent said we need less red tape and more incentives for entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses
  • 90 per cent say the pandemic has left them with a greater appreciation for small businesses in their communities
  • 91 per cent say the pandemic has left them with a greater appreciation for the unsung essential workers (like garbage pickup and truckers) who have kept the economy going
  • 82 per cent say the pandemic has exposed inequities in our society that need to be addressed now for Canada to rebound stronger and be more resilient

An earlier KPMG survey of 2,002 Canadians in December found that eight in 10 would line up for a vaccine shot within the next three months if it were offered and 96 per cent wanted full transparency.

About KPMG in Canada's Omnibus Confidence / Outlook Survey

KPMG surveyed over 4,000 Canadians from January 12 to January 23, 2021 to discern the public's opinion on their confidence in and attitudes toward the health and economic impacts of COVID-19. KPMG leveraged the AskingCanadians panel by Delvinia through its methodify online research automation platform. The panel consisted of 3,507 adults aged 18+ and 500 small- and medium-sized business owners/decision makers.

The study delved into their current employment status, whether they lost their job due to the COVID-19 pandemic, their ethnicity and changes in household income. Twenty-eight per cent of the respondents are "essential workers", defined as first responders, health care workers, critical infrastructure workers (such as hydro and natural gas) and workers who are essential to supply critical goods such as food and medicines. Seventeen per cent of respondents said they or someone close to them contracted COVID-19. Over half (53 per cent) of the business owners or decision makers report annual revenues between $1 million and $50 million, 28 per cent report under $500,000 in annual revenues, and 13 per cent report over $50MM.

The poll is proportionally representative to Canada's population, gender, and age demographics.

About KPMG in Canada

KPMG LLP, a limited liability partnership, is a full-service Audit, Tax and Advisory firm owned and operated by Canadians. For over 150 years, our professionals have provided consulting, accounting, auditing, and tax services to Canadians, inspiring confidence, empowering change, and driving innovation. Guided by our core values of Integrity, Excellence, Courage, Together, For Better, KPMG employs nearly 8,000 people in over 40 locations across Canada, serving private- and public-sector clients. KPMG is consistently ranked one of Canada's top employers and one of the best places to work in the country.

The firm is established under the laws of Ontario and is a member of KPMG's global organization of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International, a private English company limited by guarantee. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such. For more information, see

For media inquiries:

Caroline Van Hasselt
Corporate Communications
KPMG in Canada

© 2022 KPMG LLP, an Ontario limited liability partnership and a member firm of the KPMG global organization of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Limited, a private English company limited by guarantee. All rights reserved.

For more detail about the structure of the KPMG global organization please visit

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