Public Opinion on Pandemic Economic Stimulus and Port Expansion


In a recent survey, Canadians were asked for their views on the current state of the economy and on certain aspects of economic stimulus.

Nearly nine in ten Canadians (86%, including 45% who strongly agree) are very concerned about the state of the Canadian economy; and nearly three quarters (73%) agree that, because of the economic impact of the global pandemic, the Government of Canada needs to spend taxpayer dollars to stimulate the economy. 

But not all economic stimulus spending is created equal. Whereas nine in ten Canadians agree that the Government of Canada should prioritize spending on the health and economic security of Canadian families (93% agree, including 42% who strongly agree); four in five (81%) say that the Government of Canada should not spend economic stimulus money in areas where the Canadian private sector is standing by and ready to invest; and three in four (73%) indicate that the Government of Canada should not support economic stimulus projects that create unnecessary impacts on the environment.

While Canadians do not want the Government spending stimulus monies in areas where the private sector is ready to foot the bill, they do not seem to object to stimulus partnerships. Indeed, seven in ten indicate the Government of Canada should not put taxpayer money into projects that don’t have private sector support. (69% agree, 23% strongly agree).

Respondents to the survey were also asked their views on a proposed container port expansion project at Roberts Bank in Delta, British Columbia. 

After the project was described to respondents (The Port of Vancouver, a federal agency and the landlord and regulator of the existing Roberts Bank Container Terminal, is proposing to build a new artificial island at Roberts Bank in the Salish Sea. An existing tenant at Roberts Bank, GCT Global Container Terminals, a majority Canadian-owned private-sector company, has also put forward its own expansion proposal that would instead expand the existing container terminal footprint incrementally), a strong majority of Canadians favoured the idea of a more flexible approach. Nine in ten Canadians (88%) agree, including nearly one in three (31%) who strongly agree, that with current global market conditions creating uncertainty, it makes sense for future port expansion projects to be incremental so that capacity can be adapted to need. 

Finally, Canadians are nearly unanimous that infrastructure decisions should not be rushed; with 95% in agreement (including 62% who strongly agree) that when big infrastructure projects are being planned, it is important to take the time needed to make the right decision. 


From June 25th to June 26th 2020 an online survey of 1,510 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Maru Voice Canada panelists was executed by Maru/Blue. For comparison purposes, a probability sample of this size has an estimated margin of error (which measures sampling variability) of +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been weighted by education, age, gender and region (and in Quebec, language) to match the population, according to Census data. This is to ensure the sample is representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.