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NOT SO FAST, MARK CARNEY… – August 6, 2009

RECESSION OVER? NO WAY, SAY CANADIANS OVERWHELMINGLY

[Ottawa – August 6, 2009] – Canadians overwhelmingly believe we are still in a recession, despite the recent pronouncement of the Bank of Canada that growth has returned to Canada in the current quarter, marking an end to the recession in technical terms. Eighty-six per cent of us say we are in some sort of recession or depression.

Indeed, almost as many Canadians believe we are in a depression as those who buy the good news that the recession is over, according to this latest in a weekly series of polls conducted exclusively for cbc.ca.

“Canadians have become somewhat more positive about the economy since the depths of winter,” said EKOS President Frank Graves. “However, these numbers show that we are probably many months, if not years, away from a recovery of the consumer confidence which existed last summer.”

“We know from our research that Canadians are less impressed with overall growth figures than they are with unemployment and income when they come to assess the state of the economy. And it will take a long while for them to recover.”

Meanwhile, the two leading federal political parties remain in a tight clinch, unable to strike a blow. For weeks now, the Liberals and Conservatives have had barely any room between them, and neither can claim any momentum.

“We see a very strong East-West divide, said Graves. “If the country stretched from Saint John’s to the Sault, we would most likely see a clear Liberal majority. From Manitoba to BC, the country would return an impressive Conservative majority.”

“Among Canadian voters under 25 years of age, the Greens would not only have a chance of electing an MP, they would seriously vie for power. The university educated would send a massive Liberal majority to Ottawa; the rest of Canada would generate a Tory landslide.”

The poll also found a deep divide among Canadians – and to a degree along party lines – about the issue of crime, providing another illustration of the elusiveness of consensus in contemporary Canada.

“Although there is indisputable evidence that crime is on the wane in Canada – one of the serendipitous benefits of an aging population more concerned with retirement than raising hell – most Canadians believe crime is on the rise,” said Graves. “The discrepancy between reality and perception is falling – particularly among the better educated – but it remains wide.”

Canadians divide along party lines about how to deal with violent crime. Conservative supporters are most likely to opt for tougher sentencing. Supporters of all other parties except the Bloc Québécois incline more towards prevention programs designed to deal with the social causes of crime.

Click here for complete survey results: 0779-full-report-_august-6_

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