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As Trudeau government faces competing regional and partisan priorities, Canadians weigh in on where to begin

The resumption of parliament on December 5threpresents a chance at a fresh start for the Trudeau government, but will his minority administration be able to address the priorities Canadians are identifying as most important to them?

A new study from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute suggests success will be challenging at best, given clashing regional and partisan concerns. In western provinces, a clear emphasis emerges on the TransMountain pipeline and a greater voice in Ottawa. For eastern provinces, emissions reduction and climate change policy are top of mind, alongside health care and tax cuts for low- and middle-income earners.

Despite this, more than half of Canadians look to a reopening of government business with optimism: six-in-ten say a minority mandate in the House of Commons will be a chance for parties to come together over shared priorities, while four-in-ten say that they expect more of a legislative logjam than a path to productivity.

So where can the Trudeau government find common ground? A plan to raise the income tax exemption to $15,000 for those earning under $147,000 per year is a start. That issue receives the most across-the-board support.

And as the Liberal government looks for opportunities to work with other parties on policy, it will need to overcome a widespread sense that Ottawa is disinterested in representing certain parts of the country. Ontario residents are more than twice as likely to say that they feel well-represented compared to those living in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

 More Key Findings:

  • A majority of residents in every region other than Quebec say that the federal government should do more to help Alberta’s natural resource industry. That said, few outside of CPC supporters consider the TransMountain pipeline expansion a top priority.
  • At least three-quarters of those who supported the Liberals, NDP, Green Party and Bloc Quebecois say that they feel this minority government is an opportunity for cooperation. Just one-quarter of CPC voters (27%) feel the same.
  • Aside from Quebec and Ontario, a majority of residents say that they feel the Liberal government under Justin Trudeau has done a poor job of representing their province’s interests thus far.

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