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WE Scandal: Trudeau’s approval drops six more points, but Canadians doubt issue will bring down government

The WE Charity affair may be stoking another summer of discontent among Canadians but ultimately, they do not believe this latest ethics scandal will prove fatal to the Liberal minority government.

Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic response, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s own approval numbers, and those of his government, had rebounded in recent months. Then came WE.

Now, the latest data from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute shows three-in-five (59%) feel the issue is a serious and significant one, twice the number who say it has been overblown by the media and opposition politicians.

A plurality (43%) say the Trudeau government knowingly committed an unethical act, while almost as many (37%) feel the government’s decisions in regard to the charity constitute a possibly criminal act that warrants investigation by police.

But what – if any – implications do these opinions have for the government’s long-term survival?

Indeed, more than half (56%) say the scandal will ultimately not be the issue that threatens the viability of Trudeau’s minority. However, one-in-three (32%), say it may bring down the government.

More Key Findings:

  • 16 per cent of Canadians choose ethics and corruption as one of their top three issues facing the country. This equals the number who said this during the SNC-Lavalin scandal in 2019. Canadians’ core priorities continue to be the COVID-19 response, economy, and health care.
  • Three-quarters of past Conservative voters (77%) view the actions of the government in regard to WE Charity as possibly criminal and in need of investigation by police. In contrast, 19 per cent of 2019 New Democrat voters say the same, and six per cent of past Liberals.
  • Quebec residents are most likely to say they feel the government is at risk of falling over the scandal (43%). Alberta and Saskatchewan residents are also more likely to say this, compared to the rest of the country.

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