Canadians Feel Anxious About The Future Of The Country & Crave Competent & Ethical Institutions

The 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer reveals that trust in government, business, media and NGOs is down over the previous year. At a time when more than three quarters of Canadian employees fear they will lose their job due to a variety of factors like technological change, a looming recession and jobs being moved oversees– Canadians don’t have confidence in their leaders to address the challenge.

Canadians did not one find one institution to be both competent and ethical – a combination of attributes they see as necessary to earn the trust of the public, as 62 per cent of Canadians feel the pace of change in technology is moving too fast.  Despite high employment rates, Canadians are deeply concerned about their economic future. Only 1 in 3 Canadians believe they and their families will be better off in five years’ time.

The trust gap between the informed public and the mass population dropped from a high of 20 points in 2019 to 16 points in 2020, signaling continued polarization in the system. The closing gap is attributed to a notable decrease in trust of the informed public, aged 25-64 and defined as those who are college-educated, in the top quarter for household income in their age group, and who regularly consume or engage with news. This decline is notable against the backdrop of continued uncertainty in Canada around the economy and trade with both the United States and China.

The country’s current leaders – CEOs and government – may not be the solution, as nearly two in three Canadians do not have confidence that these leaders will successfully address the country’s challenges. There is also uncertainty about where to turn to for quality information, with half of Canadians believing that the media they use is contaminated with untrustworthy information and a staggering seventy-one per cent worrying about fake news being used as a weapon.

Overall, Canadians are yearning for leadership. In two years, the percent of Canadians saying company CEOs should take the lead on change has increased from 68 per cent in 2018 to 80 per cent in 2020.

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