Energy and the environment, immigration and Big Tech will be key economic issues in the 2019 federal election, according to The Logic’s subscribers.
Forty per cent of The Logic’s subscribers who responded to the December survey believe the 2019 federal election will be fought on energy and the environment. Twelve per cent said that immigration would dominate the debate, and another 12 per cent said Big Tech would be the focus.
Subscribers referenced the economic impact of pipelines: “Costs of not building pipelines have now reached $80 million per day. Canada needs to join the 21st century on resource development,” one respondent replied, referencing a statement B.C. Premier Rachel Notley made in November.
Another respondent emphasized the potential for a geographic split as a result of tensions surrounding energy and the environment: “Trudeau has to deal with Western Alienation as it is a real threat to the Country’s future.”
It’s been a difficult year for Canada’s energy sector. Oil prices are low. The federal government bought the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion, but it’s facing difficulties getting the oil to market due to delays from courts and protests from environmental activists and Indigenous groups.
At the political level, the provinces of Saskatchewan, Ontario, Manitoba and New Brunswick (all led by Conservative premiers) are challenging the legality of the federal carbon tax. Federally, Andrew Scheer is campaigning on a promise to end the carbon tax on day one.
The results are from The Logic’s fourth subscriber survey. A private link was sent to subscribers by email and the survey was conducted online. All respondents were kept anonymous and duplicates were removed as needed. Our subscribers were asked to provide responses to a series of questions. The full text of this question was: “What economic issue will the 2019 federal election be fought on?”
Environmental and Indigenous activists are turning up the pressure, too. On Monday, the RCMP arrested 14 people in British Columbia after peaceful protestors from Wet’suwet’en Nation blocked TransCanada’s Coastal GasLink pipeline project, which is planned to run 670 kilometers through northern B.C., resulting in pro- and anti-pipeline protests in major cities across the country, including Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary.
It was the latest in a series of roadblocks facing pipeline projects in Canada. Tensions over such projects have become a major challenge for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
As one subscriber noted, “Conservatives and environmentalists have already started campaigning.”
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Immigration was another area mentioned by subscribers that would be a key point of contention in the upcoming election.
“I imagine immigration will be used (cynically, unfortunately) as a major issue,” wrote one subscriber. “Whether it takes economic or ‘culture war’ overtones is another story, but I imagine immigration will figure prominently in the federal election.”
While issues surrounding Big Tech were deemed the third most consequential economic issue, it was employment that generated the most discussion among subscribers. One respondent summed it up as, “In the words of Bill Clinton (and I think others before him): ‘It’s the economy, stupid.’”
Six per cent of subscribers said either healthcare or trade and tariffs would be at the forefront, and just under 25 per cent of subscribers indicated “Other.” Of those, responses included “jobs,” “the economy” and “wealth inequality.”
The results are from The Logic’s fourth subscriber survey conducted from Dec. 14 to 28, 2018.