Quebecers concerned about soaring prices

Hit hard by the rising cost of living, Quebecers consider persistent inflation to be the media event of the year. Rarely, the housing crisis and the increase in homelessness, which traditionally arouse little interest, are carving out a place among the public’s concerns in this second year of explosion in the price of goods and services.

Inflation and the rise in the cost of living are still far ahead of all the other events that have affected Quebecers during the year 2023 – as in 2022 – indicates a Léger survey conducted for the show In the media. Some 50% of respondents cite inflation as the highlight of the last 12 months. The survey was carried out among 1002 respondents between November 24 and 26.

The war in Ukraine is far from forgotten, a year and a half after its outbreak by Russian President Vladimir Putin: 22% of respondents indicate that it is the event that affected them the most. The armed conflict between Israel and Hamas (and its repercussions in Canada) also captured the attention of 17% of respondents.

The housing crisis and the forest fires in northern Quebec are tied for third place, with 19% of respondents having identified them as the highlight of 2023. As for the explosion in the number of homeless people, 10% of public judges it to be the event of the year.

Legault and Trudeau on the decline

“I am convinced that there is a link between the rise in the cost of living and the decline in popularity of Prime Ministers Legault and Trudeau,” says Philippe Léger, analyst on the show In the media.

In Quebec, the Parti Québécois is now ahead of François Legault’s Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) by six percentage points in voting intentions, while Prime Minister Justin Trudeau lags behind across Canada against his opposite number. screw conservative, Pierre Poilievre.

The survey shows that respondents of all age groups, all incomes and all regions feel affected by the inflation crisis, underlines Philippe Léger.

This generalized fear of the rising cost of living explains not only the loss of confidence in governments – even if they are more or less responsible for the surge in prices – but also the marked interest in the housing crisis. and the sharp increase in homelessness. Quebec media, including The dutyhave extensively covered this triple crisis: hundreds of tenants found themselves on the street after being evicted.

Little politics

Philippe Léger also notes that an environmental issue is attracting public attention: people have been affected by the forest fires which devastated vast areas of northern Quebec and led to the evacuation of thousands of residents. “It’s the issue of the year that embodies climate change,” says the analyst.

He notes that news consumers were affected by substantive issues — war, the cost of living, the environment — and not by subjects perceived as anecdotal, such as the controversy surrounding the release of Catherine Dorion’s book, the film barbie or the accident of the OceanGate submarine near the ruins of Titanic.

For its part, the soap opera surrounding the third link between Quebec and Lévis only attracted the attention of 6% of respondents, but in the Capitale-Nationale region, it is the second event of the year, behind inflation, notes Philippe Léger. This perhaps explains François Legault’s mea culpa after the defeat of the CAQ in the by-election in the riding of Jean-Talon, at the beginning of October, won by the PQ Pascal Paradis.

It is also one of the rare events in federal or provincial politics to have received public attention, in addition to negotiations between the government and state employees, and the ovation of a former Nazi in the House of Commons during the visit of the Ukrainian president.

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