Now that Justin Trudeau has taken the first steps into President Donald Trump’s circle of trust, he may want to turn his attention back to serious trust issues back here in Canada.
A new, international “trust index” released today contained some troubling news for the prime minister and his Liberal brand: Canadians’ trust in government has eroded profoundly since Trudeau took power 15 months ago.
Edelman, the public-relations firm that compiles the annual index, has put Canada into the “distruster” nation category for the first time in the 17-year history of the global survey. “Distrusters” are nations in which most people express distrust in their civic institutions.
Edelman executives were using words like “remarkable” and “dramatic” at the launch of the 2017 trust index’s results in Toronto on Tuesday morning. They were also warning that Canada is assembling all the ingredients for the kind of populist eruption that overturned the established order in the United States and Britain last year.
The evidence? According to the index, one in two Canadians fears that newcomers to the country are “damaging our economy and national culture.” A full 80 per cent agreed that elites were “out of touch” with regular people and 40 per cent agreed that they were being unfairly denied access to the education and opportunities they needed to get ahead.
Nearly two-thirds of respondents — 61 per cent — said they didn’t have confidence in the country’s leaders to address the challenges facing the nation.
If you’re wondering what kind of data Kellie Leitch is relying on to back up her Conservative leadership pitches against “elites” and for subjecting immigrants to “Canadian values” tests, look no further.