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The election campaign may not be focused on China, but China is paying attention

News

Welcome to The Hub’s Federal Election 2021 Policy Pulse, where we’ll be tracking all the policy announcements from the major parties, with instant analysis from our crew of experts.

With the election scheduled for Sept. 20, we’ll be monitoring 36 days worth of policy ideas, so watch out each morning for the day’s live blog where we’ll be tracking every announcement as it happens.

3:30 p.m. — The election campaign may not be focused on China, but China is paying attention

By L. Graeme Smith, The Hub’s content editor

The idea that foreign policy would be an absent issue this election was proven almost immediately wrong when the calamity of the Afghanistan withdrawal began to crest just as the snap election was called. 

The opening weeks of the campaign were thoroughly infiltrated by discussion, from an often personally invested press, around Afghanistan and Canada’s obvious fumblings there. 

With Afghanistan mostly occupying the limited foreign policy bandwidth of this campaign, there has been little big picture discussion on other pressing foreign policy problems, including Canada’s relationship with China (aside from occasional questions around the two Michaels who remain detained by the Communist regime). This is despite the importance of the issue to the Canadian public. 

The Hub’s exclusive polling, conducted by Public Square and Maru/Blue and released earlier in the year, showed that 75 percent of Canadians are uneasy with the prospect of China becoming the next global superpower. Of these uneasy respondents, 65 percent are worried about the Chinese government imposing its will on Canada.

But while the Canadian campaign has not been focusing much on China, China has been paying attention to the campaign. A recent article in the Global Times, a Chinese tabloid owned by the Chinese Communist Party, warned that if Canada implements the Conservative Party policies related to China, “it will invite counterstrikes from China, and Ottawa is the one to suffer.”

The article quotes Chinese commentators who describe the policies as “unusually hostile” and catering to the country’s “toxic anti-China atmosphere.”

The Conservative party platform references China 31 times, highlighting plans to rebalance Canada’s trade priorities and reduce reliance on Chinese supply chains, withdraw from the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and ban Huawei from Canada’s 5G infrastructure. 

The NDP platform includes four mentions of China, while the Liberal platform references China only once, promising to “respond to illegal and unacceptable behaviour by authoritarian states, including China, Russia, and Iran.”

Meanwhile, The Globe and Mail reports today that as the Chinese government was trying to deepen relations with Canada and further enmesh our economies with a free trade deal in 2016, a Chinese state publisher republished Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s memoir, Common Ground, under the title The Legend Continues.

12:30 p.m. — Who has the best housing plan? A policy deep dive into the major platforms

By Chris Spoke, contributor at The Hub

There are three ways to make housing, or anything, more affordable. You can increase supply, reduce demand, or set price controls. This is an exhaustive list.

As we look at the policy proposals relating to housing affordability from the Liberal (LPC), Conservative (CPC), and New Democratic (NDP) parties, we can find some that fit into the first two of these buckets. Thankfully, none of the major parties have proposed anything like a federally mandated rent or vacancy control.

On the demand side however, we have seen a number of proposals from the LPC and NDP specifically that would also increase demand — a counterintuitive approach if affordability is the objective.

Let’s dive in.

On supply

Canada has the fewest homes per thousand people of any G7 country. This statistic, more than any other, highlights the cause of our housing affordability crisis. Housing in our major cities is expensive because there’s not enough of it.

If the federal government is going to make any improvements in this domain, it’s going to have to enact changes that lead to more housing supply.

The three party platforms all start with big overarching promises on supply and are then filled in with the policy proposals intended to substantiate those promises.

The LPC starts with a promise to “build, preserve, or repair 1.4 million homes in the next four years”, though it does not make clear how much of that would be new supply (the “build” share).

For context, over the past decade, Canada has averaged approximately 200,000 housing completions per year.

To make good on that promise, they’ve proposed a number of potential supply-boosters. The four most impactful are as follows.

  • A new rent-to-own program that would put renters, paying mandated below-market rates, on a five year path to ownership, paired with $1-billion in loans and grants to develop and scale up rent-to-own projects.

More money for more housing, though with a twist. There’s not much to say about this proposal other than to point out that 1) the development of new below-market rate rental housing is generally not economically feasible, 2) this is especially true given the record land and construction prices we’ve been experiencing lately, and 3) that $1-billion in loans and grants might not generate as many new units under this model as expected.

  • A new $4-billion Housing Accelerator Fund to support municipalities that “grow housing supply faster than their historical average; increase densification; speed-up approval times; tackle NIMBYism and establish inclusionary zoning bylaws; and encourage public transit-oriented development.”

This is the most meaningful LPC proposal as it acknowledges municipal regulatory supply constraints as key drivers of housing scarcity and unaffordability. It creates in effect a success fund, and leaves it up to municipalities to pare back those supply constraints in order to claim their share.

  • A major funding increase for the National Housing Co-Investment fund of $2.7 billion over 4 years to help affordable housing providers acquire land and buildings for development and pay for critical repairs on existing buildings.

More money for more housing. There’s not much to say about this one either.

  • A new Multigenerational Home Renovation tax credit that would help homeowners save up to $7,500 when adding a secondary unit to their homes for an immediate or extended family member.

This proposal should increase the number of secondary unit additions at the margin. More importantly, it should also increase political support for secondary units where they’re not currently permitted.

The CPC, for its part, promises to “implement a plan to build 1 million homes in the next three years.” If past housing completion data are to be extrapolated from and carried forward, this could mean 400,000 more homes over three years than we might otherwise have seen.

The three most impactful proposals that might help them fulfill that promise are as follows.

  • The construction of new transit infrastructure connecting employment centers to “where people are buying homes”.

As we’ve failed to build sufficient housing in our major cities, more people have had to “drive till they qualify” and live farther and farther from their workplaces. The CPC is proposing more transit connections from employment centres to these suburban and exurban neighbourhoods. More transit is good. More housing closer to employment centers is even better.

  • A new requirement that municipalities receiving federal funding for public transit increase permitted densities near that funded transit.

This is the most meaningful CPC proposal as it too acknowledges municipal regulatory supply constraints as key drivers of housing scarcity and unaffordability, and provides an elegant response. In Ontario, there already exists a provincial Major Transit Station Area framework that proposes the same thing. It’s not clear how this federal proposal would enhance that framework.

  • A new capital gains tax deferral when selling a rental property and reinvesting the proceeds in rental housing.

Many rental properties in Canada are owned by the children and grandchildren of the entrepreneurs who built them. They’ve appreciated substantially over those many years and would therefore be subject to a large capital gains tax if sold. For that reason, they’re not often sold. A tax deferral could lead to increased market liquidity and more returns being put to productive use in the development of new rental housing.

Finally, the NDP doesn’t have much to say about increasing the supply or market-rate housing but does promise to “create at least 500,000 units of quality affordable housing in the next ten years.” This promise is supported by two proposals.

  • A new “fast-start fund” to help streamline the entitlement process for co-ops, social, and non-profit housing providers.

The entitlements process that sees development projects through any required rezoning and site plan control is needlessly slow and complicated. Funding for measures that would streamline that process sounds like a good idea, though it’s not clear what those measures would include if they are to apply exclusively to non-market housing providers.

  • A new exemption on the federal portion of the GST/HST on the constriction of new affordable rental housing.

The federal portion of the GST/HST is a meaningful cost on any development pro forma. This exemption should, at the margin, improve the feasibility of new affordable rental housing.

On demand

Prices, as we know, are a function of supply and demand. Both increased supply and decreased demand place downward pressure on prices.

And yet we spend most of our time talking about supply, and not demand. Why?

In short, increased supply generally means more homes for more people, whereas decreased demand generally means fewer people, or at least fewer people who can afford housing. Most of us think that more people and more homes is preferable to fewer people and fewer homes.

The most impactful thing the federal government could do to reduce demand for housing is reduce immigration. Our three major political parties are generally very pro-immigraiton, however, so that’s off the table (good!).

Instead, they’ve focused on reducing foreign ownership of housing and money laundering — where money laundering mostly means money from China, as China enforces strict capital controls that force its citizens to launder any money they’d like to invest abroad.

On the former, both the LPC and CPC have proposed a two year ban on home purchases by foreign non-resident investors. The NDP has proposed a 20 percent foreign buyer’s tax on this same group.

On the latter, all three parties have committed to cracking down on money laundering and proposed the development of a beneficial ownership registry for residential properties in order to peer behind any corporate veil and identify the true owners of any given residential property.

As mentioned above, the LPC and NDP have also proposed policies that would lead to an increase in demand.

The LPC has proposed a First Home Savings Account, increased flexibility for the First Time Home Buyer Incentive, a doubling of the First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit, and a requirement that banks and lenders offer mortgage deferrals for up to 6 months in the event of job loss or other major life event.

The NDP has proposed the re-introduction of 30-year terms to CMHC insured mortgages, as well as to double the First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit.

On overall effectiveness

To restate a foundational premise, housing in our major cities is expensive because there’s not enough of it. There’s not enough of it because municipal land use rules render large parts of our cities as being effectively out of bounds for any meaningful intensification.

NIMBYs have captured our municipal councils and ensured that they prioritize neighbourhood stability and property value appreciation over housing abundance and affordability.

Both the LPC and CPC promise to address these land use rules with legislative sticks and carrots. (The NDP sidesteps the issue entirely.) More than anything else, any success in advancing housing affordability will rest in their ability to use them effectively.

10:30 a.m. — A grumpy political scientist explains the difference between a coalition government and a confidence agreement

By Antonia Maioni, a political science professor at McGill University

Memo to Canadian journalists from a grumpy political scientist: please, please refrain from using the term “coalition government” unless actually referring to a formal coalition which entails a shared policy platform and the presence of more than one party in the cabinet.  

The Canadian Parliament, based on the Westminister parliamentary tradition, has no example of this except that of the Union government during the First World War.

A coalition government is not the same thing as an “accord” (such as the one between the minority Liberal government and the NDP in Ontario in 1987) or a “pact” (such as the one between the minority Conservative government and the Bloc/NDP in 2004).

The latter are examples of confidence agreements, which can be formal or informal, in which opposition parties agree to support the minority government on key parliamentary votes of confidence. However, they are not coalitions because the minority government continues to govern alone, with ministers chosen from its ranks. 

9:00 a.m. — Canada’s infrastructure spending too often leads to ‘political explosions’

By Drew Fagan, a U of T professor and former Ontario deputy minister of infrastructure

Infrastructure is one of those $100 words that can mean almost anything. The legendary American journalist Theodore White wrote that the word was meant “to conceal political explosives.”

In fact, it should be something that the major Canadian parties can agree on. Ottawa has boosted capital spending after decades of underinvestment. The Harper-era Conservatives got things rolling, and the Trudeau-era Liberals have spent more still.

But the Liberal platform says little about broad-based infrastructure investment to support economic growth. As for the Conservative platform, it calls for faster growth and cites infrastructure as a key accelerant, but makes a proposal regarding the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) that would do the opposite.

Canada’s infrastructure challenge isn’t low public spending, but that it isn’t always spent in the right ways. It leads too often to political explosions. Projects are dickered over. Ottawa has let provinces and municipalities spend federal funds on projects of their choosing, often with politics rather than results in mind.

Other countries do it better. Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain have strategies looking out decades and processes to plan and deliver the best projects with the best chances of success. Even the U.S. government sometimes brings more coherence, mitigating against the kind of institutional tangle that mars, say, transit in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.

Earlier this year, the Liberal government took a big step, launching a National Infrastructure Assessment (NIA) to prioritize through 2050 economic, social and environmental infrastructure.

What made it into the Liberal platform is more specific but aligned. Liberals propose to invest more in municipal housing if cities do more to tackle NIMBYism and support inclusionary zoning and density, especially near transit lines.

The Conservatives agree: Their platform would require “municipalities receiving federal funding for public transit to increase density near the funded transit.”

This could be the beginnings of a federal urban agenda in which Ottawa flexes some muscles. Still, both parties know the risks — from the provinces, which have responsibility under the Constitution for municipalities, and from municipalities, which are used to a hands-off approach. That’s probably why the Liberals aren’t emphasizing their plank. Meanwhile, the Conservatives are hiding theirs. The party’s headline pledge is that a Conservative government would provide “more flexibility” to municipalities. Actually, the fine print says it’s less and that’s probably the better way.

The NDP platform, meanwhile, promises to double the Canada Community-Building Fund, the renamed federal Gas Tax Fund, which flows to municipalities largely without conditions.

The infrastructure issue that’s gained most campaign attention is the Conservatives’ commitment to “scrap the failed” Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB). It’s a promise that they’ll regret, if elected. The CIB got off to a slow start but it’s been gaining traction rapidly.

Had the Liberals not invented the CIB, the Conservatives would have. In fact, the Harper-era Conservatives launched the CIB’s precursor, the P3 Canada Fund. Like the CIB, it was aimed at putting more policy and less politics into infrastructure through public-private partnerships. The CIB redoubles this approach, broadening the private sector’s role regarding revenue generation, like user fees, and innovation in design, construction and operations. (Given CIB financing methods, the Conservatives wouldn’t get as much money as they might think for traditional government infrastructure programs by reallocating what was on the CIB’s books.)

The CIB deserves a chance. Likewise, the NIA deserves to go forward, regardless of election outcome. So why not mix the two?

The CIB was established not just to finance some infrastructure, as it does now, but to bring a more independent, policy-focused approach to a broader range of infrastructure planning. This part never really got off the ground, such as a national centre of expertise and advice, including for better use of data in decision-making. The CIB could do this by being given a leadership role in the NIA and in the reforms that should flow from it, which would turn a bank into an agency.

A Conservative government could rename it the Canada Infrastructure Investment Agency. Campaign pledge fulfilled. It would be good policy too.

7:00 a.m. — Where the leaders are today

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau will be in Richmond, British Columbia to make an announcement at 11 a.m.

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole will be in Russell, Ontario to make an announcement at 11 a.m.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh will be in Toronto to make an announcement at 8:30 a.m.

Mail-in ballots aren’t as popular as predicted, but could still make for a long night on election day

News

Welcome to The Hub’s Federal Election 2021 Policy Pulse, where we’ll be tracking all the policy announcements from the major parties, with instant analysis from our crew of experts.

With the election scheduled for Sept. 20, we’ll be monitoring 36 days worth of policy ideas, so watch out each morning for the day’s live blog where we’ll be tracking every announcement as it happens.

3:30 p.m. — Mail-in ballots aren’t as popular as predicted, but could still make for a long night on election day

By L. Graeme Smith, The Hub’s content editor

The most recent presidential election in the United States was mired by confusion and uncertainty as the final result was not fully known until days after. Election day was November 3, 2020 and most news and media organizations did not call an official winner until November 7, 2020. 

This was in large part due to the surge of mail-in votes that took much longer to count and verify, the perhaps predictable outcome of trying to hold an election during a pandemic when remote voting is a more attractive option than in the past. 

Canadian elections are not typically marked by such contention or chaos. But Canadians may be forced to exercise some patience as well in this federal election, as a similar delay in counting mail-in ballots may postpone the final call beyond the night of September 20th.  

Voting by mail is not new in Canada. Canadians have had that ability for nearly thirty years, since 1993. It is the number of mail-in ballots being returned this year that could cause the lag. 

Chief electoral officer Stephane Perrault warned of the possibility during a press conference in August: “I know that Canadians are used to getting complete results on election night but it will be different for this election.”

Advance poll votes are counted prior to election day, but mail-in vote counting does not commence until after polls close and in-person votes are counted.

“The count of mail-in ballots will start after election day. In most locations, this should be done within two days, but in some districts it could take as long as five days,” said Perrault.

This is because poll workers must perform integrity checks to verify that citizens have not voted both by mail and in-person. 

Initially, Elections Canada was projecting as many as five million special ballots to be issued and returned this election, including voting kits issued to electors living outside of Canada. By mid-August they revised that estimate down to two or three million, with most to be returned by mail. By comparison, the 2019 federal election saw around 50,000 Canadians vote by mail. 

At present, 985,896 special ballot voting kits have been issued by Elections Canada, with 833,597 of those issued to electors living in Canada voting by mail or at an Elections Canada office from inside their riding, 99,994 issued to electors living in Canada voting by mail or at an Elections Canada office from outside their riding, and 52,305 issued to electors living outside of Canada.

The deadline to register for mail-in voting is September 14th at 6 p.m. local time. 

2:00 p.m. — Conservatives unveil plan to let new parents earn money while receiving parental benefits

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole was in Ottawa today proposing a plan to allow parents to make up to $1,000 per month in employment income without it affect their parental benefits.

O’Toole said the plan would allow for remote or part-time work while parents are on maternity or paternity leave.

The Conservatives have also pledged to allow families to receive the Canada Child Benefit starting at the seventh month of pregnancy.

1:00 p.m. — The NDP wants to lower the voting age. Here’s what happened in other countries that did the same thing

By Ian Thomson, a public policy researcher

Buried in the back pages of the NDP platform is a proposal to lower the voting age from 18 to 16 years old.

Youth voting is an issue that has barely been mentioned during this year’s election campaign, except in relation to an Elections Canada decision to scrap its Vote on Campus program due to the pandemic and the prospect of a snap election.

Some critics of the program’s cancellation argued the best way to raise historically low levels of youth turnout is to engage people when they are young. The NDP platform makes a similar case.

And even some conservatives have argued that the voting age should be even lower — in fact, all the way down to zero. The demographer Lyman Stone imagines a world where parents make the decision for their children until the kids are old enough — likely in their pre-teens — to do it themselves, increasing civic literacy and leading to a more forward-looking government.

The platform highlights how young people are both increasingly engaged in the world and worried about the effects of climate change and rising inequality. Young people “often see themselves paying the biggest price for the decisions government are making today,” and if they are old enough to work and pay taxes, they should also be old enough to have a say in who forms government.

Source: Elections Canada

Arguments both for and against the idea often reference the responsibilities of being a voter in relation to other markers of adulthood, such as being legally and financially independent and/or being married. Furthermore, Canadians in recent years haven’t been particularly supportive of the policy: a 2016 Angus Reid poll found that 75 percent of Canadians oppose lowering the voting age. Interestingly even among younger Canadians (18 to 35 years old), 66 percent opposed lowering the voting age.

However, in the last few years, more jurisdictions have lowered their voting age to either 16 or 17. If such a policy was established, Canada would be following the steps of such jurisdictions as Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Austria, Scotland, Wales, Estonia, and several German states. In these jurisdictions, 16- and/or 17-year-olds can vote in some or all elections.

This table, taken from Jan Eichhorn and Johannes Bergh’s 2021 paper, details the countries where the voting age is below 18 across the entire country.

CountryMinimum Voting Age (years)Type of election
Argentina16All
Austria16All
Bosnia and Herzegovina16 (if employed and paying taxes)All
Brazil16All
Cuba16All
East Timor17All
Ecuador16All
Estonia16Local
Greece17All
Indonesia17 (Anyone below 17 years can vote if they are married)All
Israel17Local
Malta16All
Nicaragua16All

Eichhorn and Bergh could not find negative effects for lowering the voting age on young people’s engagement or civic attitudes. In many instances, “[e]nfranchised 16- and 17-year-olds were often interested in politics, more likely to vote and demonstrated other pro-civic attitudes (such as institutional trust).” This finding bodes well for the policy, particularly in increasing voter turnout and establishing greater faith in democratic institutions.

Eichhorn and Bergh’s research also examined young people’s voting attitudes and political behaviour. When the voting age is lowered, voter volatility increases as young voters are more often to switch their vote than older voters. For instance, 16- and 17- year old’s voting in the 2014 Scottish referendum were initially less supportive of Scottish independence. Yet by the time of the referendum, this voting group had changed their views embracing independence at a greater rate than Scots overall. Additionally, while young people tend to support centre-left parties, Eichhorn and Bergh note that this is by no means always the case, given youth support for centre-right parties observed in Austria’s 2019 last election. Lastly, lowering the voting age also shifted public views. In places where the voting age was lowered for specific elections, support grew for the voting age to be lowered for all elections.

11:00 a.m. — The only thing clear in this noisy, messy campaign is our lack of unity

By Ray Pennings, the executive vice-president of Cardus

Back in May, I outlined a Liberal playbook which I suggested provided a blueprint for progressives to win elections in Canada. Recognizing that Canadian values are more progressive than conservative, it seemed a prudent projection of where Canada might be heading. 

I was riffing from a four-country research project which suggested that progressives succeed when they combine authentic leadership, a sense of insurgency, an ability to unify, and superior organizational innovation. For better or worse, it is clear that the Liberal strategists have not adopted this strategy.

It is the (lack of) a sense of insurgency and a clear articulation of purpose which has left the Liberals most vulnerable. For months in advance of the election, political insiders, including the highly regarded trio of  David Herle, Scott Reid, and Jenni Byrne, argued that if the Liberals took advantage of the polls and called an election with an ambitious platform to change the subject from why the election was being called, they would be in the driver’s seat and maintain their strong pre-election polling. For whatever reason, they haven’t done so.

It’s not that the Liberal pitch launching this campaign — “the most significant since 1945” — was entirely disingenuous. The role of government during COVID has grown exponentially. Getting voter input on what should be the new normal could have made for a compelling issue. Instead, the opening day slogans have been followed up with a platform that could just as easily have been a throne speech and legislation, which the NDP almost certainly would have supported.

Superior on-the-ground organization is a core component of a winning strategy. The extent to which the Liberal Party is ahead of its competition (or not) is impossible to assess until after the election. The only thing we can be sure of is that the Green Party has squandered whatever organizational strength it had in 2019 when it fielded an almost full slate of candidates who collectively garnered 6.5 percent of the vote. In this campaign, voters in almost 100 ridings won’t have a Green candidate. This may end up being a significant factor in many local races, depending on how those who voted Green in 2019 decide either to stay home or to cast a ballot for another party’s candidate in 2021. It will be worth watching what happens in closely contested ridings with no Green Party candidate this time around.

Finally, unity hasn’t featured highly at any point in this campaign. Noisy protests have especially disrupted the Liberal campaign, possibly distracting Trudeau and keeping him from getting his message out. Alternatively, they could be a useful foil for him to campaign against. Regardless, it is clear that there is anger is boiling over among some portion of the electorate. The rise in People’s Party popularity is an expression of disunity and frustration, not ambition or hope.

The formula I prescribed back in May may or may not prove accurate. Based on a study of modern progressive movements in western democracies, it still seems to be the most likely way for Liberals to achieve their progressive ambitions. They didn’t follow the pattern, though. Based on polling with 10 days left in the campaign, it appears that a Liberal majority government, almost a foregone conclusion in the spring, is an unlikely outcome.

9:00 a.m. — Most Canadians think Canada’s standing in the world has gotten worse

By Stuart Thomson, The Hub’s editor-in-chief

Canadians are taking a dismal view of their country’s place in the world with a majority agreeing it has gotten worse and only a tiny percentage saying Canada’s global reputation has gotten better, according to an exclusive new poll conducted for The Hub by Public Square Research and Maru/Blue.

Only six percent of Canadians think Canada’s place in the world is better than before the COVID-19 pandemic, with 33 percent saying it’s the same, 39 percent saying it’s somewhat worse and 22 percent saying it’s much worse.

Canadians are also extremely uncertain about the course of the pandemic and their own future, the poll shows.

Many Canadians still fear the worst is yet to come from the COVID-19 pandemic and even more say they are unsure about whether things will get better or worse, despite at least one dose of vaccine reaching nearly three-quarters of people in the country.

One-third of Canadians agree that the “worst is yet to come” in the pandemic and only 19 percent say the worst of COVID-19 is over. Forty-seven percent of Canadians are not sure.

Answering a separate question, about their specific fears about the pandemic, 31 percent of Canadians said they worry that we will never be safe from COVID-19.

This bleak outlook seems to have affected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s standing with Canadians, as he leads his Liberal Party into the final week of a campaign that opinion polls say is deadlocked.

Only 36 percent of Canadians rate Trudeau’s leadership during the pandemic as a good or very good and nine in 10 say he called the election simply because he thought he could win it right now. Nearly three-quarters agree that it was unsafe to call an election now.

The pessimism, about Canada’s place in the world and about one’s personal circumstances, is worst in Alberta.

Forty-two percent of Albertans think Canada’s place in the world has gotten much worse, compared to nearly half of that for the rest of the country. Canadians aged 18 to 34 are the most optimistic about Canada’s place in the world, with only 15 percent agreeing it has gotten worse compared 22 percent nationally.

On how Canadians feel about their own prospects, six in 10 say they worry about their position in society, with the number rising to 66 percent for people under the age of 35.

Albertans are more likely to be extremely worried than other Canadians about their position or their children’s position in society. In Alberta, 23 percent of people say they worry a lot about the future and 35 percent say they worry somewhat. In terms of the total amount of people either worried a lot or somewhat worried, Alberta is about the same as the other provinces.

Three in 10 Canadians say they are doing somewhat or much worse than two years ago and only two in 10 say they are doing better than two years ago. Fifty-one percent of Canadians say they are about the same.

This research was conducted with an online survey of 1,500 Canadians from Sept. 3 to Sept. 6 who were selected from the Maru Voice panel. Although the data have been weighted to reflect the make-up of the country, no estimates of sampling error can be calculated because the respondents originally self-selected for the panel.

7:00 a.m. — Where the leaders are today

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau will make an announcement at 1:30 p.m. in Vancouver.

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole will be in Ottawa to make an announcement at 11 a.m.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh will be in Sioux Lookout to make an announcement at 9 a.m.