Léger-Le Journal poll: inflation and war torment Quebecers
Although they are hopeful that the worst of the pandemic is over, Quebecers welcome 2023 with high levels of stress due to the staggering increase in the cost of living and the fear that the war in Ukraine will escalate.
According to an unpublished Léger-Le Journal survey on the fears of Quebecers for the year 2023, more than four out of ten Quebecers fear the impact of the rise in consumer prices, which makes it the number one concern.
Fear of global conflict ranks second. It is shared by 27% of respondents, probably a peak since the end of the Bosnian war in the mid-1990s, according to pollster Jean-Marc Léger.
“There is a high level of stress. […] People are stressed and more and more, ”analyzes the CEO of the Léger firm.
In addition, more than 20% of respondents fear running out of money and identify rising interest rates as problematic.
This financial insecurity is particularly palpable among young adults.
“If for Quebecers the pandemic is behind, the perception of the lack of money or the economic difficulties are in front of us”, summarizes Mr. Léger.
Stakeholders from the Cooperative Family Economics Association (ACEF) on the South Shore of Quebec can testify to this.
“People will look for leeway as best they can,” says director Édith St-Hilaire. But the cost of living is catching up with many.
Requests for help are on the rise and unfortunately we are seeing vulnerable people cut back on basic needs, such as medication.
“People experience a lot of stress about that. Before, they wondered: “Will I make it?” Now they tell us: “We can’t come anymore”. »
The organization advises finding out about the services available, limiting the use of credit and seeking help before it’s too late.
On the subject of the war in Ukraine, at the gates of Europe, Professor Charles-Philippe David is not surprised that concern reaches us.
« It is certain that the interest in this war is greater because of the proximity of identity », says the founder of the Raoul-Dandurand Chair in strategic and diplomatic studies.
Nearly one Quebecer in ten (8%) even admits to fearing a nuclear attack.
Mr. David, however, invites us to “keep a cool head”, even if it is difficult to predict the future. « You have to keep a certain measure of caution in the inflationary rhetoric », tempers the professor.
WHAT DO YOU FEAR THE MOST IN 2023?
6. Rising interest rates 21%
7. The COVID-19 virus or other epidemic 16%
8. Being a victim of identity theft or fraud 10%
9. A shortage of food 9%
10. Suffer from exhaustion or depression 9%
11. A nuclear attack 8%
12. Heatwaves 5%
13. Running out of food 4%
14. The extreme cold 4%
15. To be the victim of a fire 3%
16. The loss of his job 3%
17. Divorce me or separate me 3%
18. Going bankrupt 3%
19. Being the victim of an act of violence 3%
20. A terrorist attack 3%
21. Flooding 2%
22. Tornadoes or cyclones 2%
23. Forest fires 2%
24. Being the victim of a sexual assault 1%
25. Being a victim of theft 1%
26. Landslides 1%
27. Earthquakes 0%
28. Volcanic eruptions 0%
TOP 5 BY AGE GROUP
18 – 34 YEARS
The rise in consumer prices 40%
Running out of money 38%
Rising interest rates 28%
A world war 20%
The loss of a loved one 17%
35 – 54 YEARS
The rise in consumer prices 46%
Rising interest rates 24%
A world war 23%
Running out of money 23%
The loss of a loved one 19%
55 AND OVER
The rise in consumer prices 43%
A world war 35%
The loss of a loved one 35%
Have a serious illness 33%
The COVID-19 virus or another epidemic 23%
Methodology : A web survey was conducted among 1002 Quebecers aged 18 or over from December 7 to 10, 2022. Respondents had to be able to express themselves in French or English and were randomly recruited using LEO’s online panel. Participants could select up to three answer choices to the question « What do you fear most in 2023? » « .
CLIMATE DISASTERS, NOT IN THE SHORT TERM
Photo archives, QMI Agency
Submerged car during a flood in Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac in April 2019
The sounding shows that a minority of respondents perceive an imminent risk of being victims of a climatic event or a natural disaster. Indeed, only 5% of respondents mentioned heat waves as a threat for 2023, while 4% identified extreme cold. Floods, tornadoes and wildfires were each raised by 2% of participants. The proportion is 1% or less for landslides, earthquakes or volcanic eruptions. However, these responses taken together constitute a rate of 16%, which is not negligible.
The survey aimed to measure fears about specific eventualities for the year 2023, not relating to climate change as such. « That’s not the main fear for 2023. If I had asked [sur] the main fear for the next 10 years, there, she would have been in the tops, ”says Mr. Léger.
THE LESS OPPRESSIVE PANDEMIC
After nearly three years of suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic, Quebecers seem to have learned to “live with the virus”, as the saying goes. A certain confidence in the future has visibly taken hold, as only 16% of respondents identified “the COVID-19 virus or another epidemic” as one of their main fears for the next year.
« Even if it’s still around [de nous], people have learned to live with it and it is not their primary concern. Yes, there are 16% for whom this is their primary concern, but overall, it’s not that,” emphasizes Jean-Marc Léger. This impression that the worst is behind us, however, varies according to age. Among 18-34 year olds, only 8% are concerned, compared to 23% in the 55+ age group.
FRAUD, A SERIOUS THREAT
The scourges of recent years, identity theft and fraud are far from being taken lightly by Quebecers. According to the Léger-The newspaper, no less than one respondent in ten fears becoming a victim in the near future. “It is an element that is climbing more and more. This is one of the fears. When you say that it is your fear for 2023 to face fraud, it starts to affect a lot of people, ”underlines Jean-Marc Léger.
“We are seeing more,” also notes Édith St-Hilaire, of the ACEF de la Rive-Sud de Québec, reporting on several seniors who have been victims of fraud due to criminals who have hijacked the CERB and PCRE, federal aid during the health crisis. They had applied for benefits on behalf of the elderly.
Remember that in 2021, Quebec ranked first among Canadian provinces for the number of identity frauds on its territory.
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