Who Do Canadians Trust? Inner Circles, Professionals Remain Favoured

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TORONTO – TECH – Canadians are skeptical about solutions to major issues, with trust in building affordable housing plummeting and trust in artificial intelligence (AI) waning, according to the 2024 CanTrust Index by Proof Strategies.

Economic Fears Eclipsed Pandemic Worries

Economic woes overshadow even lingering pandemic concerns. A staggering 67% of Canadians say the economy fuels anxiety and stress, a stark jump from 2022’s pandemic-height figure of 46%.

Zero Trust for Housing Solutions

“Canadians may be trusting, but they’re deeply unimpressed right now,” says Bruce MacLellan of Proof Strategies. “Our study shows minimal faith in any federal party leader to fix the housing crisis. Trust in all government levels on this issue is abysmal.”

Prime Minister Trudeau’s trust fell sharply from 46% in 2018 to just 25% today. Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh fare only slightly better at 32%. Canadians lack confidence in politicians overall, with trust languishing at a new low of 17%.

Only 22% trust the federal government to deliver affordable housing, a 6% drop from 2023. Provinces and municipalities score equally low at 23%.

AI Trust Fades Amidst Growing Use

As AI increasingly saturates life, only about two-thirds of Canadians trust its role. Only 33% are confident in AI’s potential to boost the economy, down from 39% in 2018. Canadians’ trust in AI to enhance consumer experiences stands at just 35%, echoing 2018 levels.

Beyond Numbers: Why Trust Matters

“Leaders who prioritize transparency, demonstrate competence, and act with integrity will win the trust battle, particularly amidst emerging tech, “said Vanessa Eaton, President of Proof Strategies.

Canadians Rely on Trusted Networks

Amidst this uncertainty, Canadians place greater trust in friends and family (76%). They also turn outward to respected professionals like doctors (78%), scientists (74%), and educators (68%). The charity sector enjoys rising trust, reaching 53% in 2024.

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