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OTTAWA – A small majority of Canadians who responded to a new survey had no idea the government is attempting to clinch a trade deal with the European Union, but those who were aware are overwhelmingly in favour.According to the Abacus Data survey, 48% of respondents knew of the government’s trade negotiations with the EU.

Abacus Data CEO David Coletto said this is both positive and negative for the Conservatives.

“If the Canada-EU trade deal is going to be a centrepiece of the federal government’s economic action plan, the government really needs to communicate its intentions better with the public,” Coletto said.

If the good news for Conservatives is most Canadians support trade deals in general, the bad news is that many Canadians aren’t on board with all aspects of what’s being discussed with the EU.

Asked how supportive they are of the idea of European companies being able to bid on contracts for large infrastructure projects in Canada, 42% of respondents said they’re opposed. Roughly one-third said they’re OK with allowing the competition.

Opposition to competition from European companies was greatest among rural respondents (55%) and those over 60 (56%).

Coletto said communicating the benefits of any trade deal to Canadians would be critical for the government, especially considering the Conservatives’ largely rural base is most opposed to greater access for European companies to the Canadian market.

The online survey of 999 Canadians was done from June 19 to 23. The pollster weighted the survey sample by age, gender, region and education level according to the most recent census data. The pollster’s method is widely used and believed to be capable of producing accurate results.

Good Decisions Require Good Data.