Recruit, Attract, Grow: Canadians Want an Ambitious Plan

Bruce Anderson

Bruce Anderson

While many are concerned about the potential impacts on the Canadian economy that could result from tax and trade measures in the United States under President Donald Trump, Canadians think now is the time for Canada to be ambitious and seek new opportunity where it can be found.

Here’s are some key findings from our most recent study:

• Almost everyone likes the idea of Canada trying hard to attract more leading researchers from all over the world to come to Canada (87%) and do their work here.

• Almost as many, 81%, say Canada should try hard to attract more investors from all over the world. Our survey last year on this topic revealed that most Canadians believe there is a real opportunity for Canada to succeed in this endeavour.

To underscore the fact that Canadians do not believe Canada should take a passive approach in the face of trade threats from the White House, we asked whether Canada should look for opportunities where US policies might create disruption and potential interest in Canada.

• 89% say Canada should make a special effort to draw more international businesses to locate in Canada rather than the US.

• 73% say Canada should work to attract a lot of tourists who don’t know if they are welcome in America right now.

• Two-thirds (65%) say Canada should work to attract a lot of talented workers who don’t know if they are welcome in America right now.

While many economic policy choices can reveal deep partisan or regional cleavages, for the most part, these ideas don’t.  The large majority of people in all regions and across the three major parties like the idea of working to attract researchers and investment, and endorse the idea of making a special effort to reach those who may feel unwelcome in the US today.



According to Bruce Anderson: “Many Canadians think there is a moment of opportunity for Canada, not only a substantial risk of US trade and tax measures that could unsettle conditions in Canada.  People see this country as having lots to offer talent and investment capital from around the world, and believe we should make strenuous, special efforts to reach out an attract it, especially since some may feel less certain of the welcome they would receive in the US.

For governments, this is a clear signal that people want our best defense on trade issues, but don’t want Canada to only play defense – in fact the large majority see this as a moment of ambition, and are anxious that our political leadership seize the moment caused by political uncertainty in other parts of the world, to extol Canada’s advantages.” 


Our survey was conducted online with 1,500 Canadians aged 18 and over from April 21 to 24, 2017. A random sample of panelists was invited to complete the survey from a large representative panel of over 500,000 Canadians.

The Marketing Research and Intelligence Association policy limits statements about margins of sampling error for most online surveys.   The margin of error for a comparable probability-based random sample of 1,500 is +/- 2.6%, 19 times out of 20.

The data were weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched Canada’s population according to age, gender, educational attainment, and region. Totals may not add up to 100 due to rounding.


We offer global research capacity with a strong focus on customer service, attention to detail and value-added insight.  Our team combines the experience of our Chairman Bruce Anderson, one of Canada’s leading research executives for two decades, with the energy, creativity and research expertise of CEO David Coletto, Ph.D.

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