POLL: 92% of Canadians believe monopolies are driving up prices
Mainstreet Research poll shows majority of Canadians want more competition
April 13, 2023 — Today OpenMedia and Ekō released Mainstreet Research polling data that shows Canadians are united by two things: the belief that Canada’s current economy benefits large companies more than ordinary people, and skepticism that the government is doing enough to fix it. Results were broadly similar across provinces and partisan lines, with Liberal, Conservative and NDP voters showing comparable levels of frustration with the status quo.
KEY FINDINGS of the Mainstreet Research poll include:
92% of Canadians believe that high market concentration is driving up the prices we pay across multiple sectors.
69% of Canadians believe that our competition laws and regulations are set up to benefit large companies over consumers.
Only 7% believe they benefit consumers
83% report that their internet and cell phone bills impact their monthly budget – 44% significantly so and of those who earn less than 50K/yr, 53.9%.
86% agree that more competition between businesses means lower prices and more choices for consumers.
72% of Canadians do not believe the government is doing enough to provide affordable and competitive telecom services.
Liberal voters themselves don’t buy the government’s claims they’re doing enough for telecom affordability; more than half (53.9%) think the government isn’t doing enough.
“In an age of division, Canadians from all walks of life know that too much is run by too few in our country — and we’re all paying the costs,” said OpenMedia Campaigns Director Matt Hatfield. “And we’re right to doubt: our Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne just permitted the Shaw buyout, crowning Rogers the single largest company in our telecom sector in one of the biggest buyouts the country’s ever seen. These clear poll results should be setting off alarm bells in government offices across the country: band-aid solutions aren’t enough. The first party that offers a comprehensive solution to addressing Canadians’ frustration and dismantling our monopolies will reap the political rewards.”
“Cost of living is skyrocketing in Canada and you only have to walk down the grocery aisle or look at your latest cell phone or Internet bill for proof,” said Ekō Senior Campaign Manager Angus Wong. “One of the major causes of inflation in these two industries is a lack of competition. Five grocery chains and three telecom companies control almost all of the Canadian market. More than half of lower-income Canadians in our poll reported that high telecom prices are significantly hurting their budget. Questioning Loblaws' CEO is great for show, but what is our government doing to bring tangible relief to millions of families across the country struggling to make ends meet? Will our government finally step up and defend our needs in a time of sky-high inflation? Or will they continue to pad the pockets of corporate giants, while millions of Canadians suffer?”
The OpenMedia and Ekō communities have delivered over 23,800 signatures to the federal government calling for thorough reform of the Competition Act. OpenMedia and Ekō’s joint submission to the government's recently closed consultation on Competition Act reform can be found here. The poll was commissioned in support of our joint campaign to push the federal government towards Competition Act reform with these key demands:
Laws that protect Canadians and not corporate giants;
Government intervention to blocks monopolies from growing; and
Mechanisms to hold corporations accountable.
The survey was conducted by Mainstreet Research for OpenMedia and Eko from March 29th to March 30th, 2023 and had a sample size of 1267 Canadian respondents. The survey was weighted by age, gender, voting preference, and provincial sub-regions and conducted via automated telephone interviews (Smart IVR). The margin of error for the poll is +/- 2.8% at the 95% confidence level. Full results of the survey can be downloaded here.
OpenMedia works to keep the Internet open, affordable, and surveillance-free. We create community-driven campaigns to engage, educate, and empower people to safeguard the Internet.
Ekō (formerly, Sumofus) is a community of people from around the world committed to curbing the growing power of corporations. We want to buy from, work for and invest in companies that respect the environment, treat their workers well and respect democracy.
Campaigns Director, OpenMedia
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Senior Campaign Manager, Ekō