The COVID-19 pandemic has caused severe financial stress for many Canadians. A national poll from October of 2020 reported that nearly 1 in 3 Canadians are
worried they may never financially recover from the pandemic. Roughlyhalf of Canadians under the age of 35 have borrowed money from institutions to
make ends meet, while roughly the same amount have taken advantage of the Government’s emergency assistance. This is largely due to two major reasons.
First, the pandemic drove the unemployment rate as high as 13.7 percent in May of 2020, an all time high, leaving many Canadians with reduced household income
or without a source of income at all. Secondly, the price of almost everything has been driven up by the pandemic – for example, Canada’s Food Price Report is
estimating an increase of anywhere between 3 to 5 percent in the 2021 calendar year largely due to transport difficulties caused by border and facility closures,
employment difficulties, and shortages of goods all caused by the pandemic.
Employment shortages have significantly slowed the economy, especially in shipping companies like Fedex, who cited that one example facility was only operated at
65 percent capacity due to labour shortages. These types of shortages are causing prices of goods and services to skyrocket. Furthermore, rent prices across Canada
are continuing to recover after dropping, with September being the sixth consecutive month of average rental price increasing.
With all of these financial constraints, we wanted to evaluate the direct impact on Canadians :
- Has the pandemic caused Canada to be overly unaffordable for its inhabitants?
- Have the rising costs of food caused Canadians to sacrifice other expenditures?
- How exactly has the pandemic affected how much Canadians spend and what Canadians are spending their money on?