Pandemic has set back Canada’s socioeconomic progress: Survey

Pandemic has set back Canada’s socioeconomic progress: Survey

Bankruptcy, debt, social progress and stigma addressed in Covid Economy Poll by Bromwich+Smith

  De-stigmatizing debt

Jasmine Marra, Vice-President at Bromwich+Smith, is passionate about de-stigmatizing debt and helping clients rebuild their worth and thrive. The company just released the Covid Economy Poll which probes Canadians on bankruptcy, debt, stigma and whether the pandemic has set back socioeconomic progress. Photo Credit: ANCHOR

TORONTO, October 21, 2020 – As frustration, lockdowns and letdowns continue to engulf the country, a new poll finds that Canadians fear the Covid-19 pandemic has set back socioeconomic progress for a number of groups, including women, seniors, people on disability, low income earners and new Canadians.

The Covid Economy Poll by Licenced Insolvency Trustees, Bromwich+Smith, puts a pandemic lens on the public’s perceptions of debt, stigma and insolvency. It is the second poll in two-part fall survey series, designed to create a benchmark of public attitudes and force a discussion around the de-stigmatization of debt.

After decades of painful progress, Canadians feel the pandemic has affected previous gains for many categories/groups of Canadians. When asked which groups have lost the most ground in the past six months, low income earners topped the list (73%). This was followed by seniors (57%), people on disability support (47%) and women (46%). Rounding out the list were new Canadians (42%), visible minorities (40%) and people on welfare (37%). Overall, nine-in-10 respondents felt the pandemic had set back socio-economic progress in general.

Of note, while seemingly in the middle of the pack, the category of women reveals a tale of two perceptions as it pertains to how much progress has been lost. Specifically, while 54 per cent of women polled feel their gender has lost ground in 2020,, only 36 per cent of men feel the same way about their better half’s fortunes.

“The results of the Covid Economy Poll are staggering, especially when viewed through the prism of what’s happened to women’s fortunes in 2020,” said Jasmine Marra, Vice President, Marketing at Bromwich+Smith. “Throughout the pandemic, women's participation in the Canadian labour force fell from an all-time high to its lowest level in over three decades. Additionally, women are much more likely to fear the unknown going into the second wave of Covid as evidenced by last month’s Money, Fear and Stigma poll.”

Overall, the pandemic has had enormous financial implications across the country. To that end, one - in-five Canadians (19%) are likely to explore insolvency in the near future, with 14 per cent of Canadian adults likely to seek advice about bankruptcy or a consumer proposal in the next month.

Finally, the poll continued the theme of debt stigma by addressing, specifically the way people think of others and debt. While nine-in-10 people acknowledged that people who don’t pay their debts “perhaps can’t afford to”, when you dig deeper the stigma still remains. More than half of people (54%) responded that “people who don’t pay their debts are irresponsible”, one-third called them “selfish” (34%) and one quarter called them “lazy” (26%).

Debt doesn’t discriminate

“Martin Luther King, Jr. famously said that ‘the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice,” said Marra. “Despite the considerable setbacks, the pandemic should be a teachable moment for everyone as many who thought they were financially stable have now experienced difficulties. It is critical that Canadians realize that, especially during these extraordinary times, it’s okay to reach out to professionals for financial and debt advice.”

About the Covid Economy Poll by Bromwich+Smith

From September 23 to September 25, 2020 an online survey was conducted among a representative sample of 1,510 Canadians who are members of the Angus Reid Forum. For comparison purposes, the sample plan would carry a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About Bromwich+Smith

Bromwich+Smith, our dedicated team of Licensed Insolvency Trustees and Debt Relief Specialists are committed to rebuilding our clients’ worth, while helping relieve the overwhelming financial and emotional burden they are experiencing. Beyond our clients’ financial wellbeing, Bromwich+Smith strives to restore the personal wellbeing and self-confidence of every client. Whether it’s through a consumer proposal, bankruptcy, counselling or budgeting, our clients trust us to work with them to find customized solutions to make them whole again. With offices in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario, Bromwich+Smith helps thousands of Canadians each year rebuild their worth.

Bromwich+Smith's Debt Relief Specialists are available for an initial consultation by phone at 1-855-884-9243 or via

For further information: To arrange an interview with Jasmine Marra, Vice President at

Browmich+Smith, please contact:

Kim Jackson

[email protected]

Dana Sharman
[email protected]