Skip to main content
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Stephen Harper should think more about cementing a Canadian economic union and fighting crime and less about the military and the Arctic, according to a poll that ranks voter attitudes toward the government's agenda.

Nanos Research and the Institute for Research on Public Policy asked Canadians which they considered the most important of five issues that are listed on the Prime Minister's website as major priorities for the new majority government. Thirty three per cent of those surveyed identified "cracking down on gun, gang and drug crime" as the issue that mattered most to them.

Twenty-six per cent said "strengthening Canada's economic union" should be Job One. Almost as many, 22 per cent, believe "improving food and product safety regulations" is what the government should be paying most attention to.

Story continues below advertisement

Only 8 per cent are most concerned with "asserting our sovereignty in the Arctic," and a mere 7 per cent believe "rebuilding the Canadian Armed Forces" should be top of the list.

"Priorities that were closer in proximity to the daily lives of Canadians were ranked higher than those that did not," pollster Nik Nanos observed.

The Conservative Party polled extensively before the spring election campaign to identify voter concerns, and it should come as no surprise that the two top issues for Canadians are also the two top priorities for the party in government.

To help break down provincial economic silos, the government has asked the Supreme Court to rule on whether the Ottawa has the constitutional authority to create a national securities regulator.

If the court approves, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has said he will proceed with the legislation despite intense opposition from some provinces, especially Quebec and Alberta, who argue it intrudes on their jurisdiction.

The government will also bring down an omnibus crime bill – essentially all the justice legislation the opposition parties blocked during the two minority governments – when Parliament returns in the autumn.

But lesser priorities for Canadians remain high priorities for the Conservatives, especially the military. The government intends to proceed with purchasing fighter aircraft to replace the aging fleet of CF-18s, and is also expected to announce which shipyards will win $35-billion in contracts over 20 years to build new coast guard and naval ships.

Story continues below advertisement

The government also intends to proceed with a $720-million polar icebreaker, to help assert Canadian sovereignty in the Arctic, though it is not expected to ready before 2017.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies