Thank you Canada

June 30, 2021

Canada's 154th year will not rank among the best in our history. Our data clearly show that.

The second and third waves of the pandemic claimed far more lives than the first. Nearly half a million people are considered long-term unemployed – more than double the number seen before the pandemic. Some sectors of the economy, notably the travel industry, are well below pre-pandemic levels. One-third of Canadians have become more downcast since the onset of the pandemic.

Despite the distress of the pandemic, we have also seen, over the past year, Canadians join social movements to call for Indigenous rights, racial justice and gender equality. For many Indigenous peoples and other Canadians, Canada Day celebrations are muted in light of the recent discoveries, which remind us of Canada's dark legacy of Residential schools.

Canadians also demonstrated their strong support for the first-ever census during a pandemic, and increased desire to complete it online. Though significant work still lies ahead, vaccination rates across the country continue to increase and Canadians are slowly being brought back together in the push for progress.

Digging deeper into the data

In 2018, Statistics Canada made a commitment to further explore the characteristics that help shape our lives, whether it be our level of education, health condition, age, gender or ethnocultural identity.

When you dig deeper into the data, patterns emerge that suggest some characteristics correspond to a higher probability of certain outcomes.

For example, almost one-third of Filipino and Black women in the labour force were working in health care or social assistance during the pandemic. Black and South Asian Canadians were twice as likely as non-visible minority Canadians to live in a household struggling to meet essential financial needs during the pandemic.

Data also reflect that mental health disparities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations have increased since the onset of the pandemic. Forty percent of Indigenous crowdsourcing participants described most days as "quite a bit stressful" or "extremely stressful" and 41% reported symptoms consistent with moderate or severe anxiety, compared with respective rates of 27% and 25% for non-Indigenous participants.

The pandemic brought increased financial stress for Canadians, particularly those who have a disability. Just over one-fifth of the Canadian population has one or more disabilities. Crowdsourcing participants with multiple long-term conditions were more likely (71%) than those with one long-term condition (50%) to report impacts on financial obligations or essential needs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For Canadian families, lockdowns meant telework for those who had the option, school and daycare closures, and the move to online classes. Data reflect that men's participation increased for all household tasks during the pandemic, compared with 2017. For example, the proportion of men who did the grocery shopping doubled during the pandemic, from 15% to 30%; the same was true for the proportion of men who did the laundry, which went from 8% to 16%.

Thanks for helping us

How do we know all this? Largely because you told us, through our rapid response crowdsourcing surveys conducted throughout the pandemic, supplements to our regular surveys and web panel surveys.

Thanks to your responses, we know more about Canada and Canadians than ever before. That knowledge can help identify areas of opportunity and concern, and action can be taken, whether it be by government agencies, private businesses, charitable organizations or individual Canadians.

The good news. Recent data show that almost two-thirds of Canadians have received one vaccine and one-fifth are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Infection rates are dropping across the country and employment is rising again with more sectors of the country reopening.

So, thank you Canada. Your participation in our surveys have helped us better understand what we have been through over the past year and will help set the course for our future.

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