There is no doubt that 2020 has been a very sideways year, but a new opinion survey suggests that many Canadians and Americans believe this year ranks among the worst that they’ve lived.
In a recent online survey conducted by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies, the results suggest that half of Canadians and 58 per cent of Americans feel that 2020 is the worst year they’ve experienced in life so far.
Here in British Columbia, that number drops slightly to 46 per cent – the lowest of the provinces along with Quebec, while residents in Ontario led all provinces with 54 per cent of the population ranking 2020 at the bottom.
Many Canadians don’t have to think hard to start compiling a list of things that many considered to be ‘unprecedented.’
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is one of the first things that jumps to mind, leading to health struggles, financial struggles, social struggles and mental struggles – among a multitude of other issues – for millions of Canadians and Americans.
Others might highlight the variety of international and domestic conflicts that have surfaced this year.
Thinking back to before the pandemic, people might point to things like the Ukrainian airplane that was hit by a missile, the Australian wildfires or even the death of Kobe Bryant.
According to Leger, it was the younger generations with their smaller sample size of life that showed the biggest disdain for the year 2020. 56 per cent of those surveyed between the ages of 18-34 label 2020 as the worst year they’ve experienced.
On the flip side, 47 per cent of those who are 55 and older put 2020 in that category.
In addition to asking if 2020 was the worst year, Leger polled participants on Donald Trump’s recent decision to slap a tariff on Canadian raw aluminum – which is garnering poor reviews on both sides of the border.
The results suggest 58 per cent of American respondents said they disagreed with the 10 per cent import tax.
In what comes as less of a surprise, 90 per cent of Canadians who took part in the survey objected to the White House’s tariff.
Trump announced last week he was reimposing a tax on Canadian raw aluminum because Canada had broken a promise not to flood the U.S. market with the product.
Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland vehemently denied the dumping claim and said Canada would soon retaliate with $3.6 billion in tariffs on American items that contain aluminum.
“In imposing these tariffs, the United States has taken the absurd decision to harm its own people at a time its economy is suffering the deepest crisis since the Great Depression,” she said.
“Any American who buys a can of beer or a soda or a car or a bike will suffer.”
The comments might help explain why 28 per cent of Americans surveyed said they somewhat disagreed with Trump’s move, while 30 per cent said they totally disagreed.
Finally, Leger polled participants on another recent action plan proposed by President Trump, banning popular video-sharing platform TikTok on national security grounds due to its corporate ties to China.
46 per cent of American respondents supported the idea, while only 34 per cent of Canadians were on board.
54 per cent of Canadians said they believed the Chinese government was using TikTok to spy on people. But only about one-third said Ottawa should outlaw the platform.
The survey was conducted between Aug. 7 and 9.
With files to Canadian Press