Rage Index: Survey finds inflation, trucker convoy and gas prices anger Canadians

·3 min read
COBHAM, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 06: A protester holds a Canadian flag at Cobham services on the M25 as protesters welcome fellow members of the convoy as they arrive on February 6, 2022 in Cobham, England. The protesters arrived from a number of convoys from around the UK organised in solidarity with Canadian lorry drivers who, starting last month, have created a blockade in Ottawa to decry a requirement that drivers crossing from the US into Canada must be vaccinated against Covid-19. (Photo by Martin Pope/Getty Images) (Martin Pope via Getty Images)

Between the pandemic, inflation and gas prices, Canadians have had a lot to process over the last few years and now a new study is tracking the Rage Index of people across the country, giving insight into the issues that get under our skin.

Dan Arnold, chief strategy officer with Pollara Strategic Insights, says coming into the summer he and his colleagues assumed the general mood of Canadians would be more uplifted as lockdowns were ending. Instead, they found the opposite.

“Anytime any of us were at a barbecue, we found everyone would be complaining about gas prices, or airport delays or the price of bacon,” he told Yahoo Canada.

“Ultimately we thought we’d try to quantify it. What are those points of anger for Canadians and how widespread is it, what’s really getting people worked up at the moment?”

The monthly tracker for the Rage Index measures the moods of Canadians on the federal government, the economy, and current events. The online survey was conducted between July 25 and Aug. 2 with 2,013 Canadian adults.

Vehicles are seen to be fueled at a gas station in Toronto, Canada, on June 22, 2022. Canadians continued to feel the impact of rising prices in May as consumer inflation rose to 7.7 percent year over year, Statistics Canada said on Wednesday. (Photo by Zou Zheng/Xinhua via Getty Images)
Vehicles are seen to be fueled at a gas station in Toronto, Canada, on June 22, 2022. Canadians continued to feel the impact of rising prices in May as consumer inflation rose to 7.7 percent year over year, Statistics Canada said on Wednesday. (Photo by Zou Zheng/Xinhua via Getty Images)

'Women are bearing the brunt of a lot of the economic pressures'

The inaugural survey found inflation at the top of the list, with 83 per cent of respondents indicating they are angry or annoyed by inflation, with 41 per cent specifically feeling "very angry."

The issue of inflation outscores other issues like passport delays and chaotic airports.

The price of gas, however, was another issue that triggers Canadians, with 79 per cent of respondents indicating they are annoyed, moderately angry or very angry about the issue.

The third issue that people felt strongly about was the trucker convoy. Despite happening at the start of the year, 64 per cent of survey respondents are still feeling tender about it, with 42 per cent indicating they are "very angry" about it.

When it comes to demographics, men and women appear to be frustrated about different things. Men seem to harbour more anger towards governmental issues, airport and passport delays, while economic situations, housing issues and inflation anger women more.

“The research would suggest that women are bearing the brunt of a lot of the economic pressures… so it makes sense that they’d be getting more angry about the situations,” Dan Arnold said.

Regionally, Quebecers were found to be the least angry in the country, both towards their own government and on broader issues. The prairie provinces proved to be the angriest, mostly towards the federal government as well as their provincial government, and economic issues.

Anger also was thee highest around the 50-64 age group, which Arnold points out are often people who are dealing with financial pressures like putting down a mortgage or helping their children through post-secondary education. The least angry age demographic were those who were 65+, also known as the retirement age.

Arnold says the takeaway of the survey is that by and large, the country is more grumpy than angry about most of the questions that were asked, with the expectation of gas prices, inflation and the trucker convoy.

“Canadians are still hot under the collar rather than boiling over when it comes to their level of how they’re feeling,” he said.

Pollara Strategic Insights intends to continue tracking anger levels moving forward so they can help keep an eye out for moments of visceral outburst or potential violence that’s simmering.