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Health care top priority with Canadian public

Don’t let anybody tell you Canadians care about the federal balance sheet more than they do about their health care.

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A Nanos poll in February showed that Canadians overwhelmingly rank health as their No. 1 priority for the Mar. 22 federal budget, coming in at 43.3 per cent.

As for the other issues? They didn’t  even come close.

The next choice among Canadians was infrastructure as a federal budget priority at 27.5 per cent.

Respondents in the poll were asked for their two top choices for what should be priorities in the budget. 

Even the economy and job stimulus only mustered 7.6 per cent. As for balancing the budget and reducing the national debt, just 2.4 per cent of Canadians felt these should be budget priorities.

Pollster Nik Nanos has called health care  the ‘hidden issue’ in the Oct. 19 election campaign. And the results of the February  poll are consistent with most others when Canadians are asked what is important to them. 

Across the country, 51.4 per cent of respondents in Atlantic Canada said health was their top priority, closely followed by Quebec and Ontario at 49.7 per cent and 46.6 per cent respectively. British Columbia stood at 42.6 per cent, while the Prairie provinces were in stark contrast to all the others at 26.8 per cent.

Health care ranked highest among all age groups with female respondents choosing health care at the rate of 50.4 per cent versus 36.1 per cent for males.