Government Should Prioritize Enhancing Quality of Public Services By Working with Business Sector, Say Over Half of Canadians

New poll shows that quality matters most for Canadians from all backgrounds, rather than who delivers them, when it comes to public services

A new, first-of-its-kind nationally representative poll by the Serco Institute shows 54 per cent of Canadians view quality as the most important factor in the delivery of public services.

The same poll found 28 per cent of people consider cost the most important factor, with only 9 per cent prioritizing who delivers the services.

The research was conducted with independent pollsters Survation to examine the Canadian public’s views towards public services.

This data also shows high degrees of dissatisfaction with many government services. Over half of Canadians are dissatisfied with services related to affordable housing (56 per cent); nearly a third are dissatisfied with social services and job supports (30 per cent); and over 40 per cent are dissatisfied with available mental health services (42 per cent).

Furthermore, Canadians think the Government serves many of its vulnerable populations poorly. 45 per cent believe older people are served badly by public services, followed by 38 per cent who believe Indigenous People are served badly, and 35 per cent who think people with disabilities are served badly.

Nearly three-quarters of Canadians say that the Government should work with third-party organizations from the business sector to improve the quality of these public services.

Interestingly, a majority of Canadians from all political backgrounds say that the business sector is generally better at delivering on quality, productivity and innovation in comparison to the public sector.

The survey was conducted on 21st and 22nd September 2022, with 1190 Canadian residents aged 18 and older and the data weighted to be nationally representative.

Commenting on the findings, Serco Institute Deputy Director Ben O’Keeffe said:

“Old assumptions about how Canadians feel about the public services they use have been dispelled by this new data. The Canadian public know it’s about the quality of the services and outcomes for people, not needless distinctions about different sectors which are delivering them.

“Public services face increasing expectations of what good looks like. Governments need to ask themselves – who is best to deliver this service? If that is a third-party partner, then they should be brought in through a competitive process to deliver better, more accountable services to citizens. 

“Fundamentally, all Canadians care much more about how good their public services are, rather than who delivers them.”

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