Four in 10 (42%) Manitoba and Saskatchewan Residents Say Their Work Situation Affected By Pandemic

Nearly Four in 10 are Losing Sleep Over Economy (39%) and Consumer Debt (36%)

Winnipeg, MB – June 22, 2020 – As the Manitoba and Saskatchewan economies begin to re-open after months of being shuttered, four in 10 (42%) Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents’ work situations are still affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent poll by Ipsos carried out on behalf of MNP LTD has found almost two in 10 have either lost their job (19%) or are working reduced hours or receiving reduced pay (16%). In addition, some say someone in their household has lost their job (10%) or is working reduced hours or receiving reduced pay (5%).

Night view of Downtown Winnipeg

“We’re seeing individuals start to head back to work, but they may be working fewer hours or at reduced pay. For those who already had a tight budget pre-COVID-19, and have been delaying payments over the last few months, they may not be able to manage the debt they are accumulating,” says Gord Neudorf, a Winnipeg-based Licensed Insolvency Trustee with MNP LTD.

Many are increasingly concerned about the longer-term effects of the pandemic. Nearly four in 10 (39%) in Manitoba and Saskatchewan say they are worried about the economic fallout from COVID-19, a whopping 19 point increase from March. They are also worried about the current state of the Canadian economy (31%, +5), and the chances of a recession (29%, +9).

Left grappling with high unemployment and concerns about the economy, Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents are feeling slightly worse about their personal financial situations now than they were in March, even with the government support helping some families stay afloat. Compared to levels measured just before the pandemic, Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents are more worried about how they will pay their bills (34%, +6) and their level of debt (36%, +1). These proportions are also significantly higher than any other province.

“There is clearly concern around being able to manage bills and debts. With job loss being one of the biggest catalysts for insolvency, the concern is warranted. My advice for anyone unable to keep up with their repayment obligations is to start working on a plan now that will help you transition when the pandemic-related financial support ends,” advises Neudorf.

What Canadians Plan to Do When CERB Runs Out

Nationally the survey looked at what Canadians plan to do when emergency benefits offered during the coronavirus pandemic run out. Many who are currently receiving COVID-19-related government financial support say they will have to simply cut back any way they can when it ends (46%). A third (32%) say they will apply for EI, followed by using their savings to pay bills (30%). One in 10 plans to file a Consumer Proposal (7%) or declare Bankruptcy (6%). Four percent say they will sell their home.

Neudorf says consumer insolvencies are expected to spike in Manitoba and Saskatchewan in the wake of the pandemic, as many residents were already feeling a tremendous strain on their pocketbooks.

“Many residents have been able to tread water thanks to the financial relief measures currently in place. While these measures are easing people through the current situation, any underlying debt problems they had before the pandemic will still be there. Individuals struggling with debt should speak with a professional who can help them understand their options,” says Neudorf.

Licensed Insolvency Trustees are government-regulated debt relief professionals who can review all debt relief options. They are empowered to help debtors reorganize their financial affairs and, where appropriate, can even help them avoid Bankruptcy by facilitating an agreement with their creditors. They can also guarantee legal protection from creditors as they guide individuals through the Consumer Proposal or Bankruptcy process.

About MNP LTD

MNP LTD, a division of the national aaccounting firm MNP LLP, is the largest insolvency practice in Canada. For more than 50 years, our experienced team of Licensed Insolvency Trustees and advisors have been working with individuals to help them recover from times of financial distress and regain control of their finances. With more than 230 offices from coast-to-coast, MNP helps thousands of Canadians each year who are struggling with an overwhelming amount of debt. Visit MNPdebt.ca to contact a Licensed Insolvency Trustee or use our free Do it Yourself (DIY) debt assessment tools

In light of the social distancing measures currently in place, MNP LTD is currently offering free consultations via videoconferencing (Skype, Messenger, Zoom, FaceTime, etc.) and by phone. Their team of Licensed Insolvency Trustees are empowered to help those struggling financially to make the most informed choices to deal with their debt during this time.

About the Survey

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between June 1-2, 2020, on behalf of MNP LTD. For this survey, a sample of 2,001 Canadians aged 18 years and over was interviewed. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ±2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to, coverage error and measurement error.

A summary of the national data is available by request.