Four in 10 (42%) Quebecers’ Work Situation Affected by Pandemic

Three in 10 (28%) are Losing Sleep Over Economy (+15)

MONTREAL, QC– June 22, 2020 – As the Quebec economy begins to re-open after months of being shuttered, four in 10 (42%) Quebecers’ 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 lost their job (18%), while 14 percent are working reduced hours or receiving reduced pay. In addition, many say someone in their household has lost their job (10%) or is working reduced hours or receiving reduced pay (6%).

Montreal skyline during a fall sunset

“Before the pandemic, many were already struggling to cope with their monthly bills. In the last few months, many have also been delaying payments,” says Frederic Lachance, a Montreal-based Licensed Insolvency Trustee with MNP LTD. “Now, as individuals start to head back to work, some may not be getting the same number of hours or even the same pay. All those factors combined will create a recipe for defaulting on loans. For people in that situation now, it’s time to consider seeking out debt advice from a professional.”

Many are increasingly concerned about the longer-term effects of the pandemic. Nearly three in 10 (28%) in Quebec say they are worried about the economic fallout from COVID-19, a whopping 15-point increase from March. They are also worried about the current state of the Canadian economy (18%, +8), and the chances of a recession (22%, +10).

Despite high unemployment and concerns about the economy, Quebecers are feeling better about their personal financial situations now than they were in March. This is likely due to government support helping some families stay afloat. Compared to levels measured just before the pandemic, Quebecers are less worried about how they will pay their bills (16%, -4), their level of debt (14%, -11), and affording the necessities for their family (12%, -5). Quebecers are currently the least likely to be worried compared to the other provinces.

“A job loss can easily be a catalyst for financial issues or even insolvency, but thanks to the short-term government financial support being provided, the blow has been softened for most. Before support runs out, I would advise anyone who is currently struggling to start working on their financial plan for when the pandemic-related financial support ends.”

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 government support 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.

Lachance says that consumer insolvencies are expected to spike in Quebec in the wake of the pandemic as many Quebec residents were already feeling a strain on their household budgets.

“We know that CERB has been a lifeline for those in the province who have experienced wage loss as a result of COVID. While various relief measures have been providing some much-needed breathing room for many, their underlying financial problems have not gone away, and some will need to consider debt-relief options.”

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.


MNP LTD, a division of the national accounting 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 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.

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