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

2020-06-22   minute read

Pamela Meger

MNP Consumer Debt Index


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

Regina, SK – June 22, 2020 – As the Saskatchewan and Manitoba economies begin to re-open after months of being shuttered, four in 10 (42%) Saskatchewan and Manitoba residents’ work situation is 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%).

Aerial view of Regina

“As more businesses re-open and individuals start to get back to work, they may not be receiving the same hours or the same pay. If their budget was already stretched before the pandemic, and they have been delaying payments and piling on more debt over the last few months, they will be in a risky financial situation,” says Pamela Meger, a Regina-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 Saskatchewan and Manitoba 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, Saskatchewan and Manitoba 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, Saskatchewan and Manitoba 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.

“People are worried about paying their bills, and rightfully so. Job loss can be one of the biggest catalysts for money issues and can even result in insolvency. I would advise anyone who is struggling right now to start working on a plan for when the government support runs out.”

What Canadians Plan to Do When CERB Runs Out

The survey looked at what Canadians plan to do when emergency benefits offered during the coronavirus pandemic run out. For many who are currently receiving COVID-19-related government financial support, they 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%) after government support ends. Four percent say they will sell their home.

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

“Financial relief measures have been helping residents keep their heads above water, but it’s important to recognize many of the underlying consumer debt problems are still there. For those who are struggling, the best course of action is to seek out the help of a debt professional,” says Meger.

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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