It’s been an incredible year, hasn’t it? Challenging, eye-opening, and, as we witness anger and disruption in the capital and at border crossings, frustrating. What we’ve collectively lived through during the COVID pandemic challenges the very idea of who we are as Canadians. It should also clarify how important it is that we pause and reflect on where we need to go. 

This week, Edelman Canada will release new Trust Barometer data on trust in institutions and in the systems that make our society work. We’ve been studying trust for over 20 years, and we know from experience how critical trust is to our current experience and to our future success. We hope you’ll join us as we discuss the results.

As we wait for that moment, it’s a good time to consider where we’ve been.
Over the past five years, we’ve measured a gap in trust between the informed public and the mass population, with the mass population trusting the four main institutions nine-points less in 2021. 

Our data has also shown a consistent erosion in trust in sources of information and an increase in concerns around fake news. In 2021, our data showed that 49 per cent of Canadians believe journalists and reporters are purposely trying to mislead people. 

The 2021 report also showed that only 1 in 5 Canadians has good information hygiene. The fact that only 20 per cent of Canadians regularly read news, avoid information echo chambers, verify information and do not amplify unvetted information, still shocks me. 

The result: an incredible amount of unvetted information circulating is leading to widespread misinformation and a continued degrading of trust in information sources. Thinking about last year’s data point in the current context should challenge us – we saw disruption coming.

While some of the Trust datapoints are bleak, our annual Trust report has provided a clear roadmap for how business can not only respond, but effectively lead in today’s turbulent landscape. The data are clear. Business is expected to help solve society’s problems. CEOs need to lead. Companies need to recognize and nurture their relationship with their employees. 

With that context, we’re ready to share this year’s results with you. Please join us on February 16 at 1pm ET – register here.

We know the results will help to inform our current experience, but the more important question is how will we all, especially as business leaders, respond?

Megan Spoore is an Executive Vice President and National Practice Lead, Corporate Affairs as well as the General Manager for Edelman Calgary.