Canadians’ trust in politicians and large corporations saw a sharp drop amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a new report released Wednesday said.

Forty-four per cent of Canadians said they trust Prime Minister Justin Trudeau less than when the pandemic started, according to a survey run by Discover, the research arm of public relations firm Navigator. Only 19 per cent reported trusting Trudeau more than they did before COVID-19.

At the provincial level, public trust in Alberta’s Jason Kenney and Ontario’s Doug Ford decreased sharply, with 54 per cent and 51 per cent of people in their respective provinces saying they trusted them less. In contrast, people in Quebec and Atlantic Canada said they now had more confidence in their leaders. Forty-three per cent of Quebecers said their trust in Premier François Legault has increased since the pandemic began.

Thirty-two per cent of the people surveyed said they were less trusting of big corporations, while 31 per cent said they had more confidence in small and medium-sized businesses.

Forty-nine per cent said they trusted doctors and healthcare workers more than before pandemic, the largest overall rise reported. 

Discover’s findings are a result of a survey of 1,500 adult Canadians from April 30 to May 4.