For the past 10 years, I’ve built one of Canada’s leading polling and public opinion research firms: Abacus Data.
And in that time, my team and I interviewed hundreds of thousands of Canadians and hosted focus groups across the country.
This podcast will feature conversations with smart, curious, and interesting people who love politics, public policy, and figuring out what makes people think and act the way they do.
If you work in polling or market research, public affairs, public relations, government relations, advocacy, or in communications – this podcast is for you.
inFocus on Canada's forestry sector, the politics of natural resources, and climate action
Every day, we use something that was created using a forest product. Yet, rarely do we think about where those products come from and how they are produced.
With 9% of the world’s forests and growing demand for forest products, there is a big opportunity for Canada in forestry.
As our country moves to meet zero-emission targets by 2050, Canada has the potential to be a bioenergy and biomaterials powerhouse on the world stage. The sector has embraced the emerging cleantech, low-carbon era using innovation and new technology to create new opportunities and jobs.
And yet, the road ahead is not without its challenges.
Welcome to season 5 of inFocus with David Coletto.
On this episode of inFocus, I’m joined by Derek Nighbor, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Forest Products Association of Canada. Derek and FPAC have been a long-time client and this week, we released some new public opinion data on what Canadians know and think about forestry in Canada.
Derek and I spoke about forestry in Canada, the debate about its future, and the challenges facing the industry all in the context of the climate crisis, global supply chain disruptions, and geo-political conflict.This episode will be of interest to anyone working in government relations, political strategy, natural sources, or climate change/sustainability advocacy.
inFocus on what Ottawa residents think about the Freedom Convoy occupying downtown Ottawa
In this special briefing edition of inFocus with David Coletto, Abacus Data pollster David Coletto reviews the results of a new poll of 500 Ottawa residents, exploring their views about the protest and how leaders have handled it.
For more details on the survey, visit Abacus Data's website
Is political hobbyism hurting democracy? inFocus with Dr. Eitan Hersh on his book "Politics is for Power"
Are you a political hobbyist? Do you read the Hill Times or iPolitics just for fun? Do you tune into the Sunday morning political shows and talk about politics with your friends or families – like if you were talking about your favourite sports team?
Well, if you are – you might be hurting democracy.
On this episode of inFocus, I’m joined by Dr. Eitan Hersh, an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at Tufts University. His research focuses on civic participation, voting rights, and the relationship between election rules, strategies, and the behavior of voters.
In January 2020, he published his second book “Politics is for Power” - A groundbreaking analysis of political hobbyism—treating politics like a spectator sport—and an urgent and timely call to arms for the many well-meaning, well-informed citizens who follow political news, but do not take political action.
In this interview, we discussed his research and the findings of his book and what they mean for American and Canadian politics and the future of our democracies.
I hope you find my interview with Eitan Hersh useful and informative.
inFocus on COP26 and the clean energy transition in Canada with Merran Smith
For the past two weeks, most of the world’s leaders were meeting in Glasgow, Scotland as part of the 26th United Nations climate change conference, also known as COP26.
UK Prime Minister, in welcoming world leaders to the UK, described the conference as the “world’s moment of truth” and a now or never proposition to tackle climate change and work together to keep global temperatures 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Scientists have said crossing the 1.5-degree threshold risks unleashing far more severe climate change effects on people, wildlife, and ecosystems.
On this episode of inFocus, I’m joined by Merran Smith, the Executive Director at Clean Energy Canada, a climate and clean energy program within the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue at Simon Fraser University. It works to accelerate Canada’s clean energy transition by sharing the story of the global shift to renewable energy, clean technology, and sustainable industries. It conducts original research, convenes influential dialogues, informs policy leadership, and drives public engagement.
Merran and I spoke as climate negotiations at COP26 in Glasgow wrap up. We discussed the scale of the challenge the world faces to confront climate change, the opportunities for Canada in the clean energy sector, and the role of public opinion in building consensus and driving action on the energy transition.
The politics of housing affordability with Michael Bourque from the Canadian Real Estate Association
According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, the national average home price in September 2021 was $686,650 – an increase of 27% from before the pandemic. In Greater Toronto – the average home price is almost $1.1 million. In Greater Vancouver, it’s close to $1.2 million. To say that housing has become unaffordable in most parts of Canada is an understatement.
Two weeks ago, RBC released its latest housing affordability measure. It jumped 2.7% in the last quarter – the biggest quarterly increase in more than three decades.
During the past election, housing affordability was a top issue for millions of Canadians – especially those under 40 who aspire to own a home but feel that dream is becoming harder and harder to achieve.
On this episode of inFocus, I’m joined by Michael Bourque, the Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Real Estate Association. CREA represents more than 135,000 real estate brokers, agents, and salespeople working through 78 real estate Boards and Associations across Canada.
Michael and I spoke about housing affordability, the politics of the issue, and what is needed from government policy to make the dream of homeownership a reality for more Canadians.
What should the federal government do about healthcare? A discussion with CMA President Dr. Katharine Smart
Throughout the federal election, our polls consistently found that health care was a top issue for many Canadians. Canadians of all ages are concerned about the capacity of the health system, the long-term impact of the pandemic, and health worker shortage in many parts of the system.
As the new federal cabinet is set to be sworn in later this month and a new Parliament is set to begin, I wonder, will healthcare be a priority for this new Parliament and government?
On this episode of inFocus, I’m joined by Dr. Katharine Smart, the President of the Canadian Medical Association, and a pediatrician in Whitehorse, Yukon. Dr. Smart’s work has centred on developing collaborative partnerships with community and government services to serve marginalized children using a model of social pediatrics. She works primarily with children who have experienced trauma and adverse childhood events and is passionate about improving services for marginalized children.
Dr. Smart and I spoke about how the pandemic has impacted Canada’s healthcare system, the role the federal government can play in improving healthcare, and why politics often gets in the way of meaningful change in the system.
I look forward to these episodes every week. David’s non-partisan and thoughtful approach to interviewing is wonderful. And the range of guests and perspectives makes every discussion so valuable.
I love what Abacus Data produces and this podcast is a great addition to the content they produce.
Canada’s best polling team
Fascinating non-partisan perspective into politics in general and Canadian politics in particular.
Love to see all sides of a story
So glad I accidentally found you. Learning much. Especially appreciated interview with the i dependent senator. I too would appreciate some 20% increase in volume.