Capital gains tax dominates Budget Day conversation

Google Trends data suggests Canadians were most interested in new taxation measures in searches conducted in the first 24 hours after the Budget Speech

Apr 17, 2024

One day after the speeches have been made, what have Canadians noticed about the federal Budget? 

Data from Google Trends measuring search interest in budget policies from across the country suggests the changes to the capital gains tax were the highest profile item announced on Budget Day, far above any other policy measure

Search interest in "capital gains tax" spiked when details of the budget were released and remained high throughout Wednesday evening, rising again with morning news coverage.

Other policy areas that Canadians frequently list as top priorities, including housing and healthcare did not receive significant increases in searches during the Budget rollout, but a budget promise to introduce halal mortgages as an option in Canada started to receive significant interest in searches and on social media Wednesday afternoon.

There was also moderate interest in the new Canadian Disability Benefit.


Among those searching for the "Budget" on Google on budget day, the only policy measure appearing in Google's tracking of top related search terms was the capital gains tax.

The Liberals have been gambling they can raise awareness of other budget measures with their novel strategy of pre-budget announcements on housing, artificial intelligence, a national school food program and more. This seems to have had the effect of focusing the budget day conversation squarely on the taxation measures that weren't announced early, as none of the policies announced early attracted significant search interest on Budget Day.

Our post-Budget polling in the coming weeks will measure if there is lasting public awareness of the policies that were announced early, or if the capital gains tax conversation has truly drowned out discussion of other measures, including the key policies targeted towards youth that the Liberal government has been hoping will turn around sagging poll numbers with Gen Z and Millennial voters.

Up next from spark*insights

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spark*insights will also be conducting a post-Budget omnibus survey to investigate how Canadians are reacting, with more insights posts incoming!

Do you want to explore how the budget affects your sector, test messaging, or investigate target audiences? You can get in touch with us here to add your questions to our research.

About spark*insights

spark*insights is lead by Bruce Anderson, one of Canada’s leading and most experienced public opinion researchers, along with Alex Kohut, former Senior Manager of Research & Advertising in the Office of the Prime Minister. From polling and research to analysis and guidance, we help organizations, uncover the factors driving or influencing public perception to gain valuable insights into the shape and movement of the landscape.

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