Canadians Saved $5.3 Billion in Expenses During Lockdowns



July 23, 2020 

OTTAWA – A new study confirms that pandemic lockdowns have had unequal financial effects on Canadians. Think tank Cardus has found that the wealthiest 40% of Canadians are sitting on an estimated $5.3 billion amassed through lower expenses and less discretionary spending during pandemic lockdowns. Much of that money will flow back into the general economy as provinces reopen. But, The Potential to Give During the COVID-19 Pandemic reports the money also provides a pool for these Canadians to draw upon to help Canada's charitable sector.

“Canadians with the capacity to help need to step up, especially those who've seen their costs drop while their incomes have been stable during lockdowns,” says Brian Dijkema, vice-president of external affairs at Cardus. “They can put some of their $5.3 billion toward charity and join campaigns like Canada Cares to encourage the federal government to match charitable donations.”

Canada’s charitable sector is in dire financial shape. Seven in 10 charities report lower revenues while the sector has laid off 84,000 full and part-time staff. Meantime, demands on charities have increased.

The Potential to Give During the COVID-19 Pandemic found the worst financial effects of lockdowns among younger and lower-income Canadians. In fact, 80% of job loss during the lockdowns occurred among Canadians on the bottom half of the income ladder, while employment for those aged 20 to 24 fell by more than 31%.

“This is the time for Canadians with the means to do so to help Canada’s struggling charities,” says Dijkema. “While lockdowns were necessary, they’ve also increased the demands on the charitable sector just as that sector is facing its greatest crisis since the recession of 2008.”

The Potential to Give During the COVID-19 Pandemic is available online.


Daniel Proussalidis
Cardus – Director of Communications

About Cardus
Cardus is a non-partisan, faith-based think tank and registered charity dedicated to promoting a flourishing society through independent research, robust public dialogue, and thought-provoking commentary. To learn more, visit our website, follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

Topics: Charity


Cardus is a non-partisan, not-for-profit public policy think tank focused on the following areas: education, family, work & economics, communities, end-of-life care, and religious freedom. It conducts independent and original research, produces several periodicals, and regularly stages events with Senior Fellows and interested constituents across Canada and the U.S.