Canadian women believe energy policies are making life harder

New research shows engaged women know that embracing Canadian energy can tackle affordability and bolster the economy

CALGARY, AB (June 13, 2024) — Amid a national affordability crisis, a new survey from Canada Powered by Women (CPW) reveals 87 per cent of engaged women think future energy policies will further hurt their personal finances, with half anticipating even higher energy bills, increased fuel costs and higher taxes.  

In partnership with Leger, CPW’s latest research, representing the voice of 5.6 million engaged women, shows that 59 per cent of those surveyed currently perceive energy to be too expensive, a 13-percentage point increase from 2023. As personal cost burdens continue to grow, including the carbon tax, it’s hard to imagine the cost of living decreasing anytime soon. Most respondents — 84 per cent — are aware of the carbon tax, and while 44 per cent oppose it outright, opposition to that specific tax grows by almost 50 per cent when women understand how it both directly and indirectly impacts their cost of living.   

“The bottom line is engaged women want the government to embrace Canadian energy resource development, taking a position of prosperity for Canadians,” says Tracey Bodnarchuk, CEO of Canada Powered by Women. “We know this because CPW continues to ask them. Our new research shows a growing number of women across the country want to play a leading role in conversations about the role of energy and resource development in Canada, and these important voices shouldn’t be ignored.” 

Engaged women are willing to make tradeoffs to ensure a balanced approach to energy policy development, with 77 per cent supporting a growing natural gas industry and 68 per cent supporting oil as important energy sources for the country and the global energy mix. More than half of engaged women want to see a cleaner and more diverse energy mix that still includes fossil fuels, pointing to energy policies that balance the importance of the economy, energy security and the environment, in that order of priority.  

“The voice and perspectives of women in national energy transformation conversations is critical,” says Sue Riddell Rose, board chair of Canada Powered by Women. “Policymakers should be embracing the viewpoints of women across Canada, as women have increasing voting and purchasing power. They want to see decisions being made that prioritize growing our economy and ensuring affordable, reliable and secure energy is available across the country and in developing nations, while still contributing to global emissions reduction.” 

Women know that when innovation is supported by sound policy, inventors, entrepreneurs and industry will embrace new technology to lead the work of reducing emissions — 75 per cent of engaged women support innovation and new technologies as the pathway to an ever-cleaner energy mix.   

“Engaged women are not only interested in the news, politics, the economy and the myriad of everyday issues facing Canadians, they want to help with solutions and the research shows this population is rapidly growing,” says Paige Schoenfeld, senior vice-president at Leger. “Continuing to measure shifts in attitudes allows CPW to gain a deeper understanding of the priorities of women across geographic regions of the country and provide guidance to advance ongoing important conversations on energy transformation and Canadian prosperity.” 

“If engaged women are connecting the dots between sound energy policy, innovative technologies and economic prosperity, we know policymakers must begin to connect those same dots,” adds Bodnarchuk. “Canada Powered by Women will continue bringing women’s voices to decision-making tables because the time is now to be bold and push the boundaries of what we can do together to ensure prosperity for all Canadians.” 

Read our spring research highlights and find out more about how CPW is empowering the voices of women across Canada here

About Canada Powered by Women 

In 2019, a group of women with backgrounds in various sectors, including energy, founded Canada Powered by Women to put the spotlight on an important gap: women’s voices in the energy transformation conversation and the balance of energy security, the environment and the economy. The organization aims to understand what women across the country are thinking and feeling. CPW creates opportunities to bring women together to find common ground on energy transformation and is a vehicle for the voices of many women across Canada to be amplified in a manner that is unignorable and has real impact. 

Canada Powered by Women facilitates discussions amongst women across the country, creating a trusted place to talk about complex issues that matter, a place to listen and a place to raise awareness and create positive change for all Canadians.  

Methodology and the engaged women audience 

The survey data is from a study conducted by Leger using the LEO panel, from April 25 to May 1, 2024, among 1,056 women in Canada. The women who qualified identified as someone who read / listen to local, national or U.S. news and are familiar with federal, provincial and municipal politics, believe to be somewhat left/in the middle/on the right, and is neutral or in agreement with statements related to having an interest in influencing government, helping with issues facing Canadians, being informed about the economy, learning about the future, prosperity and wanting secure energy resources.

For media inquiries please contact:

Meghanne Uptigrove