Canada is doing worse than most Western countries when it comes to its handling of the pandemic, according to research from the MacDonald-Laurier Institute (MLI).

In their new COVID Misery Index, ranking the relative despair caused during the pandemic, MLI ranked Canada as the fifth most-miserable country out of the fifteen countries studied.

“While Canada was spared the worst ravages of the disease, our response to it has brought significant misery, largely attributable to quite strong restrictions in behaviour and a lagging vaccination program,” MLI said.

“The economic misery has been severe, and the projections are that Canadian taxpayers will be paying this bill for some time to come.”

The Misery Index measures the relative misery caused by COVID-19, the government response to the pandemic and the economic fallout, giving each a score of 0 to 100.

Canada scored 178.02 on the Misery Index. By comparison, the least miserable country, Norway, received a score of 71.6. The most miserable country was Spain, scoring 220.58.

While Canada scored better than most on misery caused by the virus, Canada had the second-worse score when it came to government-induced misery. Canada ranked third most miserable when it came to economic impacts of the pandemic.

During the pandemic, Canada faced unprecedented unemployment and immense damage to small businesses. Government-enforced lockdowns also lead to increased rates of loneliness, mental illness and drug abuse.

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