ACCORDING to new data from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute, B.C. Premier John Horgan’s popularity spiked after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic but has fallen seven points from June and 15 points from a peak of 71 per cent in May 2020.
In between, there was a summer heat wave that killed at least 569 people and contributed to forest fires that razed significant portions of the province – including destroying the town of Lytton. Horgan’s government has been accused of not offering enough support for vulnerable populations during the heat wave, and not being responsive enough during the fire season.
Meanwhile, the healthcare system faces challenges from the plateau of the fourth wave of the pandemic, as well as staff shortages critics argue the government should have seen coming. While the trend has been negative since May of last year, Horgan still holds the approval of over half of British Columbians.
BE it fourth wave frustrations, pushback over mask and vaccine mandates, or post-COVID anxiety, Canadians have grown significantly less impressed with their provincial leaders since the summer.
Since June, all but one premier who was in power at the time has seen their respective levels of approval decline, according to Angus Reid Institute. The lone exception? Ontario’s Doug Ford, with a statistically insignificant one-point increase on job performance from Ontarians.
The most sobering assessments from their constituencies are for Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and New Brunswick’s Blaine Higgs, both of whom have seen their approval crash nearly 20 points in the last quarter, from 61 and 55 per cent then to 43 and 38 per cent now respectively.
The news is not much better for Alberta’s Jason Kenney, currently the least approved-of premier among his own constituents at 22 per cent. Conversations about Kenney’s long-term political future have been ongoing for some time, and with this wave of data, are unlikely to abate.
Even among those enjoying majority-level good opinion, the trendline tells a story of declining satisfaction. At 56 per cent each, Quebec’s François Legault sees his approval plummet ten points – putting him at the same level as John Horgan in British Columbia (off seven points) and Newfoundland and Labrador’s Andrew Furey whose own approval is down six points from June.