According to a new study by the Angus Reid Institute, BC New Democrat Premier John Horgan is sitting pretty with a 48 per cent approval rating, while Kathleen Wynne rounds out the bottom with a meagre 17 per cent approval
VANCOUVER—For a second straight quarter, no Canadian premier holds majority approval of their residents.
This is according to a new report from the Vancouver-based Angus Reid Institute.
The Top of the Heap
The report finds BC New Democrat Premier John Horgan holds a 48 per cent approval rating, after two months on the job—a number 6 percentage points higher than any rating registered for his predecessor, Liberal Christy Clark, over her term.
Horgan has had to deal with a myriad of crises: the worst wildfire season B.C. has seen in a half century, wide-spread opioid addiction and contentious, high profile energy projects that need attention.
However, the new B.C. premier remains popular, with only 37 per cent disapproving of him.
Angus Reid does point out that trends indicate newly sworn-in or recently re-elected leaders enjoy higher approval at the beginning of their mandates, and such good will can slip away quickly.
While one premier starts his term on a high note, another is leaving in his electorate’s good graces.
Saskatchewan’s long serving premier, Brad Wall, tendered his resignation in August, likely to leave the office early in 2018.
He currently holds the approval of 49 per cent of Saskatchewan residents.
Middle of the Pack
Four premiers hold the approval of roughly one-third of their province.
Manitoba’s Brian Pallister has seen a sustained decline in approval since this time last year, dropping to 36 per cent this quarter, down five points from June and 17 points since last September.
The last three months have seen a downgrade in the province’s credit rating for the second year in a row, suggesting Manitoba will not be able to prevent deficits over the coming years. Angus Reid says Pallister is also embroiled in controversy over his time in Costa Rica, centring on the use of his wife’s cell phone and email for government business.
New Brunswick’s Brian Gallant is also at 36 per cent.
The province is currently fighting against softwood lumber duties imposed by the U.S., and Gallant made two trips to Washington this quarter to meet with the Trump administration’s NAFTA negotiating team to try to address the issue.
Quebec’s Philippe Couillard sits at 35 per cent approval as his province has dealt with a surge of asylum claims.
More than 7,000 people have walked across the border into Quebec since July 1, which Angus Reid says is creating difficulty for the province in coping with the needs of newcomers.
Nova Scotian Premier Stephen McNeil only holds a 35 per cent approval rating as well.
Angus Reid says his government continues spar with pubic sector unions over wage issues.
Bottom of the Barrel
Rachel Notley’s approval is hovering at 29 per cent in Alberta, remaining largely unchanged for seven quarters.
With the newly minted United Conservative Party—an amalgam of Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives and the right-wing Wildrose Party—preparing to choose its leader, Angus Reid says the prairie province’s politics are set to heat up.
Dwight Ball of Newfoundland and Labrador decided to shake up his cabinet in late-July, and his finance minister resigned after just 19 months on the job. His personal approval rating is 27 per cent.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, who faces re-election next June, only holds a 17 per cent approval rating. During the data collection period, September 5 – 19, Wynne took the stand in a bribery trial against two members of her Ontario Liberal party.
CORRECTION: This article was edited on Sept. 29 to show Christy Clark was John Horgan’s predecessor. The story incorrectly identified Ms. Clark as his successor.