VANCOUVER—Influenced by recent revelations about Ontario Liberal Party “cash-for-access” fundraisers and a leaked draft of a controversial new energy plan, Ontarians are becoming increasingly skeptical of Premier Kathleen Wynne.
Less than one in four Ontario residents now approve of their premier’s job performance, according to the Angus Reid Institute’s latest poll, which surveys 5,000 Canadians from across the country. Marking its seventh consecutive decline, Wynne’s approval ranking dropped to 24 per cent—down from 27 per cent in February and her all-time high-water mark of 43 per cent in June of 2013.
The decline makes Ontario’s provincial leader the second-least popular premier, behind Newfoundland and Labrador’s newly-elected Dwight Ball. Ball took over the bottom spot after a precipitous fall in popularity since his December election. Ball sported an inaugural approval rating of 60 per cent, but has seen sentiment quickly erode to just 17 per cent as the province continues to struggle economically.
Meanwhile, at the top, Brad Wall stands alone.
The only Canadian premier to enjoy a majority approval rating, Saskatchewan’s leader has the support of 66 per cent of provincial residents, making him far and away the most-popular leader—a position he’s held consistently. After trouncing the opposition NDP in the April election, Wall has improved his standing with residents by four per cent since the last quarterly survey.
Next door, Progressive Conservative leader Brian Pallister’s recent election win has secured the new premier the approval of 46 per cent of Manitoba residents. The near-majority approval is a 19 per cent improvement over his predecessor’s rating.
Out West, Canada’s only remaining NDP premier, Rachel Notley, posted a 32 per cent approval rating, statistically unchanged since the last quarter, while B.C. Premier Christy Clark’s approval rating slid to 27 per cent—down from 31 per cent in February.
In Quebec, Premier Philippe Couillard’s approval continues to hover around one-third of residents. Coming in at 33 per cent, the provincial leader’s approval has remained relatively consistent over the past six months.
In Atlantic Canada, Nova Scotia’s Stephen McNeil’s approval improved to 41 per cent from 36, while New Brunswick premier Brian Gallant lost seven percentage points, recording a 26 per cent rating.