The approval ratings of Alberta and Ontario’s Conservative premiers are on life support because of their handling of the pandemic, say polls.
Only 31 per cent of Albertans approve of Jason Kenney’s handling of COVID-19 — down nine points in the last three months, according to pollsters Angus Reid. Kenney has the lowest approval rating of nine provincial premiers in the Angus Reid poll. P.E.I is not included.
Ontario’s Doug Ford has seen his approval ratings plummet from 70 per cent in spring 2020 to 35 per cent now — down 15 per cent in the last quarter alone. That is the third worst approval rating, with Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister, another Conservative, at 33 per cent.
Quebec Premier François Legault has the highest approval rating at 66 per cent followed by B.C.’s John Horgan at 63 per cent.
In Alberta, 38 per cent say Kenney is doing a “good job” on the environment and climate change, his highest approval level on any issue.
Thirty-three per cent say he is doing a good job on health care, 33 per cent on COVID-19 response, 31 per cent on First Nations and Indigenous issues and 29 per cent on the economy. The other ratings are: energy, oil and gas (28 per cent), education (28), jobs and unemployment (27), deficit and government spending (26), seniors care (25), drug use and addictions (24), poverty and homelessness (23) and housing affordability (22).
Averaging across all 13 issues, 28 per cent say Alberta is doing a good job, ahead of Ontario 22 per cent and Manitoba 27 per cent.
Critics have pointed to Alberta’s relatively relaxed approach to restrictions which contributed to the province having the worst COVID-19 outbreak in North America in May, Angus Reid noted on its website. More recently, Kenney apologized for breaking his own government’s COVID-19 public health rules by having a dinner with members of his party without physically distancing. Kenney admitted that he has tried to observe the rules throughout this difficult period but has not “always done that perfectly.”
Kenney’s poor performance could be felt at the polls unless the party turns around its perception before the spring 2023 election, according to Angus Reid polling.
Forty-one per cent of 502 decided voters polled said they would vote for the NDP and 30 per cent for the UCP. Wildrose Independence Party/Independence Party appear to be making inroads with 20 per cent saying they have their votes. The Alberta Party is at seven per cent; other parties, two per cent and Liberals one per cent.