By ANGUS REID INSTITUTE
August 31, 2020 – Response to the coronavirus pandemic continues to be a key metric by which Canadians rate their political leaders in 2020. The issue consistently supersedes all others in terms of importance. But new data from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute indicates approval ratings for Canada’s premiers does not necessarily correlate with the number of cases or severity of outbreak province to province.
Horgan, Ford, Legault lead the way
Ontario’s entrance into stage three of community re-opening has not led to a significant rise in new COVID-19 cases.
British Columbia’s John Horgan receives high approval for the work he has done this quarter. Despite rising numbers of cases, which reached record levels last week, Horgan’s approval is highest in the country at 69 per cent, suggesting that low (though increasing) hospitalization rates may be calming the public to some extent.
As younger residents drive much of the province’s rising trend in COVID-19 case numbers and tune out public health officials, Horgan recently reached out to B.C-born celebrities Ryan Reynolds and Seth Rogen in an effort to change the message. The popularity of the Premier has led to speculation that a fall election may be called.
Premier Doug Ford has praised residents for their efforts in mitigating the virus. They in turn, are inclined to judge his job performance as praiseworthy as well, with 66 per cent voicing approval.
In Quebec, Francois Legault continues to have the approval of a strong majority, though his government’s mandatory mask policy has caused small protests in recent weeks. Quebec’s case numbers – while still highest in the country in total – have remained low for the past two months. Further, the province’s elder care sector is reportedly much better prepared for a second wave of the virus, with new staff being trained and new protocols adopted. Two-thirds of Quebec residents approve of Legault (65%).
Notably, all three premiers have faced a mix of praise and criticism for their back-to-school plans, as province’s shift their attention to ensuring the safety of both children and their family and friends when classes resume next week.
Link to the poll here: www.angusreid.org/premier-approval-august2020/