Concerns Over Housing and Poverty Intensify in British Columbia

No file or decision taken by the provincial government is seen positively by half of residents.

Vancouver, BC – With the next provincial election scheduled to take place in less than a year, the Insights West “BC Government Report Card” conducted in partnership with Business in Vancouver shows that several decisions taken by the provincial government are getting negative reviews from residents.

The online survey of a representative sample of British Columbian adults also shows that, for the first time in three years, housing, poverty and homelessness (22%, +5 since November 2015) is regarded as the top issue facing the province, overtaking the economy and jobs (20%, -7), health care (17%, =) and government accountability (12%, -1).

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Issues and Governance

Two-in-five British Columbians (39%, +8) say the provincial government has done a good job dealing with the economy and jobs, while a third are satisfied with the way two other files have been handled: crime and public safety (34%, -1) and the environment (32%, +3).

Over a quarter of residents are satisfied with the work done on energy, pipelines and LNG (28%, -2), the shortage of skilled workers (28%, +5), business taxes and red tape (27%, +2) and health care (26%, +1). The provincial government gets its lowest rankings on handling education (24%, -4), accountability (21%, +6) and housing, poverty and homelessness (15%, +1).

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“The provincial government continues to get its highest marks on economic management and safety, but the numbers are not particularly impressive,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs at Insights West. “In November 2013, six months after the last election, the government had the same score as it does now on handling the economy.”

When it comes to recent decisions, practically half of British Columbians (47%, +5) are satisfied with the government’s work on implementing changes to legislation related to the sale of alcohol. Only two other decisions get a positive rating from a third of residents: pushing for the development of LNG (35%, +2) and handling relations with BC’s First Nations (33%, +2).

The rating is lower for other decisions, including managing BC Hydro (28%, -2) taking action to reduce BC’s greenhouse gas emissions (also 28%, +4), dealing with the Northern Gateway Pipeline (27%, =), dealing with the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline (24%, +1) and managing the Agricultural Land Commission (22%, +4).

The four lowest ranked decisions are managing BC Ferries (19%, +1), managing TransLink (16%, +6), dealing with questions related to political fundraising (16%) and handling issues related to foreign ownership in housing (11%, -1).

Politics

One third of British Columbians (34%, +5) approve of the performance of Premier and BC Liberals leader Christy Clark, while three-in-five (59%, -3) disapprove.

The approval rating for opposition and BC New Democratic Party (NDP) leader John Horgan stands at 40% (+1), with 29% (+3) disapproving. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver holds an approval rating of 32%, but 48% of residents are undecided when asked about his performance.

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Half of British Columbians (51%) say their opinion of Clark has worsened over the past six months, giving her a net momentum score of -46. On this indicator, Horgan is at -2 and Weaver is even.

The BC NDP is in first place with the support of 40% of decided voters (+1), followed by the BC Liberals with 34% (=), the BC Green Party with 14% (-2) and the BC Conservatives with 10% (+3).

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The New Democrats are doing especially well in Vancouver Island (52%) and among women (45%) and voters aged 18-to-34 (44%). The BC Liberals are the top choice among male voters (40%) and voters aged 35-54 (39%).

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from May 2 to May 5, 2016, among 801 adult British Columbians. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points. Click here to view the detailed data tabulations.

For further information, please contact:

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West
778-929-0490
mariocanseco@insightswest.com