Education and Accountability Among Worst Files for BC Government

The provincial government has not recovered lost ground on the economy, accountability and energy.

Vancouver, BC – The fourth Insights West “BC Government Report Card” conducted in partnership with Business in Vancouver shows that British Columbians are giving paltry ratings to Christy Clark and the BC Liberals on several important files.

The online survey of a representative sample of British Columbian adults shows that only 15% of residents think the government is doing a “good job” in handling housing, poverty and homelessness.

A marked drop is observed on education. In December 2013, 33% of residents approved of the way the Government of British Columbia was handling this issue. The proportion has fallen every semester, to 28% in May 2014, 25% in December 2014, and 21% this month.

The best area for the government is crime and public safety (34%, -2 since December), followed by the economy and jobs (32%, -3), energy, pipelines and liquefied natural gas (LNG) (27%, -1), health care (26%, -1) and the environment (26%, =).

Just over one-in-five residents approve of the way the provincial administration is handling business taxes and red tape (21%, -4), while fewer are satisfied with two other files: shortage of skilled workers (19%, -6) and government accountability (15%, -4).

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When asked about recent decisions, the provincial administration posts its best rating on implementing changes to legislation related to the sale of alcohol (41%, although six points lower than in December). Fewer residents approve of the government’s push for the development of LNG (32%, -2) and its handling of relations with BC’s First Nations (30%).

“Over the past two years, British Columbians have gradually developed more negative views when assessing the performance of their government,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs at Insights West. “At this point, a majority of past BC Liberal voters are expressing disappointment with issues such as poverty and accountability.”

Only a quarter of British Columbians are satisfied with the way the government is dealing with the Northern Gateway Pipeline (25%, -2), and fewer voice support for the way it is taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (24%), dealing with the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline (23%, =) and managing BC Hydro (23%, -4).

The rating is particularly low on managing the Agricultural Land Commission (18%) and managing BC Ferries (13%, and 9% in Vancouver Island).

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The most important issue for British Columbians is now health care (21%, +3), followed by the economy and jobs (19%, -2), housing, poverty and homelessness (16%, -1) and government accountability (14%, +1).

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Across the province, 43% of decided voters (+3 since December) would cast a ballot for the BC New Democratic Party (NDP) in their riding if the next election were held tomorrow. The governing BC Liberals are second with 37% (+1), followed by the BC Green Party with 10% (-4) and the BC Conservative Party with 6% (-2).

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The BC Liberals are ahead of the New Democrats among male voters (46% to 38%) and hold a slight edge among voters aged 55 and over (42% to 39%). The New Democrats are first among women (49% to 28%), voters aged 18 to 34 (49% to 23%) and voters aged 35 to 54 (45% to 36%).

BC NDP leader John Horgan saw an improvement in his approval rating, from 34% in December to 43% this month. Three-in-ten British Columbians (30%, -4) approve of the way Premier and BC Liberals leader Christy Clark is handling her duties, while 62% (+8) disapprove. More than half of residents are not sure when asked about the performance of interim BC Green Party leader Adam Olsen (53%) and BC Conservative leader Dan Brooks (51%).

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Horgan is the only party leader with a positive momentum score (+7), while the other three leaders are in negative territory (-44 for Clark, -8 for Brooks and -3 for Olsen). Almost half of residents (48%) say their opinion of Premier Clark has worsened in the past six months, including 33% of people who voted for the BC Liberals in 2013.

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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 and has fifteen full-time employees.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from May 16 to May 19, 2015, 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

 

Photograph: Courtesy of Jonathan Miske, CC