British Columbians Decry Government Stance on Teachers, Agriculture

PR Image - BC Report Card 2014 by Madeleine Holland

Victoria gets its best ratings on handling crime and public safety, economy and jobs, and energy.

Vancouver, BC – On the first anniversary of the BC Liberal victory in the last provincial election, British Columbians are taking a more critical view of some of their government’s recent actions, according to the new Insights West “BC Government Report Card” conducted in partnership with Business in Vancouver.

In the online survey of a representative sample of British Columbians, the provincial administration gets its best ratings on handling crime and public safety (41% think is it doing a “good job” on this file, -2 since December), the economy and jobs (40%, +1), energy, pipelines and liquefied natural gas (LNG) (36%, -3), and the environment (35%, +1),

The largest drop observed in the past six months comes in education, where now only 28% of British Columbians (-5) say the government is handling the issue properly. The rating is similar for dealing with business taxes and red tape (28%, -1), health care (27%, -2), government accountability (26%, +3) and the shortage of skilled workers (25%, -3).  The worst rated area this semester is housing, poverty and homelessness (22%, +1).

Slide 1

“Christy Clark’s government continues to garner good numbers on safety, economy and energy,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs at Insights West. “However, the drop in education is noteworthy, particularly when coupled with the scanty endorsement of the way the current administration is dealing with teachers.”

British Columbians were asked about six decisions made by Premier Clark and the BC Liberals. Just 23% are satisfied with the way the ongoing negotiations with the BC Teachers’ Federation are being conducted, while 63% say the government has done a bad job on this file.

The best decision for the government is the push for the development of liquefied natural gas (LNG), with 39% of residents saying the government is doing a good job. Just over a third of British Columbians (35%) are content with the way Victoria is dealing with the Northern Gateway Pipeline, while a majority (51%) is disappointed.

The government gets exceptionally paltry ratings on its management of BC Hydro (Good 22%, Bad 57%), its proposed changes to the Agricultural Land Reserve (Good 17%, Bad 50%) and its handling of BC Ferries (Good 15%, 72%). BC Ferries is especially troublesome in Vancouver Island, where 86% of residents denounce the government’s performance on this issue.

Slide7

“When it comes to public satisfaction with recent actions, energy has become one of the least contentious issues for the government,” says Canseco. “Ferries and Hydro are still areas where Victoria is not connecting well, and BC Liberal voters are not wholeheartedly embracing the government’s position on the ALR and the negotiations with teachers.”

The most important issue for British Columbians continues to be the economy and jobs (22%, -3), followed by housing, poverty and homelessness (14%, -2), health care (13%, -3), energy, pipelines and LNG (12%, +1) government accountability (11%, -1) and education (10%, +7).

Slide2

The two main parties in the province are practically tied, with 39% of decided voters (+3 since December) saying they would vote for the opposition BC New Democratic Party (NDP), while 38% (-2) would cast a ballot for the governing BC Liberals.

The BC Green Party is third with 14% (unchanged), followed by the BC Conservative Party with 8% (+2). The New Democrats hold an eight-point lead over the BC Liberals among female voters (39% to 31%) but trail the governing party among men (38% to 45%).

Slide4

Across the province, 41% of residents approve of the way Premier Clark is handling her duties (-1), while 49% disapprove of her actions (+3). New opposition and BC NDP leader John Horgan starts his tenure with an approval rating of 31%, with 26% of residents disapproving of his performance. A large proportion of British Columbians cannot issue an assessment of Horgan (44%), interim BC Green Party leader Adam Olsen (57%) and new BC Conservative leader Dan Brooks (56%).

Slide3

Horgan posts a positive momentum score (13% of British Columbians say their opinion of the BC NDP leader has improved in the past six months, while 9% say it has worsened). Just 8% of residents say they now have a more positive opinion of Clark, while 38% say it has become more negative.

Slide5

“The BC NDP is now very close to the level of support it had in last year’s election, while the BC Liberals have lost a couple of points over the past six months,” says Canseco. “The Greens have surpassed the BC Liberals in Vancouver Island, and are an attractive choice for many women and young voters.”

 

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 ten full-time and five part-time employees.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from May 7 to May 10, 2014, among 824 British Columbians who are aged 18+ and are Your Insights panel members. YourInsights.ca is Insights West’s in-house access panel offering on-demand samples for both clients and research suppliers looking for Western Canadian populations. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. While statistical margins of error are arguably not applicable to online panels/online studies of this nature, we have assumed that the same margins of error apply as if it were a true unweighted random probability sample with a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty. To view the detailed data tabulations, click here.

For further information, please contact:

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

 

Photograph: Madeleine Holland