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Small business tax reduction and new political fundraising rules praised by most residents.

Calgary, AB – A year after the provincial election won by the New Democratic Party (NDP), the Insights West “Alberta Government Report Card” shows that most residents are satisfied with recent policies to deal with taxes and fundraising, but remain extremely concerned about financial matters.

Issues and Governance

Two thirds of Albertans (65%, +5 since an Insights West poll conducted in November 2015) say the economy and jobs is the most important issue facing the province, followed health care (7%, -6) and energy and pipelines (also 7%, +2).

At least two-in-five Albertans say the provincial government has done a good job handling education (44%, -3), the environment (43%, +7) and climate change (40%, +8), while about a third are satisfied with health care (35%, -2), crime and public safety (34%, +2) and accountability (32%, -10). The three lowest ranked areas are energy and pipelines (26%, -3), housing, poverty and homelessness (25%, -2) and the economy and jobs (22%, -5).

Most Albertans think the provincial administration did a good job when it decided to reduce the small business tax rate from 3% to 2%, effective in 2017 (56%) and ban  political donations from corporations and unions (54%). More than two-in-five Albertans are also satisfied with decisions to increase the minimum wage (46%), initiate a Mental Health Review to approach addiction and mental health issues (45%) and take action to reduce Alberta’s greenhouse gas emissions (43%).

The three lowest-ranked decisions are handling relations with Alberta’s First Nations (35%), dealing with pending pipeline projects (29%) and announcing the implementation of a carbon tax (28%).

“Certain decisions from the provincial government have definitely been greeted with positive reviews by voters, particularly on business taxes and political donations,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs at Insights West. “However, while two thirds of residents are voicing concerns about the economy and jobs, only one-in-five are currently happy with the way the government is dealing with this issue.”


The approval rating for Premier and NDP leader Rachel Notley stands at 39% (-8).  Opposition and Wildrose Party leader Brian Jean does slightly better (42%, +3), while the numbers are decidedly lower for acting Progressive Conservative Party leader Ric McIver (28%, +3), Alberta Party leader Greg Clark (22%, +7) and acting Liberal Party leader David Swann (21%, -6).

Jean also posts a positive momentum score (+3, with 23% saying their opinion of the Wildrose Party leader has improved over the past six months), while the other party leaders are in negative territory (Swann -7, Clark -10, McIver -11, Notley -36).

More than a third of Albertans (35%, +7) say they would vote for the Wildrose Party if a provincial election took place tomorrow. The governing NDP is second with 27% (-6), followed by the Progressive Conservatives with 22% (+1), the Liberal Party with 8% (-5) and the Alberta Party with 5% (+3).


The Budget

Half of Albertans (51%) have followed stories related to the government budget tabled last month “very closely” or “somewhat closely”.

Across the province, 11% of residents give the latest budget high grades (from 8 to 10), while 35% provide a moderate rating (from 5 to 7) and two-in-five (42%) say it is poor (from 1 to 4). Most Albertans expect this budget to have a negative impact on the province (59%), their household (54%) and their municipality (also 54%).

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 5 to May 9, 2016, among 713 adult Albertans. 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 +/- 3.7 percentage points. Click here to view the detailed data tabulations.

For further information, please contact:

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West


Photograph: IQRemix