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Dissatisfaction with the federal government is highest on electoral reform, dealing with drug abuse and pending pipeline projects.

Vancouver, BC – Two years after the Liberal Party’s victory in the 2015 federal election, Canadians are divided on which issues the current government is handling properly, a new Insights West poll conducted for Maclean’s has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, more than half of Canadians (51%) think Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the federal Liberals have done a “very good” or “good” job in handling foreign affairs.

More than two-in-five residents appear satisfied with the federal government’s performance on the environment (46%), crime and public safety (44%), health care (41%) and the economy and jobs (also 41%).

The lowest ranked areas for the federal government are government accountability (38%, and 30% for those aged 55+), housing, homelessness and poverty (35%, and 42% among those aged 18-to-34) and energy and pipelines (34%).

When asked about specific decisions that the federal government has taken, two thirds of Canadians (67%) think Trudeau and the Liberals have done a “very good” or “good” job representing Canada internationally, and half are content with their decisions on
handling relations with Canada’s First Nations (50%), taking action to reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions (also 50%) and starting a process to legalize marijuana in 2018 (49%).

Four other decisions are decidedly more contentious, with just over a third of Canadians (36%) saying they are satisfied with the federal government’s proposed changes to tax regulations. Only one third think Trudeau and the Liberals have made the right decisions in abandoning the plan to change the voting system for federal elections (33%) and dealing with Fentanyl and drug abuse in Canada (also 33%), while even fewer Canadians (29%) laud the government’s efforts in dealing with pending pipeline projects.

Across the country, 47% of Canadians think the current federal government will pick up momentum and achieve more in the next two years of its mandate, while 39% expect it to lose momentum and achieve less.

If an election were held tomorrow, the Liberal Party would get 35% of the vote, followed by the Conservative Party with 33%, the New Democratic Party (NDP) with 20%, the Green Party with 7% and the Bloc Québécois with 4%.

When asked to rate the four main party leaders, half of Canadians (51%) approve of the performance of Trudeau as Prime Minister and Liberal Party leader. The rating is lower for Green Party leader Elizabeth May (42%), New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Jagmeet Singh (40%) and opposition and Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer (37%).

Incoming NDP leader Singh has the best momentum score of all four national leaders at +5 (21% of Canadians say they have a better opinion of him than they did six months ago, while 16% say it has worsened). Scheer is at +1 and May is at -3. Almost two-in-five Canadians (38%) say their opinion of Trudeau has worsened, giving him a momentum score of -21.

The most important issue facing Canada is the economy and jobs (30%), followed by health care (15%), housing, poverty and homelessness (13%), government accountability (11%) and the environment (10%).

Roughly one-in-five voters in the 2015 federal election (18%) say they regret their choice—a proportion that rises to 24% among those who cast a ballot for the governing Liberals.

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.

Most of our surveys are conducted through our Your Insights panel. The Your Insights panel is comprised of 30,000 Canadians who share their opinions on a variety of political, economic, social and other issues while earning the opportunity to get paid and win great prizes. If you’re interested in joining, please register at

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted by Insights West from October 24 to October 26, 2017, among 1,005 Canadian adults. 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 +/- 3.1 percentage points for the entire sample, nineteen times out of twenty. View the detailed data tabulations.

For further information, please contact:

Steve Mossop
President, Insights West


Photograph: Presidencia de la República Mexicana