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Premier Christy Clark is Newsmaker of the Year, followed by the province’s three new federal ministers.

Vancouver, BC – Most British Columbians believe the change of government in Ottawa was the most important news story of 2015, a new Insights West poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, respondents were allowed to select up to five stories as the most important ones of 2015. More than three-in-four British Columbians (77%) included Justin Trudeau becoming Canada’s 23rd Prime Minister on their list.

The summer of drought in British Columbia was a distant second, mentioned by 48% of residents, followed by the “No” victory in the Metro Vancouver Transportation and Transit Plebiscite (44%), sky-high housing prices and calls for better data on foreign investment (42%) and BC’s connection with the Syrian refugee crisis (30%).


Six other stories were mentioned by at least one-in-five British Columbians: the sinking of a Tofino whale-watching boat (28%), Vancouver’s decision to license marijuana dispensaries (26%), the fuel spill at English Bay (25%), Freedom of Information problems in provincial and municipal governments (23%), discussions related to the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry (also 23%) and the debate over the BC Hydro Site C dam project on the Peace River (21%).

“There are some striking regional differences when British Columbians review the stories that shaped 2015,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs, at Insights West. “Metro Vancouverites focused on the transit plebiscite and housing, while those who live in other areas of the province were more interested in LNG.”

Fewer respondents mentioned Premier Christy Clark’s failed attempt to host a yoga event on Vancouver’s Burrard Bridge (9%), the resignation of Arvind Gupta as President of the University of British Columbia (6%) and the dismissal of the defamation lawsuit involving John Furlong (5%).

British Columbians were provided with a list of 11 people, and asked to select up to three as the top “Newsmakers of the Year”. British Columbia Premier Christy Clark received the most mentions (38%), followed by new federal ministers Harjit Sajjan, Jody Wilson-Raybould and Carla Qualtrough (29%), Tim Duncan, the whistleblower on the BC Government’s email deletion practices (23%) and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson (22%).

Former Olympic organizer John Furlong (14%) and leader of the “No TransLink Tax” campaign Jordan Bateman (13%) also reached double-digits.

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 December 10 to December 15, 2015, among a representative sample of 803 British Columbian 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 +/- 3.5 percentage points. Click here to view the detailed data tabulations.

For further information, please contact:

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West


Photograph: University of the Fraser Valley