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87 per cent in B.C. say province doing 'good job' handling COVID-19 pandemic: poll

Last Updated Jun 8, 2020 at 9:13 pm PDT

FILE - B.C. Premier John Horgan provides the latest update on the COVID-19 response in the province during a press conference from the rose garden at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Wednesday, June 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Eighty-seven per cent of British Columbians say they believe the province has handled the situation well

The NDP government has been able to reap gains from its handling of COVID-19, with voter support at 47 per cent

NEWS 1130 (VANCOUVER) — It appears many in B.C. are fairly happy with the way the John Horgan government has been handling COVID-19.

A new Angus Reid survey shows British Columbia is near the top of the list when it comes to the overall satisfaction with how provincial governments have been handling the pandemic.

It shows 87 per cent of British Columbians say they believe the province has handled the pandemic well.

New Brunswick’s government earns top marks at 91 per cent, while Manitoba’s approval rating bottoms out at just 70 per cent.

The Angus Reid analysis shows the NDP government has been able to reap gains from its handling of the COVID-19 situation.

Polling shows the NDP with 47 per cent support among decided voters. The BC Liberal Party trails significantly behind at 29 per cent, while the Green Party — the NDP’s political ally in the Legislature — lags well behind both at just 12 per cent.

British Columbia is scheduled to hold an election in 2021.

B.C. is getting top marks for healthcare, with 67 per cent of people surveyed saying the government has done a good job with health care.

“Other provinces are closer to half, or below that mark. Meanwhile, nearly every region of the country receives poor marks for handling of drug use and addictions, as well as seniors care,” the Institute reports.

Other findings from Angus Reid

The analysis from the Vancouver-based pollster finds that around two-thirds of Canadians feel the opening up of the economy is moving at the right pace.

“Just over one-in-three Canadians (36 per cent) feel their province is acting too quickly to open up businesses and institutions that were shut down to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. This sentiment rises to 45 per cent in Ontario,” the Institute writes.

For British Columbia, the survey finds that 59 per cent of respondents feel the NDP government has done a good job in its handling of the economy. This is at the higher end of the scale, with people surveyed in Quebec rating that province’s performance in economics the best during COVID-19 at 71 per cent.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, only 31 per cent support that government’s economic response.

Angus Reid also finds that concerns over climate change and the lingering debates in Canada over natural resources have quieted during the pandemic. However, the survey finds these two issues will still remain key policy challenges in the months and years to come.