B.C. Premier John Horgan’s approval rating has sunk to its lowest level in more than two years, dipping below 50 per cent against a backdrop of multiple health-care crises and outrage over a nearly $1-billion plan to rebuild the Royal BC Museum.
A quarterly approval poll released by Angus Reid Tuesday shows that Horgan’s rating dropped to 48 per cent — down from 55 per cent a month earlier and way down from the 71 per cent approval rating he carried in June 2020, months into the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s the lowest Horgan’s approval rating has been since March 2020, when it slumped to 46 per cent, and has continued a downward trend for the last two years.
“In addition to a growing debacle surrounding the near $1-billion plan to demolish and rebuild the Royal B.C. Museum…Horgan’s government was forced to defend a lack of funding for new school construction, a shortage of family doctors and overall being ‘out of touch” with regular British Columbians by opposition parties,'” wrote Angus Reid. “The problems – and more – keep piling up at the door of the premier’s office.”
Worrying news for BC New Democrats.
There’s still 8 years left in the museum project Horgan is insisting on building, while his political opponents dine out on the project and mounting other problems facing the government.
— Rob Shaw (@RobShaw_BC) June 14, 2022
Despite his falling approval rating, Horgan is still the third-most popular premier in the country, behind only Saskatchewan’s Scott Moe and Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston, according to the poll.
Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, who recently resigned from his position as leader of the United Conservative Party, have the lowest approval ratings at 23 per cent and 32 per cent, respectively.
Overall, rating movement has trended downward for most of the country’s premiers, with the exception of slight increases for Kenney and newly re-elected Ontario Premier Doug Ford.
In B.C., Horgan and his government have been embroiled in controversy ever since announcing the massive RBCM replacement project, which the Opposition Liberals have called a vanity project that is diverting capital funding away from other projects, like schools.
The government has also been accused of prioritizing the museum’s seismic priority, when 250 B.C. schools remain waiting for seismic repairs with limited provincial funding.
Meanwhile, the province is grappling with an ongoing doctor shortage and emergency rooms temporarily closing due to the impacts of COVID-19 on health-care workers.
For its quarterly poll, Angus Reid conducted an online survey of 5,032 Canadian adults between June 7-13, 2022. In B.C., it carries a margin of error of plus or minus four per cent, 19 times out of 20.