Poll finds Sask rated highest amid nationwide drop in government performance ratings

Angus Reid Institute government performance index
Angus Reid Institute government performance indexAngus Reid Institute

New data from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute (ARI) finds Canadians in most provinces across the country are significantly more critical of their respective provincial government’s performance around service delivery and issues management than they were five years ago.

ARI’s Government Performance Index, which averages the number of provincial residents who say their government is doing a “good job” on key issues such as health care, inflation, housing affordability, education and more, has seen a 15-point drop on average across the country. Saskatchewan leads the way with a score of 42, a mark that would have put it sixth in the country five years ago.

This is driven by a perceived lack of progress, and outright decline, by provinces on persistent issues headlined by health care, a provincial issue of high importance according to respondents both five years ago and today.

A majority in every province in the country believe their provincial government is performing poorly on health care as premiers and health ministers struggle to address the myriad problems facing Canada’s health systems.

But health care isn’t the only issue provincial governments have struggled with for a half-decade. Tenured governments in BC, Ontario and Quebec have seen increased criticism over handling of key issues such as housing affordability and education while the new government in Manitoba deals with lingering concerns about public safety.

Cost of living and inflation is the most common top-three concern in all provinces, except Quebec and New Brunswick. Only 55% of Quebecers have this as a top-three concern, followed by BC at 60%, then Alberta (61%) and Saskatchewan (62%).

Housing affordability is third in all others but Saskatchewan, where only 15% place it in their top three. Alberta and Newfoundland are the second-most contented provinces in this area, with 27% seeing this as a top-three problem.

Other findings include

  • The economy and jobs are the highest concern for Albertans and Newfoundlanders at 27%.

  • Concerns over street crime and public safety are highest in Manitoba, shared by 28% there, followed by B.C. (26%), and Ontario (23%).

  • Climate change concerns are highest in Quebec at 24%, with BC second at 21%.

  • The deficit and government spending concerns Newfoundlanders the most at 22%, followed by Saskatchewan at 19%.

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