Trudeau and Harper Governments Split Views in British Columbia

More than three-in-five (62%) think the allegations made by the current prime minister on India are believable.

Vancouver, BC [November 1, 2023] – More than half of British Columbians appear dissatisfied with the current federal administration, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 36% of British Columbians think the province has been treated “very well” or “well” by the federal government under Justin Trudeau, while more than half (52%) consider it has been treated “poorly” or “very poorly”.

When asked about the previous federal government, 40% of British Columbians believe the province was treated “very well” or “well” when Stephen Harper served as prime minister, while the same proportion (40%) claim it was treated “poorly” or “very poorly”.

“More than half of British Columbians aged 35-to-54 (53%) think the province has been treated poorly by the current prime minister,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Only 34% of them feel the same way about the previous head of government.”

The federal government currently features four ministers who represent constituencies in British Columbia.

About a third of British Columbians (32%) approve of the performance of Harjit Sajjan, Minister of Emergency Preparedness & Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada. The proportions are lower for Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources (29%), Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Physical Activity (28%) and Terry Beech, Minister of Citizens’ Services (24%).

The survey also assessed the perceptions of British Columbians on bilateral relations between Canada and India. Over the past month, 58% of the province’s residents have followed news stories related to this topic “very closely” or “moderately closely”—including 75% of those of South Asian origins.

In September, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau revealed that Canadian intelligence services were investigating “credible allegations of a potential link between agents of the Government of India” and the killing of Canadian citizen Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia.

More than three-in-five British Columbians (62%) think the allegations made by Trudeau are “believable”, while 17% consider them “not believable” and 20% are undecided.

Majorities of British Columbians who voted for the Liberal Party (73%), the New Democratic Party (NDP) (68%) and the Conservative Party (57%) in the 2021 federal election think Trudeau’s claims are “believable.”

Majorities of British Columbians express concern about the well-being of Canadians living in and travelling to India (58%), believe India should be included in the recently announced Public Inquiry into Foreign Interference in Federal Electoral Processes and Democratic Institutions (55%) and say their opinion of India has worsened as a result of these allegations (53%).

Methodology: Results are based on an online study conducted from October 12 to October 14, 2023, among 800 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our data tables here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.