The new Mexican president will be defined by two major challenges

Originally published in the Globe and Mail on July 3, 2018.

The victory of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in the Mexican presidential election is nothing short of historic. A political party that did not exist six years ago – the National Regeneration Movement or “Morena” – is poised to control the presidency and the national Congress, with the help of its coalition partners.

As the counting of ballots continues across Mexico, it appears that Mr. Lopez Obrador, or AMLO as most call him, will receive more than 50 per cent of the vote in the presidential race – a feat that eluded Vicente Fox in the so-called “change election” of 2000, which ended seven decades of single-party rule in the country.

This year, supporters of the defeated presidential candidates spent the last two weeks of the campaign arguing for an unsanctioned vote-swap that would propel either of them to victory. Talk of implementing a run-off in Mexican presidential elections has vanished, given the advantage that AMLO has over his rivals.

The primary focus of his campaign was to eradicate corruption. Many Mexicans have grown tired of jumping through endless bureaucratic hoops, and paying bribes along the way, so that the government can deliver the simplest of tasks.

Corruption, however, is not limited to government employees at service counters. The sight of eight different former state governors facing charges of embezzlement helped AMLO paint a picture of a Mexico where the well-connected thrive and the hard-working suffer. All eight governors were once members of the only two parties that have run the federal government.

In the end, Mr. Lopez Obrador capitalized on emotion in a way the other contenders could not match. He became a charismatic option who could point to the many misdeeds of past governments. The two other main presidential contenders were unable to defend themselves.

The youth vote – crucial in a country where 46 per cent of the electorate has not yet turned 35 – was particularly uninterested in which candidate had more experience or better credentials. AMLO outlined a country that was far more attractive than the CVs and university degrees of his rivals.

As proud as Mexicans should feel about their electoral process, there is a shameful reality that cannot be overlooked: violence. More than 130 candidates were killed in the nine months prior to election day. Since 2000, more than 100 journalists have brutally lost their lives.

Last year, drug-related violence claimed the lives of more than 29,000 people in Mexico. Retrieving the feeling of safety that Mexicans used to enjoy is directly related to AMLO’s key pledge: rooting out corruption.

During the campaign, Mr. Lopez Obrador suggested that Mexico should consider a form of amnesty for drug-related offences. This idea, which has not been satisfactorily explained, has befuddled Mexicans. After all, what the country is dealing with is not the aftermath of a state-sponsored campaign of terrorizing opponents for political gain, like in Chile, Argentina or South Africa. Just who, or what, will be forgiven is unclear.

The second challenge for the incoming Mexican president is handling the country’s finances. In February, as he was leading in voting-intention polls, AMLO asked to be part of the negotiating team that was discussing the future of the North American free-trade agreement with Canadian and U.S. officials.

It was unthinkable for the Mexican government to offer a seat to an opposition candidate, or his staff, at that particular point. Mr. Lopez Obrador’s cabinet will face a steep learning curve, which will be made even more difficult by the fact that they will be dealing with U.S. President Donald Trump.

Mr. Lopez Obrador is scheduled to take office on Dec. 1, just a few weeks after the midterm elections in the United States. He may encounter a weakened Mr. Trump if there are significant losses in Congress for the Republican Party. He will also deal with a Canadian federal government that may be in precampaign mode when bilateral discussions ensue.

The initial six months of the first purely leftist government in Mexico will require action on these two fronts. If the fight against corruption is not accompanied by tighter controls on the drug trade and a drop in violence, goodwill for the government will erode among voters. If the economy starts to tumble and the prospect of a devalued currency affects public mood, it will not be enough to argue that the country is “cleaner” than it was under previous administrations.

Credit: Diego Delso

Concerns About Crime Skyrocket in Surrey

More than half of residents say public safety in their city is worse than in other Metro Vancouver municipalities.

Vancouver, BC [July 2, 2018] – Public safety has emerged as a key issue as residents of Surrey prepare for October’s municipal election, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of City of Surrey residents, 45% of respondents identify crime as the most important issue facing their city—a proportion that rises to 58% among those who reside in Newton.

Housing is second on the list of municipal concerns with 26%, followed by transportation with 10% and poverty with 7%.

More than half of residents (56%) think Surrey should have its own municipal police force, while 27% disagree.

When asked to compare their city to other Metro Vancouver municipalities on seven issues, more than half of residents (55%) say public safety is worse in Surrey than in other cities.

More than a third of respondents (35%) believe the influence of developers is worse in Surrey than in other areas of Metro Vancouver, while one-in-four (25%) think Surrey is better on housing affordability.

“There are certainly issues where Surrey residents believe they are luckier than their neighbours in adjacent areas,”, says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “But public safety is definitely not one of them.”

Many residents of Surrey say they are dissatisfied with the actions taken by the provincial government (49%), the federal government (51%) and the municipal government (53%) to deal with crime in Surrey, and almost half (48%) disagree with the notion that the legalization of marijuana will ultimately lead to lower crime rates in their city.

A majority of Surrey residents (52%) say they would like to see Dianne Watts as the city’s mayor again, including 60% of men and 74% of South Surrey residents.

Tom Gill, recently named as the Surrey First candidate for mayor, is seen as a good choice to lead the city by 15% of residents, and a bad choice by 14%. The rating is similar for former interim BC Liberals leader Rich Coleman (Good 20%, Bad 19%), who is said to be considering a bid.

Doug Elford of the Surrey Community Alliance is regarded as a good choice for mayor by 17% of residents, and 15% feel the same way about former Surrey First councillor Bruce Hayne, who now sits as an independent.

More than a third of residents (36%) have a positive opinion of the governing Surrey First party, while 21% hold negative views. Three opposition parties hold similar positive ratings (28% for the Surrey Community Alliance, 27% for both Proudly Surrey and People First Surrey).

Most residents of Surrey (53%) think the proposed Surrey–Newton–Guildford Light Rail Transit (LRT) project is a great idea.

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from June 24 to June 28, 2018, among 401 adults in the City of Surrey. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in the City of Surrey. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 4.9 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:
Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

Photo Credit: Leoboudv

Canadians Have Differing Views on BBQ Drinking Etiquette

More than half say they only consume the beer or cider they bring to a party or barbecue. 

Vancouver, BC [June 29, 2018] – As the country prepares for Canada Day celebrations, the conduct of Canadians who consume alcohol at a “BYOB” party or barbecue differs greatly by gender, age and region, a new Research Co. poll has found.

The online survey of a representative national sample asked Canadians who drink beer or cider to suppose they had just arrived at a party or barbecue and placed a six-pack of beer or cider they brought into a large cooler that was being used by everybody.

Across the country, three-in-five respondents (62%) say they would only drink the beer or cider they brought themselves.

One-in-four respondents (25%) say they would help themselves to any beer or cider that is in the cooler, but making sure not to consume more than six cans.

One-in-twenty respondents (5%) say they would drink any beer or cider that is in the cooler, even if more than six cans are consumed.

Women are more likely than men to say they would only consume what they brought to the party or barbecue (69% to 55%).

Conversely, men are more likely to say they would try anything in the cooler and keep a six-can maximum (30% to 20%) or drink anything, even if it’s more than the six-pack they brought themselves (8% to 2%).

Respondents aged 55 and over are less likely to only drink what they brought to the party or barbecue (54%) than those aged 35-to-54 (58%) and those aged 18-to-34 (73%).

“Millennials have sometimes been labelled as egotistical,” says Mario Canseco, President at Research Co. “But on this matter, they are more likely to steer clear of other people’s booze than their older counterparts.”

Atlantic Canadians are the most likely to say they would only drink what they brought to the party or barbecue (75%), followed by Albertans (72%), residents of Manitoba and Saskatchewan (70%), British Columbians (69%) and Ontarians (64%).

Quebecers are the least likely to only consume the six-pack they brought (47%, compared to the national average of 62%) and the most likely to consume more than six cans at the party (11%, compared to the national average of 5%).

Two thirds of Conservative Party voters in the last federal election (68%) would only consume what they brought, along with 64% of Liberal Party voters and 60% of New Democratic Party (NDP) voters.

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from May 7 to May 11, 2018, among 836 adults in Canada who drink beer or cider. 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, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:
Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

Photo Credit: DarrenBaker

British Columbians Call for Public Inquiry into Money Laundering

Supporters of all three of the province’s main political parties are in favour of this idea. 

Vancouver, BC [June 20, 2018] – A sizeable majority of British Columbians are in favour of establishing a commission to look into the issue of money laundering in the province’s casinos, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of British Columbians, three-in-four residents (76%) think the provincial government should “definitely” or “probably” call a public inquiry into money laundering in casinos.

Last year, a report produced by accounting firm MNP LLP, found several irregularities at the River Rock Casino in Richmond, including the acceptance of “single cash buy-ins in excess of $500,000, with no known source of funds.”

Support for this public inquiry is high across all demographics, including 83% of British Columbians who voted for the BC Green Party in last year’s provincial election, 78% of those who supported the BC New Democratic Party (NDP) and 69% of those who cast a ballot for the BC Liberals.

Almost half of British Columbians (48%) say they have followed stories related to money laundering in the province’s casinos “very closely” or “moderately closely.”

Two measures recently implemented in an effort to curb money laundering in British Columbia’s casinos are endorsed by most residents.

Two thirds of British Columbians (68%) support banning ”high limit” table gambling, where bets are higher than $10,000. An even larger proportion of residents (86%) favour declaring the source of any cash deposits over $10,000 at casinos.

“British Columbians welcome the first modifications to the way casinos operate in the province,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “However, the high level of support for a public inquiry into money laundering outlines a sense of embarrassment from residents and the expectation that a similar situation does not happen again.”

Three-in-five British Columbians (62%) think pending gambling developments should be postponed so that more research can be conducted on their benefits and drawbacks.

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from May 27 to May 29, 2018, 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 full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:
Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

Credit: GoToVan

Stewart, Sim and Campbell Battle in Vancouver Race

Almost half of Vancouverites are undecided when asked which one of eight mayoral hopefuls would get their vote this year.

Vancouver, BC [June 14, 2018] – With just over four months to go before Vancouver elects a new mayor, many of the city’s residents are undecided, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of City of Vancouver residents, 47% of respondents are not sure who they would vote for if the mayoral election took place tomorrow.

Among decided voters, New Democratic Party (NDP) Member of Parliament Kennedy Stewart is in first place with 26%, followed by Ken Sim of the Non-Partisan Association (NPA) with 23%, and Ian Campbell of Vision Vancouver with 18%

Support is lower for current NPA councillor Hector Bremner (10%), independent Shauna Sylvester (9%), prospective Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE) candidate Patrick Condon (8%), David Chen of ProVancouver (4%) and Wai Young of Coalition Vancouver (3%).

Male decided voters are more likely to be supporting Sim at this stage (30% to 22% for Stewart), while Stewart is ahead among female decided voters (29%, with Campbell in second place at 18%).

Stewart is seen as a “good choice” to become mayor by 18% of residents (+8 since late April), followed by Campbell (17%), Sim (16%), Bremner (11%, =) and Sylvester (also 11%, +4). Condon (8%), Young (7%, +1) and Chen (5%) are in single digits.

When asked about specific political parties, a majority of Vancouverites (54%, +6 since early April) have a positive opinion of the Green Party of Vancouver.

The rating is lower for Vision Vancouver (31%, +5), the NPA (30%, -2), COPE (28%, +1), One City (17%, +3), Coalition Vancouver (also 17%) and ProVancouver (11%).

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from June 9 to June 11, 2018, among 400 adults in the City of Vancouver. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in the City of Vancouver. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 4.9 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:
Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

 

Photo Credit: Xicotencatl

Ontario: Who Won and Why?

Originally published in National Observer on June 8, 2018.

The 2018 Ontario provincial election has delivered a majority government for the Progressive Conservative Party, gave the New Democrats official Opposition status and raised questions about the viability of the Liberal Party, which was reduced to single digits in seats.

A Research Co. exit poll, comprising the views of 503 Ontarians who cast a ballot in this electoral process, shows the different motivations of voters, as well as the effect of the events of the final week of campaigning, which included Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Saturday concession and the $16.5-million lawsuit filed by Rob Ford’s widow.

One of the traits that made this provincial election so compelling was the answer to the “time for change” question, especially when compared to other recent ballots. In Alberta and Manitoba, we saw many voters (82 per cent and 67 per cent respectively) embrace opposition leaders and abandon sitting governments. In Saskatchewan, the incumbent premier had little trouble holding on to a massive majority. In British Columbia, three-in-five voters wanted change in an election that resulted in a tie on the popular vote.

Ontario was decidedly different. More than three-in-five voters (77 per cent) said it was time for a change in government (five points lower than the 82 per cent observed in Alberta in 2015, and eight points higher than Manitoba in 2016). The sentiment for change was astonishingly high for both PC and NDP voters (94 per cent and 92 per cent respectively). However, one third of Liberal voters (33 per cent) also thought it was time for new leadership in the province, a sign of a base that perhaps grew unenthusiastic after the sitting premier acknowledged she would lose the election in the final weekend of the campaign.

Wynne’s plea for Liberal votes without a Liberal government seemed to split the public on the concept of “strategic voting”. Across the province, 45 per cent of Ontarians said they voted for the candidate in their riding who had the best chance of defeating a party they disliked, even if the candidate they voted for was not their first preference.

The proportion of “strategic voters” was highest among NDP supporters (55 per cent), who ended up becoming the official opposition. Andrea Horwath held a higher approval rating than the other three leaders in the last two weeks of the campaign, much in the same way Jack Layton posted impressive numbers on this question before the 2011 federal election. Both ended up taking their parties from third place to second place.

When it comes to the lawsuit against PC leader Doug Ford, the effect was negligible. Perceptions about the party’s leader were positive enough to facilitate a victory. When asked about six possible motivators for their vote, one-in-four PC voters (25 per cent) said the most important factor was “the party’s leader.” Among both Liberal and NDP voters, this factor was ranked lower, at 22 per cent.

Liberal voters were more likely to say the most important factor was “the party’s candidate in the riding” (20 per cent, compared to a paltry 10 per cent and seven per cent among NDP and PC voters respectively). Incumbent ministers and long-time serving legislators sought to establish a powerful connection with some of the Liberal base, especially after Wynne appealed for a balance of power.

“The party’s ideas and policies” is, by far, the most important factor for supporters of the three main parties (44 per cent for Liberals, 39 per cent for NDP and 34 per cent for PC). “Desire for change” moved 19 per cent of PC voters and 13 per cent of NDP voters, but the New Democrats also benefitted—although not enough to score an upset win—from the 15 per cent of voters who said “disgust with other contending candidates” was their main motivating factor—a far higher proportion than the PCs (10 per cent) and the Liberals (five per cent).

Finally, we look at the situation that led to Doug Ford becoming leader of the Progressive Conservatives. Among all voters in the election, 37 per cent said they would have voted for the Progressive Conservatives if Patrick Brown was still their leader. This includes 59 per cent of those who ended up casting a ballot for the Ford-led party, but also a sizeable proportion of Ontarians who ended up voting for the NDP (32 per cent) and the Liberals (27 per cent). This would suggest that Brown, even after the allegations that forced him to quit as leader, would have had a similar result as Ford.

Polling methodology: Results are based on an online study conducted on June 6 and June 7, 2018 among 503 Ontario adults who voted in the 2018 provincial election. The margin of error — which measures sample variability — is +/- 4.4 percentage points for the sample of decided voters, nineteen times out of twenty.

Credit: DrRandomFactor

British Columbians Support Government’s Housing Measures

The opposition’s idea of a “Strata Pre-Sale Contract Flipping Tax” is backed by two thirds of residents.

Vancouver, BC [June 5, 2018] – A sizeable majority of British Columbians are in favour of specific housing measures announced by the provincial government in this year’s budget, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of British Columbians, three-in-five respondents (62%) think introducing a “speculation tax” of 2% of a property’s assessed value for vacant homes is a “very good” or “good” idea.

Two thirds of residents (67%) believe introducing a tax of 0.2 per cent on the value of homes worth between $3 million and $4 million, and a tax rate of 0.4 per cent on the portion of a home’s value that exceeds $4 million is also a “very good” or “good” idea.

A slightly higher proportion of British Columbians (69%) think increasing the property transfer tax from 3% to 5% for homes valued at more than $3 million is also a “very good” or “good” idea.

Three-in-four British Columbians (76%) say it was a “very good” or “good” idea to expand the foreign buyers tax to areas located outside of Metro Vancouver, and four-in-five (80%) feel the same way about increasing the foreign buyers tax from 15% to 20%.

The opposition BC Liberals have tabled the “Strata Pre-Sale Contract Flipping Tax Act 2018”, which calls for a provincial capital-gains tax on any profit from the sale of housing units before construction is completed. Almost two thirds of British Columbians (65%) think this is a “very good” or “good idea”.

Most residents who voted for the BC Liberals in last year’s provincial election are supportive of the current government’s measures, from a low of 53% for the “speculation tax” to a high of 77% for increasing the foreign buyers tax.

In addition, most residents who voted for the BC New Democratic Party (NDP) and the BC Green Party in the 2017 provincial ballot are in favour of the opposition’s pre-sale contract flipping proposal (62% and 73% respectively).

“In spite of some localized protests, the government’s housing measures are particularly popular with British Columbians,” says Mario Canseco, President at Research Co. “Support for these guidelines, as well as the recent proposal from the BC Liberals to address condo-flipping, is strong among all age groups and voters of the three main political parties.”

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from May 27 to May 29, 2018, 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 full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:
Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

 

Ottawa’s Pipeline Actions Affect Views in British Columbia

Three-in-four residents are uncomfortable with using taxpayer money to subsidize a foreign company, half say they are now “less likely” to vote for the Liberal Party at the federal level, and a majority believes the provincial government has made the right decisions.

Vancouver, BC [May 31, 2018] – Many British Columbians appear disappointed about the way Ottawa has handled Kinder Morgan’s oil-tanker-pipeline proposal, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of British Columbians, three-in-four residents (76%) say they are uncomfortable with the idea of the federal government using taxpayer money to subsidize a foreign company.

The survey was conducted from May 25 to May 28, 2018, after the federal government expressed its willingness to “indemnify the Trans Mountain expansion against unnecessary delays”, but before Ottawa announced on May 29 that it was purchasing the existing pipeline and its expansion project for $4.5 billion.

Across the province, 57% of residents think the federal government made the wrong decision in announcing it would use taxpayer money to indemnify Kinder Morgan’s backers for any financial loss, and 49% say they are “less likely” to vote for the governing party in the next federal election—a proportion that includes 36% of residents who cast a ballot for Liberal candidates in 2015.

“British Columbians are evidently concerned about specific aspects of the pipeline proposal, but there are no conflictive views when it comes to the performance of the federal government,” says Mario Canseco, President at Research Co. “The federal Liberals, who had one of their best performances in the province in 2015, now stand to lose more than a third of their support base.”

Across the province, 52% of residents say they agree with Kinder Morgan’s proposal to build new oil tanker-pipeline structure, while 44% disagree with it. However, 54% agree with the B.C government’s stance that Kinder Morgan’s oil-tanker-pipeline proposal threatens the health and safety of residents.

In addition, 50% of British Columbians believe the provincial government has made the right decision by filing a case in the B.C. Court of Appeal asking if the province has jurisdiction to regulate the transport of oil through its territory, and 51% disagree with the notion that the federal government should do “anything necessary to get the pipeline built”.

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from May 25 to May 28, 2018, among 1,255 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 +/- 2.8 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:
Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

 

Photo Credit: Peter Graham.

TV grapples with Netflix effect as more consumers cut cable ties

Originally published in Business in Vancouver on May 18, 2018.

At the end of the 2016-17 television season, The Big Bang Theory was the most popular television show in the United States, with a rating of 11.5.

This means that, whenever a new episode of the comedy show aired live, an estimated 11.5% of all television households in the country were watching it on their local station.

This might seem like a fantastic number for television producers, but it outlines a steady decline in traditional viewership.

Ten years earlier, in 2006-07, the most popular television show in the United States was the Wednesday edition of  American Idol, with a rating of 17.3. If we go back to 1996-97, ER topped the charts with a rating of 21.2. Ten years earlier, in 1986-87, the most popular television program in the United States was The Cosby Show, with a rating of 34.9.

At the time The Cosby Show managed to get more than a third of television households to tune in to NBC, a show with an 11.5 rating would not have made it into thetop 40. Its producers would have faced a reboot or cancellation. Now, reaching more than 10% of television households in a given night is cause for celebration.

The steep drop in live television viewership has been accompanied by advancements in technology. Personal video recorders and streaming video were still in their infancy in 1997, but became more prevalent 10 years later and are practically everywhere now. It is the ability to choose content that is making North American audiences abandon the tradition of waiting a week (or longer) for their favourite program.

Canada is not immune.

Most of the content Canadians can watch on prime time is shown on American networks and makes its way to our homes through cable television. A recent Research Co. survey shows that age and region play a role in the way we are reacting to the content that is at our disposal.

For starters, a third of Canadians (33%) have cut the cord and do not have cable television at home. More than seven in 10 Canadians aged 35 and over are keeping their cable, but millennials – a coveted group for advertisers – are looking elsewhere. Only 54% of Canadians aged 18 to 34 have a cable subscription.

This discrepancy presents a conundrum for advertisers, marketing managers and news content providers. Millennials are choosing other platforms for their content, with streaming services fast becoming a staple of their media consumption.

Among the cable subscribers we talked to, the feelings are not exactly pleasant. There is practically universal agreement with two thorny issues: 88% of Canadians say there are many channels included in their current cable television plan that they never watch and 85% agree with the notion of “paying too much money for cable television each month.”

The arrival of ultra-cheap cable packages has not made Canadians happier about their television content. Flipping through channels that are never watched can be cumbersome.

This unpleasantness is also reflected in the fact that a slightly smaller but still sizable proportion of Canadian cable subscribers (70%) say they are disappointed with the variety of programming they are getting from their cable television plan. The numbers are highest in Atlantic Canada (78%) and British Columbia (75%). This is not a stat that should be spurned by our province’s media providers: three-in-four B.C. residents with cable are dissatisfied with what they are paying for. If these current consumers become more aware of cable-less options, as millennials clearly have done, they might opt to cut the cord.

But cutting the cord has provided a different challenge for governments. With streaming services gaining prominence, the idea of a “Netflix tax” consumed a lot of airtime and ink last year. In the end, the federal government ultimately abandoned this idea, which is especially popular only in one province.

In Quebec, the provincial government has compelled streaming services to start charging the Quebec Sales Tax in 2019. The Quebec government seeks to generate approximately $270 million each year from this move and ensure that local content providers – which might have a hard time being featured on streaming services – can compete with American behemoths like Netflix or Amazon Prime Video.

At this stage, the Netflix tax seems like a distant memory in English Canada. But if consumers continue to walk away from traditional television, federal and provincial governments might consider following Quebec’s lead, even if protecting local culture is not invoked as the main reason for their action. 

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

Crime Getting Worse for Almost Two-in-Five British Columbians

Most residents blame addiction and mental health issues for the current state of affairs.

Vancouver, BC [July 13, 2018] – A sizeable proportion of British Columbians suggest public safety is a problem in their community, a new Research Co. poll has found

In the online survey of a representative sample of British Columbians, almost two-in-five residents (38%) say the level of criminal activity in their community has increased in the past four years.

Women (41%) and British Columbians aged 55 and over (44%) are more likely to perceive a rise in criminal activity in their community.

On a regional basis, people who live in the Okanagan and the North (47%) and in Vancouver Island (46%) are also more likely to say that the public safety situation is worse now than it was four years ago, compared to 36% in the Lower Mainland.

Across the province, 17% of residents report having been a victim of a crime where the police was called in (such as an assault or a car break-in) in their community—a proportion that rises to 25% among whose aged 35-to-54 and 24% in the Okanagan and the North.

Almost three-in-ten British Columbians (29%) say they fear becoming a victim of a crime in their community “a great deal” or “a fair amount”, including 33% of women, 33% of those aged 18-to-34 and 31% of Lower Mainland residents.

“There is a deep generational divide when it comes to perceptions of public safety in British Columbia,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Millennials are more likely to fear becoming victims, Generation Xers are more likely to actually have contacted the police, and Baby Boomers are more likely to say that crime is on the rise in their community.”

When asked which factors deserve “a great deal” of the blame for the current situation regarding crime and public safety in their community, a majority of British Columbians (51%) select addiction and mental health issues, while two-in-five (40%) choose gangs and the illegal drug trade.

In addition, 36% think an inadequate court system is to blame, while 33% select lack of values and the improper education of youth, and 26% mention poverty and inequality.

The three lowest ranked factors are insufficient policing and lack of resources to combat crime (19%), bad economy and unemployment (13%) and immigrants and minorities (8%).

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from June 27 to June 29, 2018, 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 full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:
Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

Credit: Tony Hisgett