More Than Seven-in-Ten British Columbians Endorse Housing Taxes

Almost half of residents think these actions will be effective in making housing more affordable in the province.

Vancouver, BC [January 3, 2020] – The “speculation tax” introduced by the Government of British Columbia is still backed by a sizeable proportion of the province’s residents, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 76% of British Columbians agree with the implementation of the “speculation tax” in specific urban areas targeting foreign and domestic homeowners who pay little or no income tax in BC, and those who own second properties that aren’t long-term rentals.

The survey outlines an eight-point increase in agreement with the “speculation tax” since a similar Research Co. poll conducted in March 2019.

“Agreement with this particular tax is strong among voters of all three major political parties in the province,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “It encompasses 86% for those who voted for the BC New Democratic Party (NDP) in 2017, as well as 75% of those who cast ballots for candidates from the BC Liberals and the BC Green Party.”

More than three-in-four British Columbians agree with two other policies: Increasing the foreign buyers tax from 15% to 20% (77%, -3) and expanding the foreign buyers tax to areas located outside of Metro Vanncouver (also 77%, +2).

Agreement is also strong with two other measures: increasing the property transfer tax from 3% to 5% for homes valued at more than $3 million. The 5% portion only applies to the value greater than $3 million (72%, +8) and introducing a tax of 0.2% on the value of homes between $3 million and $4 million, and a tax rate of 0.4% on the portion of a home’s value that exceeds $4 million (also 72%, +6).

Across the province, 49% of residents think the actions of the provincial government will be “effective”, in making housing more affordable in British Columbia, while 39% consider they will be ”ineffective.”

There is a pronounced regional divide on this question. While majorities of residents of Northern BC (56%) and Metro Vancouver (52%) think the provincial government’s actions will help make housing more affordable, the proportion is lower in the Fraser Valley (45%), Vancouver Island (44%) and Southern BC (40%).

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from December 12 to December 16, 2019, among 800 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Canada. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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

British Columbians Unhappy with Their Mobile Phone Plan Prices

Most residents are skeptical about the promises of lower wireless costs issued by the federal and provincial governments.

Vancouver, BC [December 25, 2019] – Most residents of British Columbia are dissatisfied with how much they are paying for wireless communications, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, seven-in-ten mobile phone users (70%) describe the cost of their plan as “very expensive” or “moderately expensive.”

Mobile phone users aged 35-to-54 (77%) and those who reside in the Fraser Valley (74%) are more likely to believe that they currently pay too much for wireless services.

A monthly plan for a mobile phone in Canada with two gigabytes of data costs about $75. More than three-in-five British Columbians (62%) say a similar plan would be less expensive in the United States. 

More than a third of residents also think the cost of a similar phone plan would be lower in Italy (39%) and Australia (37%). 

“Most British Columbians know that wireless costs are lower in the United States than in Canada,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “But the current cost of a monthly plan for a mobile phone with two gigabytes of data in Australia and Italy is significantly lower, at $21 and $25 a month respectively.”

Two levels of government have promised action on this issue. The federal Liberal Party pledged to reduce the cost of wireless bills for Canadians by 25 per cent over the next four years. 

The Government of British Columbia recently appointed MLA Bob D’Eith to work with the federal government to explore more affordable and transparent mobile phone options.

Across British Columbia, only 31% of residents believe that the federal government will actually deliver on its promise of lower phone bills for Canadians.

A slightly higher proportion (35%) think the provincial government’s push for more affordable and transparent mobile phone options will ultimately be successful.

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from December 12 to December 16, 2019, among 800 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Canada. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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

Views of Pipeline Expansion in British Columbia Remain Stable

Two thirds believe the project will create hundreds of jobs, but fewer than two-in-five expect lower gas prices.

Vancouver, BC [December 18, 2019] – After six months that included a federal election, the perceptions of British Columbians on pipeline expansion did not go through a severe fluctuation, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 56% of British Columbians agree with the federal government’s decision to re-approve the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion, while 35% disagree and 10% are undecided.

“There has been practically no change in the way British Columbians feel about this project,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Our survey from June also showed 56% of British Columbians agreeing with the re-approval of the project.”

More than seven-in-ten residents of Southern BC (74%) and Northern BC (71%) are in favour of the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion. Support for the course of action authorized by the federal government is lower in the Fraser Valley (59%), Metro Vancouver (51%) and Vancouver Island (49%).

There is a sizeable gender gap on this question. While two thirds of men (66%) agree with the pipeline expansion, only 46% of women concur.

Two thirds of British Columbians (68%, -5 since May) expect the Trans Mountain Pipeline to create hundreds of jobs for British Columbians—an argument that resonates especially well with 81% of those who voted for the BC Liberals in the 2017 provincial election.

Three-in-five British Columbians (59%, unchanged) say they are disappointed with the way the federal government has handled the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion. 

More than two-in-five British Columbians (45%, -1) believe the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion threatens the health and safety of British Columbians. Voters who cast ballots for the BC Green Party (64%) and the BC New Democratic Party (NDP) (59%) in 2017 are more likely to have this point of view.

Across the province, 40% of British Columbians (-1) believe the provincial government should do anything necessary to ensure that the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion does not happen—including 45% of women, 51% of residents aged 18-to-34, and 63% of BC Green Party voters in 2017.

The notion of gas prices being lower in British Columbia now that the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion has been re-approved is convincing for just over a third of British Columbians (37%, -2).

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from December 4 to December 7, 2019, 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 plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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

Gas Prices Stirring New Behaviours in British Columbia Drivers

Just under one-in-five drivers in the province have gone to the United States with the sole purpose of purchasing cheaper fuel.

Vancouver, BC [December 11, 2019] – A significant proportion of drivers in British Columbia are taking steps to deal with the cost of fuel in the province, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, half of drivers in British Columbia (51%) say they have purchased gas for their vehicle in their community even if the tank was not near empty because prices were suddenly lower.

Drivers in Vancouver Island (56%) are more likely to have purchased gas after they noticed a drop in prices.

Two-in-five drivers in the province (39%) say they have purchased less gas for their vehicle in their community—or did not fill up the entire tank—because prices were suddenly higher.

Almost half of drivers in the Fraser Valley (47%) have chosen not to completely fill up because of inflated gas prices.

Just under one-in-five drivers in British Columbia (18%) say they have driven to the United States with the sole purpose of purchasing cheaper gas for their vehicle.

“Two-in-five drivers who reside in the Fraser Valley (40%) say they have visited the United States only to get gas in the past year” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “They have been joined by one-in-five (21%) drivers in Metro Vancouver.”

The Government of British Columbia recently introduced legislation to compel oil and gas companies to disclose supply and pricing data. More than four-in-five British Columbians (85%) support this legislation, including 90% of residents aged 55 and over.

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from November 27 to November 29, 2019, 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 plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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

British Columbians Would Ban Mobile Phones in K-12 Classrooms

Public support for the measure that was implemented in Ontario earlier this year is high among parents and non-parents alike.

Vancouver, BC [November 29, 2019] – The notion of forbidding students from using their mobile phones in classrooms unreservedly is very popular in British Columbia, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 88% of British Columbians think the province should implement a ban on the use of mobile phones during instructional time in K-12 classrooms.

Earlier this year, the Province of Ontario restricted the use of mobile phones in K-12 classrooms, unless the devices are required for health or medical purposes, or to support educational needs as decided by an instructor.

In British Columbia, residents aged 55 and over are more likely to express support for a prohibition (85%) than those aged 35-to-54 (80%) and those aged 18-to-34 (68%).

At least four-in-five residents of Vancouver Island (86%), the Fraser Valley (83%) and Metro Vancouver (80%) are in favour of banning mobile phones during instructional time in K-12 classrooms. Support is lower, but still high, in Northern BC (75%) and Southern BC (62%).

“More than four-in-five British Columbians who have a child currently enrolled in K-12 are supportive of a classroom mobile phone ban (81%),” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “The proportion is similar (77%) for those who have no children in school at this point.”

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from November 6 to November 8, 2019, 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 plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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