New Democrats Headed for Outright Victory in British Columbia

Almost half of likely voters in the province pick John Horgan as the best person to head the provincial government.

Vancouver, BC [October 23, 2020] – The BC New Democratic Party (NDP) stands to make significant gains in British Columbia’s provincial election, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 50% of decided voters in British Columbia would cast a ballot for the BC NDP candidate in their constituency or have already done so in Advance Voting or through the mail. This represents a two-point increase for the New Democrats since a similar Research Co. survey conducted in early October.

The BC Liberals remain in second place with 35%, followed by the BC Green Party with 13% and the BC Conservative Party with 2%.  

The New Democrats maintain a nine-point lead over the BC Liberals among decided male voters (48% to 39%) and have a 21-point advantage among decided female voters (52% to 31%).

The BC NDP is also ahead of the main opposition party among decided voters aged 18-to-34 (54% to 29%), decided voters aged 35-to-54 (49% to 36%) and decided voters aged 55 and over (47% to 40%).

Only 11% of decided voters who will be casting their ballot tomorrow say they may change their mind about which party or candidate to support, while 89% are certain of their choice.

Almost half of decided voters in British Columbia (47%) say a party’s ideas and policies is the main motivator for their choice in this provincial election. This includes 66% of BC Green voters and 51% of BC NDP voters, but just 37% of those who will support the BC Liberals.

Other factors cited by decided voters are the party’s leader (22%), the party’s candidate in the riding (11%), a desire for stability (9%), a desire for change (7%) and disgust with other contending candidates (4%).

On the eve of the election, more than three-in-five likely voters (62%, -3) approve of the way Premier and BC NDP leader John Horgan is handling his duties, while 33% disapprove.

There was no change in the approval rating for BC Liberals leader Andrew Wilkinson since early October (40%), while BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau improved markedly to 46% (+13).

Furstenau posts a momentum score of +13 (27% of likely voters say their opinion of her has improved since the start of the campaign, while 14% say it has worsened). The numbers are also in positive territory for Horgan (+2), while Wilkinson’s score is -21 (with 36% of likely voters reporting a worsening opinion of the BC Liberals leader).

When asked who would make the best premier of the province, Horgan remains on top with the endorsement of almost half of likely voters (48%, +1), followed by Wilkinson with 24% (-3) and Furstenau with 12% (+6).

While 81% of likely voters who supported the BC NDP in the 2017 ballot feel Horgan is the best person to act as British Columbia’s head of government, only 53% of BC Liberal voters in the last election feel the same way about Wilkinson.

The issue landscape did not shift dramatically in the final week of the campaign. One-in-four likely voters (25%, =) say the economy and jobs is their main preoccupation right now, followed by housing, poverty and homelessness (23%, -2) and health care (also 23%, =). 

Fewer likely voters mentioned COVID-19 (13%, +5), the environment (7%, =), crime and public safety (4%, =), education (2%, +1), accountability (1%, -2), and energy (also 1%, +1) as the top issue facing the province.

As has been the case throughout the past five weeks, likely voters aged 18-to-34 are more likely to be concerned about housing, homelessness and poverty (33%), while those aged 35-to-54 gravitate towards the economy and jobs (29%) and those aged 55 and over select health care (28%).

At least two-in-five likely voters pick Horgan over Wilkinson as the best party leader to handle health care (49% to 22%), the economy and jobs (43% to 31%), education (42% to 22%), housing, poverty and homelessness (40% to 22%) and accountability (40% to 25%), 

On the issue of handling the COVID-19 pandemic, likely voters in British Columbia choose Horgan over Wilkinson by a 3-to-1 margin (53% to 17%). The incumbent premier is also ahead of the opposition leader on two other matters: crime and public safety (38% to 30%) and energy (32% to 25%). 

Furstenau extended her lead as the best leader to manage the environment (44%, +11), with Horgan at 24% and Wilkinson at 14%.

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted on October 22 and October 23, 2020, among 750 likely voters in British Columbia, including 705 decided voters in the 2020 provincial election. 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 +/- 3.6 percentage points for likely voters and +/- 3.7 percentage points for decided voters, nineteen times out of twenty.

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

Photo by Adi kavazovic

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

Most British Columbians Would Welcome Online Voting Option

More than three-in-five likely voters think Elections BC should consider this possibility before the next provincial ballot.

Vancouver, BC [October 12, 2020] – A sizeable proportion of likely voters in British Columbia would like to explore the option of participating in the democratic process through the internet, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 63% of likely voters in British Columbia think Elections BC—the non-partisan office of the legislature responsible for conducting provincial and local elections—should “definitely” or “probably” consider allowing voters to cast their ballots online in the next provincial election.

The possibility of online voting is backed by majorities of likely voters who supported the BC Green Party (54%), the BC New Democratic Party (NDP) (60%) and the BC Liberals (70%) in the 2017 election.

Across the province, 43% of likely voters say they intend to vote in this year’s election by mail, up 14 points since a similar Research Co. poll conducted in late September. In addition, 25% (-3) will cast a ballot in person on Election Day and 23% (-4) plan to do so during Advance Voting.

Practically one-in-five mail voters (19%) have already sent their ballot back to Elections BC. More than a third (35%) have requested a ballot but have not received it, 18% possess a ballot but have not voted yet, and 28% intend to request one.

More than nine-in-ten likely voters in British Columbia (93%, +3) express confidence in Elections BC being able to oversee the entire voting process this year. Confidence increased on Elections BC’s ability to ensure that there is no fraudulent activity with mailed ballots (87%, +5) and to enforce social distancing at polling stations (86%, +12).

When likely voters are asked what influences their choice in this election, more than two thirds (69%) mention party platforms. Slightly lower proportions of likely voters say discussions with family (52%) and friends (46%) are also persuasive.

Fewer than a third of likely voters in the province are swayed by interactions with candidates on social media (30%), endorsements from non-governmental organizations (also 30%), campaign ads on radio and television (29%), interactions with other people on social media (27%), or endorsements from unions (26%), trade associations (25%) and newspapers (23%).

This week’s televised debate will feature the leaders of the BC New Democratic Party (NDP), the BC Liberals and the BC Green Party. Fewer than half of likely voters believe other parties should be included in this debate.

While 41% of likely voters want to hear from the BC Conservative Party during the televised debate, fewer would extend an invitation to the BC Libertarian Party (35%), the Rural BC Party (22%), BC Vision (19%), the Christian Heritage Party (also 19%), the Communist Party (16%) and Wexit BC (also 16%).

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from October 5 to October 7, 2020, among 750 likely voters 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 +/- 3.6 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

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

Photo by James Wheeler

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

Lead for New Democratic Party Increases in British Columbia

John Horgan is ahead of Andrew Wilkinson as the best leader to handle the five most important issues for voters in the province.

Vancouver, BC [October 8, 2020] – The BC New Democratic Party (NDP) has extended its advantage in British Columbia’s provincial electoral campaign, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 48% of decided voters in British Columbia would cast a ballot for the BC NDP candidate in their constituency, up four points since a similar Research Co. survey conducted in late September.

The BC Liberals remain in second place with 36% (-1), followed by the BC Green Party with 13% (=) and the BC Conservative Party with 2% (-3). 

The BC NDP holds a nine-point edge over the BC Liberals among decided male voters (47% to 38%) and a 16-point lead among decided female voters (49% to 33%).

The New Democrats are also ahead of the BC Liberals among decided voters aged 18-to-34 (45% to 31%), decided voters aged 35-to-54 (46% to 33) and decided voters aged 55 and over (44% to 34%).

Just under one-in-four decided voters (23%) say they may change their mind and support another party’s candidate in the election scheduled for Oct. 24. Supporters of the BC Liberals and the BC NDP are less likely to consider a switch (15% and 20% respectively) than those who plan to vote for the BC Greens (29%).

When asked about the main factor that motivates their selection, 43% of decided voters cite the party’s ideas and policies, while 21% focus mostly on the party’s leader and 14% concentrate on the party’s candidate in the riding. Fewer decided voters in British Columbia are swayed by a desire for stability (11%), a desire for change (10%) or disgust with other contending candidates (4%).

The approval rating for Premier and BC NDP leader John Horgan stands at 65% (-1). The numbers are lower for BC Liberals leader Andrew Wilkinson (40%, +1) and BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau (33%, -4).

Horgan’s campaign momentum is balanced, with 24% of likely voters in British Columbia saying their opinion of him has improved and 24% stating that it has worsened. In contrast, Wilkinson has a negative momentum score (Improved 16%, Worsened 26%) as does Furstenau (Improved 12%, Worsened 16%).

On the preferred premier question, almost half of likely voters in British Columbia (47%, +3) select Horgan, with Wilkinson at 27% (=) and Furstenau at 6% (-1).

As was the case last month, likely voters in British Columbia are primarily preoccupied with housing, poverty and homelessness (25%, +1), the economy and jobs (also 25%, +4) and health care (23%, -3). Other issues mentioned by likely voters are COVID-19 (8%, -3), the environment (7%, =), crime and public safety (4%, -4), accountability (3%, =), education (1%, =) and energy (1%, +1).

When asked which leader is better suited to handle specific issues, Horgan holds sizeable leads over Wilkinson on COVID-19 (52% to 20%), health care (48% to 24%), education (42% to 23%), the economy and jobs (42% to 30%), housing, poverty and homelessness (40% to 23%), accountability (37% to 28%), crime and public safety (37% to 30%) and energy (34% to 27%).

On the environment, Furstenau is in first place (33%), followed by Horgan with 29% and Wilkinson with 18%.

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from October 5 to October 7, 2020, among 750 likely voters in British Columbia, including 698 decided voters in the 2020 provincial election. 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 +/- 3.6 percentage points for likely voters and +/- 3.7 percentage points for decided voters, nineteen times out of twenty.

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

Photo by James Wheeler

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

British Columbians Support Phasing Out For-Profit Long-Term Care

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the deficiencies of for-profit seniors’ care and this issue will be top of mind for voters.

Burnaby, BC [September 29, 2020] – A new Research Co. poll has found that a significant majority of British Columbians are concerned about for-profit corporations in the province’s long-term care sector and would prefer not-for-profit operators to be awarded new contracts for delivery of these services. The survey of a representative provincial sample was conducted on behalf of the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU), a lead union in long-term care representing more than 5,000 members in the sector.

“The pandemic shone a light on what BCGEU members and others on the front lines of the long-term care sector have been saying since the early 2000s when the rules were changed to allow increased privatization: for-profit long-term care is a bad deal for workers and for seniors,” said BCGEU president Stephanie Smith.

The poll’s results include the following:

  • 73 per cent of British Columbians with opinions on the issue would prefer to see for-profit operators reduced, and 71 per cent would prefer not-for-profit operators to be in charge of new long-term care bed contracts;
  • 79 per cent said the issue of long-term care will be important (32% very important, 47% moderately important) in determining their vote on October 24th; and
  • 65 per cent of respondents confirmed they have been following issues related to long-term care.

“This poll shows that British Columbians not only understand what’s going on in the long-term care sector, they know what needs to be done about it,” said Smith. “The bottom line is British Columbians agree with what our union has been saying for years: we need to shift away from the for-profit delivery of seniors’ care. Now that we have an election coming up, I’m challenging all political parties to be clear about their plan to tackle the ongoing crisis in long-term care.”

A report from B.C.’s seniors advocate tabled in February, just before the pandemic took hold of the province, revealed that for-profit seniors’ care operators failed to deliver 207,000 care hours which they were funded to deliver. The Research Co. poll addressed that report’s findings and found that 91 per cent of British Columbians believe the provincial government should monitor whether long-term care homes are delivering the care hours they are funded to provide and 86 per cent believe that those who fail to do so should face penalties.

“As we’ve seen during the pandemic, for-profit seniors’ care operators pad their bottom line by suppressing wages, allowing working conditions to deteriorate and cutting corners on care,” Smith continued. “While companies increase their profit margins, frontline staff and the seniors they care for pay the price. It’s been going on too long and it’s unacceptable.”

“British Columbians who have a personal connection to long-term care are more likely to call for a reduction on the participation of the for-profit sector in the future,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Significantly fewer residents of the province believe expanding the role of for-profit corporations in long-term care is the right course of action.”

In April 2020, the BCGEU launched a campaign calling on the provincial government to end for-profit long-term care in B.C. The campaign has garnered nearly 15,000 signatures to date. The union also supports national calls for a federal framework for the public delivery of seniors’ care.

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from September 22 to September 24, 2020, 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:

Bronwen Barnett, BCGEU Communications
[c] 604.719.4713
[e] bronwen.barnett@bcgeu.ca

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

Many Likely Voters in British Columbia Plan to Vote by Mail in 2020

Nine-in-ten likely voters in the province have confidence in Elections BC to oversee the entire voting process this year.

Vancouver, BC [September 28, 2020] – British Columbia could see a substantial number of mail-in ballots in this year’s provincial election, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, three-in-ten likely voters in British Columbia (29%) say they intend to cast their ballot by mail this year, up from 2% who recall voting this way in 2017.

While 58% of respondents to this survey remember voting in person on Election Day in the last provincial election, only 28% say they are currently planning to cast their ballot in the same fashion on October 24.

The proportion of likely voters who intent to cast their ballot during the Advance Voting period is also lower in 2020. In 2017, 36% of respondents say they took advantage of this option. This year, only 27% intend to vote this way.

In addition, 16% of likely voters in British Columbia are currently not sure about the way in which they will cast their ballot in 2020.

“The concept of postal voting is particularly attractive for likely voters in Vancouver Island (32%) and the Fraser Valley (also 32%),” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “A similar proportion of those who reside in Metro Vancouver (29%) would also currently prefer to vote by mail,”

Likely voters aged 55 and over are slightly less likely to cast their ballot on Election Day (25%) than those aged 18-to-34 (31%) and those aged 35-to-54 (30%).

Conversely, voting by mail is a more popular option for likely voters aged 35-to-54 (33%) and aged 55 and over (31%) than for those aged 18-to-34 (21%).

Across the province, 90% of likely voters are “very confident” or “moderately confident” that Elections BC —the non-partisan office of the British Columbia legislature responsible for conducting provincial and local elections—will be able to oversee the entire voting process in this year’s provincial ballot.

Sizeable proportions of likely voters also express confidence in Elections BC to ensure that there is no fraudulent activity with mailed ballots (82%) and to enforce social distancing at polling stations (74%).

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from September 21 to September 23, 2020, among 750 likely voters 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 +/- 3.6 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

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

Photo by James Wheeler

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

BC NDP Ahead of Rivals as Campaign Starts in British Columbia

John Horgan has a 17-point lead over Andrew Wilkinson when voters are asked who would make the Best Premier.

Vancouver, BC [September 24, 2020] – As British Columbia prepares for a unique electoral campaign in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, the governing New Democratic Party (NDP) is in first place, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 44% of decided voters in British Columbia would support the BC NDP candidate in their constituency in the election scheduled for October 24. The BC NDP has gained three points since a similar Research Co. survey conducted in May.

The BC Liberals are in second place with 37% (+4), followed by the BC Green Party with 13% (-3) and the BC Conservative Party with 4% (-5). 

The BC NDP holds a 12-point lead among decided female voters (47% to 35%). The race is significantly closer among decided male voters (41% for the BC NDP and 39% for the BC Liberals).

The BC Liberals are six-points ahead of the BC NDP in Southern BC (43% to 37%). 

The BC Green Party has its best numbers among decided voters aged 18-to-34 (22%, with the BC NDP at 38%) and in Vancouver Island (22%, with the BC NDP at 50%).

Two thirds of British Columbians (67%, -6) approve of the way Premier and BC NDP leader John Horgan is handling his duties, while one-in-four (25%, +7) disapprove.

Since May, the approval rating for BC Liberals leader Andrew Wilkinson dropped by nine points to 39%. Recently selected BC Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau holds similar numbers (37%), while the rating is significantly lower for BC Conservative Party leader Trevor Bolin (23%, -12).

When likely voters are asked who would make the Best Premier of British Columbia, more than two-in-five (44%) select Horgan, while 27% choose Wilkinson. Furstenau and Bolin are in single digits (7% and 2% respectively) and 21% are undecided.

More than one-in-four likely voters (26%, -2) think health care is the most important issue facing the province. Housing, poverty and homelessness is a close second at 24% (+7), followed by the economy and jobs (21%, =), COVID-19 (11%, -10), crime and public safety (8%, +6) and the environment (7%, +3).

“At the start of the provincial campaign, the most pressing concerns of voters in British Columbia vary greatly depending on age,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Housing, poverty and homelessness is especially important for those aged 18-to-34 (29%), while the economy and jobs is top of mind for those aged 35-to-54 (26%) and health care is paramount for those aged 55 and over (29%).”

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from September 21 to September 23, 2020, among 750 likely voters 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 +/- 3.6 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

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

Photo by James Wheeler

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

British Columbians Embrace Walking as a Fitness Strategy

Two thirds are walking more than they did before the COVID-19 pandemic, as participation in team and racket sports declines.

Vancouver, BC [September 15, 2020] – Most British Columbians are partaking in a specific exercise during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, two thirds of British Columbians (66%) say they are walking for fitness more often now than they did before the pandemic began.

Across the province, about one-in-four residents say they are running or jogging (26%) and cycling (24%) more often now than before COVID-19.

Metro Vancouverites are more likely to say they are running or jogging more now (28%). Residents of Southern BC are cycling (34%) and hiking (30%) significantly more at this stage than their counterparts in other regions.

Just under one-in-five British Columbians are also becoming more avid practitioners of yoga (19%), hiking (18%) and golf (also 18%). Women in the province are practicing yoga at a higher rate (22%) than men (17%). 

There are other fitness activities that have seen a decline in participation. One-in-four British Columbians (24%) are not lifting weights as much as they did before the pandemic—a proportion that rises to 31% among those aged 18-to-34. 

In addition, one-in-five of the province’s residents (21%) are not relying on cardiovascular cross-trainer machines—such as ellipticals, stationary bikes and treadmills—as much as they used to.

“The fear of infection is keeping some British Columbians away from their usual exercise routines, particularly visits to gyms,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “The top two pandemic fitness activities for British Columbians, walking and jogging, do not require much in the way of equipment.” 

In May, a Research Co. survey found that 47% of British Columbians would not go back to the gym without a vaccine against COVID-19, including 54% of women.

About three-in-ten British Columbians (29%) say they are swimming less often now than they did before the pandemic. Smaller proportions of residents say they are not participating as often on water sports (24%), racket sports (19%), team sports (18%) and climbing (16%).

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from September 3 to September 5, 2020, 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.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

One-in-Four Are “British Columbians First, Canadians Second”

More than one-in-four residents of the province (27%) think BC would be “better off” as its own country, up 10 points since 2019.

Vancouver, BC [August 4, 2020] – Most British Columbians continue to feel an affinity towards residents of two American cities in the Pacific Northwest, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 58% of British Columbians believe they have more in common with the people of Seattle and Portland than with those in Toronto or Montreal.

Men (68%), British Columbians aged 55 and over (72%) and residents of the Fraser Valley (71%) are more likely to feel closer to Washingtonians and Oregonians.

When asked if British Columbia would be better off as its own country, most residents (65%, -9 since a similar Research Co. survey conducted in 2019) voice disagreement. However, 27% (+10) agree with this statement.

Almost two thirds of respondents (63%, -4) say they are “Canadians first, and British Columbians second.” One-in-four (25%, +6) consider themselves “British Columbians first, and Canadians second”—a proportion that climbs to 44% among residents of the Fraser Valley.

“There is a higher sense of pride in British Columbia on a couple of the questions that we track to commemorate BC Day,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “The results on whether the province would be better off as its own country are higher than in 2018 and 2019, but lower than what we have observed in Quebec and Alberta in years past.”

More than three-in-five British Columbians (64%, +5) claim their views “are different from the rest of the country”—including 72% of those aged 55 and over and 67% of BC Green Party voters in the 2017 provincial election.

Practically three-in-four British Columbians (74%, unchanged) think they will stay here for the rest of their lives, and more than four-in-five (81%, -5) are very proud of the province they live in.

Compared to 2019, there is significant movement on the questions related to the province’s best and worst recent heads of government.

More than one-in-five British Columbians (22%) think John Horgan has been the province’s best premier since 1986, up eight points in a year. Bill Vander Zalm is second with 14% (+7), followed by Christy Clark (9%, -2), Gordon Campbell (7%, -5) and Mike Harcourt (also 7%, -1).

As was the case last year, Clark is regarded as the worst recent premier (15%, down 12 points in a year), with Vander Zalm at 14% (+8) and Campbell at 11% (unchanged).

British Columbians who voted for the BC New Democratic Party (NDP) and the BC Greens in the 2017 provincial election are more likely to think that Clark has been the worst recent premier (44% and 42% respectively). Conversely, 26% of those who voted for the BC Liberals in the last contest select Horgan.

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from July 22 to July 24, 2020, 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. 

Photo Credit: Brandon Godfrey

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

Consumption of Legal Marijuana Rises in British Columbia

At least two thirds of the province’s residents are not ready to legalize other drugs, such as fentanyl, heroin and cocaine.

Vancouver, BC [July 17, 2020] – More residents of British Columbia are acquiring marijuana exclusively from licensed retailers than last year, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 51% of British Columbians who have consumed cannabis in the past six months say that “all” of their product was acquired at a licensed retailer. This represents an 18-point increase since a similar Research Co. survey conducted in October 2019.

About one-in-five marijuana consumers in British Columbia acknowledge that “most” (11%) or “some” (11%) of their cannabis was obtained at a licensed retailer.

Across the province, 16% of cannabis consumers (-8) say that “none” of the marijuana they have used since legalization has been acquired at a licensed retailer—including 25% of those aged 55 and over.

Just under half of British Columbians (45%) consumed marijuana in Canada before it became legal, while the same proportion (45%) have never tried it. One-in-ten (10%) only used cannabis after it became legal in October 2018.

Seven-in-ten British Columbians (70%, +6 since October 2019) agree with marijuana being legal in Canada, while 26% (-3) disagree. Public backing for the legalization of cannabis is highest among men (75%), British Columbians aged 35-to-54 (76%) and residents of Northern BC (80%).

Most British Columbians disagree with the notion of making other drugs lawfully available for adult consumption. Three-in-four respondents (75%, -4) are opposed to legalizing fentanyl. Similar proportions of respondents are against making methamphetamine or “crystal meth” (74%, -5), crack cocaine (73%, -6), heroin (72%, -4), powder cocaine (70%, -7) and ecstasy (66%, -6) legal.

“While we continue to see a large majority of British Columbians disagreeing with the legalization of other drugs, the survey outlines an immense gender gap,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “While 37% of men in the province are in favour of legalizing fentanyl, only 5% of women are in agreement with that course of action.”

In some countries, including the United States, a company can administer “drug tests” to employees, even if they do not operate machinery (such as pilots, truck drivers or crane operators).

Three-in-five British Columbians (61%, -6) think companies in British Columbia should be able to administer “drug tests” to any employee now that marijuana can be legally consumed in Canada.

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from July 10 to July 12, 2020, among 800 adult British Columbians. 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 Endorse Speed-on-Green Cameras on Roads

Three other types of automated speed enforcement are also backed by a majority of the province’s residents.

Vancouver, BC [June 30, 2020] – For the third year in a row, most British Columbians are in favour of relying on red light cameras to capture speeding vehicles, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 70% of British Columbians approve of the use of speed-on-green intersection cameras, while 24% disapprove and 5% are undecided.

Support for speed-on-green cameras is highest among women (74%), British Columbians aged 55 and over (77%) and residents of Vancouver Island (74%). Most voters who supported the BC New Democratic Party (NDP) (76%), the BC Liberals (74%) and the BC Green Party (65%) in the last provincial election are also in agreement.

Speed-on-green cameras are red light cameras that also capture vehicles that are speeding through intersections. Public backing for the use of this specific type of automated speed enforcement stood at 70% in a Research Co. survey conducted in 2018 and 68% in a poll conducted in 2019.

“British Columbians have been consistent in their overall analysis of automated speed enforcement,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “In the specific case of speed-on-green cameras, there is little difference between drivers (70%) and non-drivers (71%).”

Automated speed enforcement works by using cameras or sensors to pick up a vehicle speeding. A ticket is then issued to the owner of the vehicle. Driver’s license points are not issued as the driver of the vehicle cannot be identified.

More than two thirds of British Columbians also approve of the use of two other types of automated speed enforcement: fixed speed cameras, or cameras that stay in one location and measure speed as a vehicle passes (71%, +2 since 2019) and mobile speed cameras, which can be moved from place to place and measure speed as a vehicle passes (68%, +5 since 2019).

Almost three-in-five British Columbians (58%, +6 since 2019) are in favour of point-to-point speed enforcement, which uses cameras at two or more distant points on a road. The average speed of vehicles that pass between points is calculated and tickets are issued to vehicles whose average speed over the distance was excessive.

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from June 13 to June 15, 2020, 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

British Columbians Would Ban Foreigners from Owning Real Estate

More than seven-in-ten residents endorse the housing taxes implemented by the current provincial government.

Vancouver, BC [June 18, 2020] – More than three-in-four British Columbians are in favour of implementing a regulation that would forbid most foreigners from purchasing real estate in Canada, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 78% of British Columbians support having legislation similar to the one currently in place in New Zealand, while 15% are opposed and 7% are undecided.

New Zealand passed legislation that bans most foreigners from purchasing real estate in the country. There are exceptions for foreigners who hold residency status in New Zealand, as well as citizens from Australia and Singapore, due to existing free trade agreements.

“The notion of forbidding most foreigners from owning real estate in Canada is popular among all demographics in British Columbia,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “The groups that voice the highest level of support for this change are residents of Vancouver Island (88%) and those aged 35-to-54 (also 88%).”

Public support for specific policies related to housing that were implemented by the current Government of British Columbia remains strong across the province.

Almost four-in-five British Columbians (79%) agree with the decisions to increase the foreign buyers tax from 15% to 20% and to expand the foreign buyers tax to areas located outside of Metro Vancouver.

Similarly high proportions 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 the province, and those who own second properties that are not long-term rentals (77%) and the introduction of 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 (76%).

More than seven-in-ten British Columbians (72%) agree with the decision to increase 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.

Across the province, 57% of British Columbians think the actions of the current provincial government will be “effective”, in making housing more affordable—an eight-point increase since a similar Research Co. poll conducted in December 2019.

More than seven-in-ten British Columbians who voted for the BC Green Party in the 2017 provincial election (72%) expect the actions of the provincial government to be effective in the area of housing affordability. This perception is more common among those who cast ballots for the BC Liberals (81%) and the BC New Democratic Party (NDP) (87%).

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from June 13 to June 15, 2020, 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

British Columbians Contemplate COVID-19 Government Bailouts

Most residents support helping agri-food companies, individual municipalities, retailers and news organizations.

Vancouver, BC [June 11, 2020] – British Columbians have a clear idea of which businesses and corporations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic should receive financial assistance from governments, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, almost three-in-four British Columbians (73%) think agri-food companies should “definitely” or “probably” be eligible for a government bailout.

A bailout entails providing financial assistance to a corporation that otherwise would fail or become bankrupt.

Most of the province’s residents are also supportive of providing financial assistance to individual municipalities (70%), retailers (67%) and news organizations (57%).

“A government bailout for individual municipalities is more popular among British Columbians aged 35-to-54 (78%),” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “However, majorities of residents aged 18-to-34 (65%) and aged 55 and over (67%) also favour this course of action.”

While 63% of men are in favour of providing financial assistance to news organizations, the proportion drops to 53% among women.

More than two-in-five British Columbians are in favour of allowing airlines (49%), taxi companies (also 49%) and film and entertainment companies (45%) to be eligible for government bailouts.

The level of support for governmental financial assistance is lower for ride-hailing companies (39%), individual sports franchises (38%) and professional sports leagues (34%).

Across British Columbia, men are more likely to endorse the notion of bailing out individual sports franchises (46%) and professional sports leagues than women (29% and 26% respectively.

Residents of Metro Vancouver are more likely than those in other areas of the province to endorse financial assistance for news organizations (63%), airlines (56%) and film and entertainment companies (50%).

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from June 5 to June 7, 2020, 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

Some British Columbians Perceive More Crime in Their Community

Since March, one-in-four residents of East Asian and South Asian descent have endured racial slurs or insults.

Vancouver, BC [June 4, 2020] – Almost two-in-five British Columbians believe that delinquency has risen where they live, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 38% of British Columbians say the level of criminal activity in their community has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. A similar proportion (37%) report no change, while 13% think crime has decreased.

Men (49%) and Metro Vancouverites (47%)—as well as residents of East Asian and South Asian descent (55% and 50% respectively)—are more likely to claim that criminality has risen during the pandemic.

“More than half of British Columbians who voted for the BC Liberals in the 2017 provincial election (52%) believe crime has increased recently in their community,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “About a third of those who cast ballots for the BC New Democratic Party (NDP) (32%) and the BC Green Party (29%) concur with this assessment.”

When asked about specific law-breaking experiences since March, one-in-five British Columbians (20%) say someone attempted to extort them in an email or text message—a proportion that rises to 24% in Metro Vancouver.

Other instances of crime endured by the province’s residents include someone breaking into their workplace or office (16%), someone attempting to extort them by phone (also 16%), someone breaking into or stealing something from their car (15%) and someone breaking into or stealing something from their home (14%).

Across the province, 11% of residents say someone directed racial slurs or insults at them since March. While only 7% of residents of European descent acknowledge that this happened to them, the proportion rises to 24% among those of East Asian and South Asian descent.

There are some remarkable differences among specific groups. More than seven-in-ten residents of Vancouver Island (73%), Southern BC (79%) and Northern BC (92%) have not experienced any of these problems during the COVID-19 pandemic. The proportion is significantly lower in the Fraser Valley (55%) and Metro Vancouver (42%).

When asked about the factors that are to blame for the current situation regarding criminal activity in their communities, British Columbians primarily cite addiction and mental health issues (43%), gangs and the illegal drug trade (38%), poverty and inequality (36%) and an inadequate court system (32%).

Fewer British Columbians place “a great deal” of blame on lack of values and the improper education of youth (28%), bad economy and unemployment (28%), insufficient policing and lack of resources to combat crime (27%) and immigrants and minorities (19%).

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from May 8 to May 17, 2020, among 1,600 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 +/- 2.5 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

More British Columbians Support Community Benefits Agreements

Almost four-in-five residents want to rely on the program to help the province recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vancouver, BC [June 1, 2020] – A new survey finds that most British Columbians support Community Benefits Agreements (CBAs) and want to see them applied to public infrastructure projects as part of the province’s economic recovery plan.

The online survey conducted by Research Co. found that 74% of British Columbians either “strongly” or “moderately” support CBAs, and 77% agree with using them to help the province mend from the COVID-19 pandemic.

CBAs prioritize jobs for local residents and ensure employment opportunities for apprentices, Indigenous workers and women, and provide union wages and benefits.

Overall support for CBAs is strongest among British Columbians who voted for the BC Green Party in the 2017 provincial election (83%), but is also high among those who cast ballots for the BC New Democratic Party (NDP) (79%) and the BC Liberals (71%) three years ago.

A sizeable majority of British Columbians who voted BC Green in the last election (84%) are also in favour of using CBAs for the post-pandemic economic recovery.

In addition, 81% of BC NDP voters and 76% of BC Liberal voters also agree that CBAs should be used to support the province’s economic recovery plan.

Meanwhile, only 8% per cent of Green voters, 11% of NDP voters, and 16% of Liberal voters either “strongly” or “moderately” oppose CBAs overall.

In terms of demographics, support for CBAs is strongest among men (76%), British Columbians aged 55 and older (77%) and residents of Northern BC (78%).

“The level of support for CBAs is four points higher than it was when we first asked this question in August 2018,” said Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “When it comes to using CBAs for economic recovery, support is fairly uniform across gender, age and region.”

This survey was commissioned by the BC Building Trades Council.

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted on May 26 and May 27, 2020, 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

BC NDP Keeps Upper Hand in British Columbia’s Political Scene

The approval ratings for John Horgan and Andrew Wilkinson increased since last year, along with concerns about health care.

Vancouver, BC [May 28, 2020] – The governing New Democratic Party (NDP) is ahead of all other contenders in British Columbia, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 41% of decided voters in British Columbia would back the BC NDP candidate in their constituency, while 33% would cast a ballot for the BC Liberals.

Support for the BC New Democrats increased by two points since a similar Research Co. survey conducted in May 2019, while backing for the BC Liberals increased by three points.

The BC Green Party is currently in third place with 16% (-5), followed by the BC Conservative Party with 9% (unchanged).

The New Democrats are the most popular choice among female decided voters in the province (45%), as well as among decided voters aged 18-to-34 (46%) and 35-to-54 (41%).

The BC NDP and the BC Liberals are practically tied in the preference of male decided voters (38% and 36% respectively). A similar scenario is observed with decided voters aged 55 and over (38% for the BC Liberals, 37% for the BC NDP).

“Right now, 12% of BC Liberal voters in 2017 are looking at the BC Conservatives as an option they could back in a provincial election,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “The BC Green Party could see 14% of their 2017 voters walk away and support the BC NDP.”

The approval rating for Premier and BC NDP leader John Horgan stands at 73% this month, up 22 points since May 2019.

Almost half of British Columbians (48%, +14) approve of BC Liberals leader Andrew Wilkinson. The numbers are similar for interim BC Green Party leader Adam Olsen (49%), and lower for BC Conservative Party leader Trevor Bolin (35%, +15).

Almost three-in-ten British Columbians (28%) believe health care is the most important issue facing the province, up 17 points in a year.

The economy and jobs and COVID-19 are tied for second place with 21% each, followed by housing, homelessness and poverty with 17%, the environment with 4%, education with 3%, crime and public safety with 2%, accountability also at 2%, and energy and pipelines with 1%.

Health care is the most pressing concern for voters aged 55 and over (38%), while COVID-19 is the top issue for those aged 35-to-54 (36%) and housing, homelessness and poverty takes precedence among those aged 18-to-34 (29%).

Photo Credit: Ryan Bushby

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from May 23 to May 25, 2020, 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 dataset 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