Age and Gender Shape Views on Health Care in British Columbia

Almost half of the province’s residents agree with the recent court ruling on private delivery, while three-in-ten disagree.

Vancouver, BC [December 8, 2020] – The views of British Columbians on how best to manage the province’s health care system vary greatly by age and gender, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 27% of British Columbians identify long waiting times as the biggest problem facing the health care system right now, down 11 points since a similar Research Co. poll conducted in August 2019.

A shortage of doctors and nurses is second on the list of concerns with 24% (+4), followed by inadequate resources and facilities (13%, -2), and bureaucracy and poor management (10%, =).

Fewer British Columbians believe the most important health care problems right now are the absence of a focus on preventive care (9%, +6), a lack of a wider range of services for patients (6%, =), vague legal rights of patients (3%, -1) and insufficient standards of hygiene (1%, unchanged).

Long waiting times is identified as the most important problem by women (30%), British Columbians aged 18-to-34 (34%) and British Columbians aged 35-to-54 (29%). Conversely, a shortage of doctors and nurses is the most prevalent concern for men (26%) and British Columbians aged 55 and over (33%).

In Metro Vancouver, one third of residents (33%) cite long waiting times as the biggest health care problem. A shortage of doctors and nurses is the top concern for respondents in Southern BC (25%), Vancouver Island (32%), the Fraser Valley (41%) and Northern BC (55%).

Almost two thirds of British Columbians (64%, +6) think there are some good things in health care in the province, but some changes are required.

Just over one-in-five British Columbians (22%, -4) believe the health care system in the province works well and only minor changes are needed to make it work better, while 11% (-1) think health care has so much wrong with it that we need to completely rebuild it.

“There are some significant gender differences when British Columbians assess the health care system,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “While 28% of men think only minor changes are needed, only 16% of women share the same point of view.”

The proportion of British Columbians who say they would be willing to pay out of their own pocket to have quicker access to medical services that currently have long waiting times fell from 45% in August 2019 to 40% this year.

In addition, only 27% of British Columbians are willing to travel to another country to have quicker access to medical services that currently have long waiting times, down 10 points since last year.

In September, a B.C. Supreme Court justice ruled that access to private health care is not a constitutional right, even if wait times for care under the public system are too long. Almost half of British Columbians (46%) agree with this decision, while 31% disagree and 23% are undecided.

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from November 25 to November 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 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

Western Canadians Perceive Increase in Criminal Activity

Fewer than a third of residents of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba have reported crimes to the police.

Vancouver, BC [November 24, 2020] – More than two-in-five residents of four Canadian provinces believe that unlawful activity is on the rise in their communities, even if significantly fewer have actually been victims of crime, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of representative provincial samples, 54% of Manitobans say the level of criminal activity has increased in their community over the past three years.

Almost half of Albertans (48%) also feel that criminal activity in their communities has risen in the past three years. The numbers are slightly lower in British Columbia (42%) and Saskatchewan (41%).

The proportion of residents of the four western provinces who feel crime has decreased is in single digits (7% in Manitoba, 6% in Alberta and British Columbia, and 5% in Saskatchewan).

When respondents are asked if they have been victims of a crime that was reported to the police (such as an assault or a car break-in) in their community, only 20% of British Columbians answered affirmatively. The proportion is higher in Alberta (24%), Saskatchewan (27%) and Manitoba (31%).

“There is a clear divide between perceptions of crime and the reality that communities across Western Canada are reporting,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Respondents are significantly more likely to believe that unlawful activity has increased than to have personally experienced crime.”

In British Columbia, three-in-ten residents of Northern BC (31%) and one-in-five residents of Metro Vancouver (21%) say that they have been victims of a crime that was reported to the police over the past three years. 

In Alberta, residents of Edmonton are more likely to have experienced crime (26%) than those in Calgary (22%) or in the rest of the province (23%). 

A similar situation is observed in Saskatchewan, where more residents of Saskatoon (28%) say they have been victims of crime than those who live in Regina (24%) or in the rest of the province (18%).

In Manitoba, the proportion criminal activity reported to the police stands at 29% in Winnipeg and at 33% in the remaining areas of the province.

The groups that are more likely to believe that criminal activity is on the rise in their communities are British Columbians aged 55 and over (45%), Albertans aged 55 and over (56%), women in Saskatchewan (45%) and Manitobans aged 35-to-54 (58%).

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from November 14 to November 16, 2020, among 800 adults in British Columbia, 600 adults In Alberta, 600 adults in Saskatchewan and 600 adults in Manitoba. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in each province. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points for British Columbia and+/- 4.0 percentage points for Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, 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

British Columbians Want Ottawa to Focus on Environmental Issues

More than three-in-five of the province’s residents are “personally concerned” about global warming or climate change.

Vancouver, BC [November 17, 2020] – Residents of British Columbia are not particularly satisfied with the way the federal government has handled environmental issues, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of British Columbians, 41% think the federal government is not paying enough attention to the environment.

Women (45%) and British Columbians aged 55 and over (47%) are more likely to feel that Ottawa has not done enough on the environment.  

Smaller proportion of British Columbians believe their municipal governments (38%) and the provincial government in Victoria (35%) are not focusing as much on the environment as they should. 

When asked specifically about 10 different environmental problems, at least three-in-five British Columbians said they are personally concerned about five of them: the pollution of rivers, lakes and reservoirs (66%), air pollution (65%), the pollution of drinking water (also 65%), global warming or climate change (63%) and the contamination of soil and water by toxic waste (60%).

“Concerns about climate change in British Columbia are more prevalent among women (67%) and residents aged 55 and over (also 67%),” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Residents who voted for the BC New Democratic Party (NDP) or the BC Green Party in last month’s provincial election are also more likely to be personally worried about global warming (72% each) than those who supported the BC Liberals (52%).”

Majorities of British Columbians are also personally concerned about deforestation (58%), the extinction of plant and animal species (also 58%), the depletion of fish stocks through overfishing (also 58%), the loss of tropical rain forests (55%) and the maintenance of the supply of fresh water for household needs (also 55%).

Almost two thirds of British Columbians (64%) say that the carbon tax that was implemented in July 2008 across the province has not negatively affected the finances of their  household.

More than a third of British Columbians (37%) think the introduction of the carbon tax in the province has led people to be more mindful of their carbon consumption and change their behaviour—a proportion that rises to 53% among those aged 18-to-34 and 52% among residents of Northern BC.

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from October 29 to October 31, 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. 

Photo Credit: James Wheeler

For more information on this poll, please contact:

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

Pandemic Affects Casinos, But Not Lotteries in British Columbia

There is no change in the proportion of residents who bought a lottery ticket over the past 12 months.

Vancouver, BC [November 13, 2020] – While most British Columbians continue to buy lottery tickets in the province, the number of casino visitors has greatly decreased on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of British Columbians, almost three-in-five residents (58%, unchanged since a similar Research Co. poll conducted last year) purchased a lottery ticket over the past 12 months.

British Columbians aged 55 and over are more likely to have bought a lottery ticket (76%) than those aged 35-to-54 (58%) and those aged 18-to-34 (35%). 

Just over half of lottery ticket buyers in the province (51%) say they do not expect to win any prize, up 10 points since 2019. Just over three-in-ten (31%, -7) foresee winning a small prize, while 18% (-3) believe they will win a big prize,

Since March, all casinos in British Columbia have been closed following a directive issued by the Attorney General. Only 20% of British Columbians say they have attended a casino over the past 12 months, down from 36% who reported the same behavior in 2019.

More than half of British Columbians (56%, -5) believe casinos bring tourism dollars and create jobs in the province, while 31% (+4) think these venues increase gambling addiction and lead to more crime and traffic.

“All of the casino visits reported by British Columbians took place in the final two months of 2019 and the first two and a half months of 2020,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “In spite of the evident effect of the pandemic on casino visits, the only type of gambling that has seen a slight increase in users is the PlayNow.com website.”

Across the province, 22% of residents say they have visited PlayNow.com, up three points since 2019. British Columbians aged 35-to-54 are more likely to be doing this (25%) than those aged 55 and over (22%) and those aged 18-to-34 (19%).

More than two-in-five British Columbians (45%, -3) bought a Scratch & Win ticket over the past 12 months—a proportion that rises to 54% on Vancouver Island and 52% in Northern BC.

As was the case last year, fewer British Columbians relied on for other forms of gambling: playing poker (or other card games) online (9%, -3), placing bets on a sporting event with a friend or relative (8%, -2), through SportsAction (7%, -2) or on a horse race (4%, -1).

Across the province, seven-in-ten British Columbians (71%, +4) think it is the right of the individual to gamble, regardless of the consequences.

In addition, 86% of residents (-2) believe people will continue to find ways to gamble even if it was made illegal, and 64% (-3) want the government to do more to deal with the negative effects of gambling.

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from October 29 to October 31, 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

Half in BC, Three-in-Four in Alberta Agree with Pipeline Expansion

Majorities of Albertans and British Columbians are disappointed with the way the federal government has handled this issue.

Vancouver, BC [November 10, 2020] – Just over half of British Columbians and practically three-in-four Albertans want to carry on with the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of representative provincial samples, 52% of British Columbians and 74% of Albertans agree with the federal government’s decision to re-approve the project.

“There is a higher level of support for the pipeline’s expansion from residents aged 55 and over in both British Columbia (60%) and Alberta (83%),” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Agreement with the federal government’s decision is lower among those aged 18-to-34 In each province (44% in BC, 68% in Alberta).”

In British Columbia, agreement with the pipeline expansion has dropped by four points since a similar Research Co. survey conducted in December 2019

Opposition to the project fell by six points in British Columbia (from 35% to 29%) , while the proportion of undecided respondents increased from 10% last year to 18% now.

More than half of residents of each Canadian province (59% in Alberta and 54% in British Columbia) are disappointed with the way the federal government has handled the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion. These groups include 66% of Green Party voters in British Columbia and 70% of United Conservative Party voters in Alberta.

While two-in-five British Columbians (40%) want the provincial government to do anything necessary to ensure that the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion does not happen, the proportion of Albertans who feel the same way about the actions of their own provincial administration stands at 22%.

Only 17% of Albertans believe the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion threatens the health and safety of the province’s residents. The proportion is significantly higher in British Columbia (44%).

Two thirds of British Columbians (68%) and four-in-five Albertans (79%) believe the Trans Mountain Pipeline will create hundreds of jobs for residents of each province.

More than a third of Albertans (34%) and British Columbians (38%) believe gas prices will be lower now that the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion has been re-approved.

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from October 29 to October 31, 2020, among 800 adults in British Columbia, and an online study conducted from November 2 to November 4, 2020, among 700 adults in Alberta. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia and Alberta. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points for British Columbia and +/- 3.4 percentage points for Alberta, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our data tables for British Columbia here, our data tables for Alberta 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

Majority of British Columbians Support Ride-Hailing

While 15% of residents have used the services in the province, the proportion rises to 26% among those aged 18-to-34.

Vancouver, BC [October 30, 2020] – Most residents of British Columbia are satisfied with the presence of ride-hailing services in the province, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 72% of British Columbians support allowing ride-hailing services to operate, while 20% are opposed and 8% are undecided.

British Columbians aged 18-to-34 are more likely to be in favour of ride-hailing in the province (78%) than those aged 35-to-54 (74%) and those aged 55 and over (65%).

On a regional basis, support for ride-hailing operations is highest in the Fraser Valley (79%), followed by Metro Vancouver (76%), Northern BC (68%), Vancouver Island (66%) and Southern BC (62%).

Three-in-four residents of the province who voted for the BC New Democratic Party (NDP) (76%) and the BC Liberals (also 76%) in last month’s provincial election hold positive views on ride-hailing companies having a presence in British Columbia, along with 66% of those who cast a ballot for BC Green Party candidates.

Across the province, 15% of British Columbians have used ride-hailing services since they became available earlier this year, including 26% of those aged 18-to-34, 18% of men and 19% of Metro Vancouverites.

More than half of British Columbians who have relied on ride-hailing services in the province say they rate them more favourably than taxis on two features: overall cost (55%) and payment options (55%).

Half of the province’s residents who ride-hailed were also satisfied with the cleanliness of the vehicles (50%) and with how long they waited for the vehicle to pick them up (also 50%).

The rating is lower on three other issues. Just over two-in-five British Columbians who used ride-hailing services consider them better than taxis on accountability (44%) and transparency (41%), while slightly fewer feel the same way about the safety of passengers (39%).

“Few British Columbians aged 55 and over (4%) have actually experienced ride-hailing in the province,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “However. they are more likely to be satisfied than their younger counterparts on issues such as price (72%) and wait times (73%).”

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from October 22 to October 25, 2020, among 832 adult British Columbians who voted 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 +/- 3.5 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

British Columbia Voters Satisfied with NDP and Green Campaigns

A majority of voters in the province say they would have been “very upset” if the BC Liberals had formed the government again.

Vancouver, BC [October 30, 2020] – A majority of British Columbians who cast ballots in this year’s provincial election commend the campaigns of two contending political parties, a new Research Co. “exit poll” has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of British Columbian voters, 59% describe the campaign of the governing BC New Democratic Party (NDP) as “positive”, while 28% brand it as “negative”.

Just over half of voters (53%) believe the campaign of the BC Green Party was “positive”, while 25% deem it “negative.”

The results are different for the BC Liberals. While two-in-five voters (41%) think the BC Liberal campaign was “positive”, 46% describe it as “negative.”

More than half of British Columbian voters (55%) say they would have been “very upset” if the BC Liberals had formed the government again. Majorities of voters in Vancouver Island (65%), the Fraser Valley (59%) and Metro Vancouver (55%) feel this way, along with 45% of voters in Southern BC and 38% of those in Northern BC.

About two-in-five British Columbian voters (39%) say they would have supported the BC Liberals in the most recent election if Dianne Watts had been their leader—a proportion that rises to 42% among women, 44% among voters aged 18-to-34 and 43% in both Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.

Across British Columbia, 38% of voters think the BC NDP and the BC Green Party should consider a formal merger into a single provincial political party. This idea is more popular among those aged 18-to-34 (48%) and those who voted for the BC NDP this year (46%) but is only supported by 30% of BC Green voters and 19% of those who reside in Vancouver Island.

The notion of a merger between the BC Liberals and the BC Conservative Party is supported by 34% of voters—but climbs to 62% among those who cast a ballot for BC Liberal candidates this month.

A comparison of voting behaviour shows that 42% of BC NDP voters in 2020 cast a ballot for the federal NDP in the 2019 federal contest. 

“Liberal Party voters at the federal level were almost evenly split between the BC Liberals (31%) and the BC NDP (25%) at the provincial level,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Conversely, three-in-five Conservative Party voters in the last federal election (60%) were BC Liberal voters in 2020.”

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from October 22 to October 25, 2020, among 832 adult British Columbians who voted 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 +/- 3.5 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

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