Jason Kenney's approval rating takes hit amid pipeline problems: study

Mar 4 2020, 12:28 pm

A survey from the Angus Reid Institute in late February found that approval for Jason Kenney has taken a hit amid the Coastal GasLink pipeline project protests.

Kenney, who started his job as premier of Alberta with a 61% approval rating, has slipped down below 50% for the first time, according to the recent study.

“The blockade crisis surrounding the Coastal GasLink pipeline project has had the country in its grips for weeks now,” states the study, “and the political fallout from it does not appear to have been kind to the provincial leaders at the centre of it.”

In the online survey conducted to a sample size of 5,042 Canadians from February 24 to 28, only 41% of Albertan respondents stated that they approve of Kenney — a seven-point drop from the last time the question was asked to Canadians in December 2019.

And while the Coastal GasLink pipeline project may not even touch Alberta, the institute noted that the recently introduced legislation that would impose new penalties on protesters who block infrastructure like railways may have been a hit to Kenney’s approval.

“Some legal observers have questioned whether the law may infringe on protesters’ Charter rights,” the study states.

Leadership on the other side of the Rockies has taken a similar hit, as BC Premier John Horgan dropped 10 points in this past study, with only 46% of BC respondents’ approval.

In a study published last week, the institute found that only 16% of respondents believed that Horgan had handled the Wet’suwet’en protests and solidarity blockades well, and another 65% stated he had “done a poor job.”

The new study found Kenney in fourth and Horgan in fifth for premier approval, following behind Quebec’s Francois Legault (58%), Saskatchewan’s Scott Moe (58%), and New Brunswick’s Blaine Higgs (48%).

The full study can be found here.