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A separate Leger poll released Monday showed attitudes toward the B.C. government’s handling of the pandemic took a 14-point hit. Only 55 per cent of respondents said they were satisfied, down 14 points from the last time the question was asked on Jan. 18. It is the lowest rating since the polling started on March 23, 2020. Satisfaction with measures taken by government were highest on June 15, 2020 at 92 per cent.
UBC political scientist Gerald Baier said he suspects the numbers reflect “a little bit of exhaustion with the pandemic in general and perhaps a little frustration that comes along with an approach to enforcement that is more legally permissive, but morally strict.”
Baier said the province has largely relied on recommendations such as asking people to avoid non-essential travel but has been less harsh on enforcement measures compared to other provinces such as Manitoba and the Maritimes which have implemented quarantine measures for travellers from out-of-province.
“Some who are doing the right thing might be losing patience for those who aren’t and facing few consequences,” Baier said.
Health Minister Adrian Dix’s public support went from 72 per cent in December to 67 per cent in January. Owen noted those approval ratings are still much higher than the 63 per cent support expressed for Canada’s chief public health officer Theresa Tam and the 59 per cent support for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Dix quipped that he still doesn’t trust polls, referring to polls that failed to predict that the NDP, with Dix as leader, would lose the 2013 provincial election to Christy Clark’s Liberals.