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A recent poll shows that the Liberal Government’s approval ratings have spiked following talk of a possible agreement that could put Canada’s rail blockades to an end.
The poll, conducted by Ipsos for Global News, surveyed 1,000 Canadians and saw close to an 8 percent increase in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s nation-wide approval.
The approval rate in Canada now sits at 48 percent. Nine percent of respondents said they “strongly '' approve the performance of the government, while 39 percent “somewhat” approve.
Though the approval rating has recently increased, it still sits under the disapproval rating which is 52 percent. For the disapproval rating, 28 percent “strongly” disapprove while 25 percent “somewhat” disapprove.
Ipsos CEO of public affairs, Darrell Bricker noted: “The attention has been drawn away by another couple events that are also, in terms of their impact, pretty unfortunate, but people are weighting his leadership on this and probably will be judging him over the space of the next couple weeks.”
Global News reported that Bricker said the results show a divide across the country.
In the West, ratings for the Trudeau government are still low with the disapproval rating of Alberta at 70 percent. Manitoba and Saskatchewan both sit at 68 percent.
In the East, Ontario has a 54 percent approval rating while Quebec sits at 50 percent.
“The prime minister’s appeal is regional, so in Atlantic Canada, Quebec and especially in Ontario he does far better than he does in the rest of the country,” Bricker said.
The poll also showed that disapproval ratings of the rail blockades are also going down. Around 56 percent are unfavourable towards the blockades now, compared to 61 percent just a month ago.
Blockade disapproval ratings are still high in Canada's west, with 71 percent of Albertans and 63 percent of BC residents against the blockades.
A mixture of the recent spread of the coronavirus and the dispute between Saudi Arabia and Russia over oil has caused economies to plummet. Canada's economy has been hit fairly hard.
Canada’s main stock index had the worst day it’s seen in over 3 decades on Monday.
Nick Falvo, a Carleton University research associate said, “It’s bad news for the Alberta economy on the whole.”
“With this recent drop, I think people will be starting to say the R-word and they would not be foolish in suggesting that.”
Bricker noted that as oil prices fall, the Western Canada's opinion of the Trudeau Liberals may worsen.
“The real thing was that this poll was being done just as what was going on economically started to happen. We’ll see where it goes and his approval ratings are fluctuating quite a bit,” said Bricker.
“The other thing is that it’s difficult to really compare him to anything right now, since there’s no real leader of the Official Opposition, but what I would say is it certainly rebounded … as a result of public attention moving off of the blockades and a certain amount of social peace being created around those issues.”