December 13, 2016 11:06 am
Updated: December 13, 2016 1:55 pm

Wynne hits all-time low approval rating, still worst in country: poll

WATCH ABOVE: Hydro One in Ontario is turning the lights on for Christmas. 1,400 families who have been disconnected are now being contacted by the utility so they can arrange late payments and get them out of the dark. Mike Drolet reports.

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Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne‘s approval rating has dropped to an all-time low as her government continues to be hammered by the controversial sale of Hydro One as well as a recent auditor’s report which heavily criticized the province’s spending habits.

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The survey, conducted by Angus Reid Institute from December 5 to 12 with a sample size of 804 Ontarians, shows only 16 per cent of respondents approve of the premier’s performance while 78 per cent disapprove and six per cent are not sure.

“This represents an all-time low based on same-source data tracked by the Angus Reid Institute since her February 2013 swearing-in as premier, and a four-point drop since September,” the polling firm said in a media release on Tuesday.

The latest poll numbers follow a trend for the premier with Forum Research and Mainstreet Research showing similar numbers last month with 13 per cent and 15 per cent approval ratings for the premier respectively.

READ MORE: Hydro One to reconnect more than 1,400 customers currently without power

Forum had also called it the lowest value they “have ever recorded for a sitting premier.”

The Angus Reid poll has Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall at the top of the approval rating list at 58 per cent, followed by Manitoba’s Brain Pallister (50 per cent) and B.C.’s Christy Clark (35 per cent).

Wynne continues to get pummeled in the polls as her government grapples with the aftermath of selling shares of Hydro One.

The premier had defended the decision to sell up to 60 per cent of the utility, saying the money raised is needed to fund the Liberals’ $160-billion, 12-year program to modernize public transit and infrastructure across the province.

The Ontario government, which hopes to raise $9 billion from the partial privatization of Hydro One, raised $3.8 billion from the sale of 30 per cent of the utility so far.

READ MORE: Poor oversight of Ontario road and transit contracts cause for concern: auditor general

The rising cost of electricity has also riled citizens across the province. A Global News investigation into electricity rates led Hydro One to launch a review of the disconnection of 1,400 customers. The utility provider later gave customers a reprieve.

At the Ontario Liberals’ annual general meeting last month, Wynne called the high electricity prices her “mistake.”

Meanwhile, the Canadian Union of Public Employees last week filed a lawsuit against the Ontario government for “misfeasance in public office” over the sale of shares in Hydro One.

The lawsuit alleges Premier Wynne, Finance Minister Charles Sousa and former energy minister Bob Chiarelli inappropriately mixed government and party business by holding expensive fundraisers with cabinet ministers that was attended by bankers who profited from the sale of Hydro One.

VIDEO: Why would Wynne call high hydro bills ‘my mistake’? Alan Carter takes a look at the Ontario Liberal strategy.

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