Kathleen Wynne’s approval rating rises, but still lowest among premiers in Canada: poll

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne speaks at the National Assembly in Quebec City, Thursday, September 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Francis Vachon

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is ever so slowly inching her way back up the popularity scale but she still comes in dead last compared to eight other Canadian premiers, according to a new poll.

A survey by Angus Reid Institute released on Tuesday found Wynne’s approval rating at 17 per cent, two percentage points higher than numbers reported in June and five percentage points more than her lowest recorded rating of 12 per cent in March of this year.

The results come as the premier faces an uphill battle against the Progressive Conservatives in next year’s provincial election.

A poll conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Global News earlier this month stated 39 per cent of respondents would vote for the PCs if an election were held today, while 32 per cent would support the Liberals and 22 per cent would support the New Democrats.

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READ MORE: Majority of Ontarians want a change in government in 2018 election

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The Ontario Liberals have released a slew of campaign-style announcements in recent months aimed at improving their public appeal including a proposed $15 an hour minimum wage, changes in real estate rules intended to cool the GTA market, and significant reductions in hydro bills.

However, Wynne has also faced considerable criticism in recent weeks with regards to the province’s plan to create a cannabis control board and the opening of 60 stores to distribute legal marijuana once federal legislation takes effect next summer.

The Ontario premier also recently took the stand in a bribery trial against two members of her Liberal party who are accused of offering would-be candidate Andrew Olivier a job or appointment to get him to step aside for Wynne’s preferred candidate in a 2015 byelection.

READ MORE: Kathleen Wynne is the least popular premier at home, and across Canada: poll

The Agus Reid poll, conducted from Sept. 5 to 19 among a sample of 5,466 Canadians, found the highest approval rating belonged to Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall with 49 per cent, followed closely behind by B.C. Premier John Horgan with 48 per cent.

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister (36 per cent) and New Brunswick’s Brian Gallant (36 per cent) round out the top four.

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List of approval ratings for Canada’s premiers:

  • Saskatchewan: Brad Wall (49%)
  • British Columbia: John Horgan (48%)
  • Manitoba: Brian Pallister (36%)
  • New Brunswick: Brian Gallant (36%)
  • Québec: Philippe Couillard (35%)
  • Nova Scotia: Stephen McNeil (35%)
  • Alberta: Rachel Notley (29%)
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: Dwight Ball (28%)
  • Ontario: Kathleen Wynne (17%)

-With a file from AM640

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