The Premier Of The Pandemic

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The Premier Of The Pandemic

So after initial public polling suggesting approval of provincial and federal leaders jumping in the wake of coronavirus, how has it all played out in fact?

Ford seems to have rehabilitated his image, and has even denounced anti-lockdown protests that happened at Queen's Park. Are there still questions about testing capacity in Ontario? Legault did really well in the initial days, but it looks like the coronavirus numbers really took off there. He is also taking heat over his plan to reopen the economy in its current state, and the outbreaks in the seniors care facilities do not reflect well on his government. New Brunswick and PEI have had very few cases and no deaths. New Brunswick has even gone to the point of banning temporary foreign workers. Will that boost the popularity of the respective governments? BC, despite being a major province and economic engine in the country, has had slow growth and relatively few cases per capita. Led by Dr. Bonnie Henry, the government has received high marks for its handling of the crisis. Will the meat packing plant outbreaks in Alberta hurt Kenney? Scott Moe in Saskatchewan floated the idea of a spring election, but backed off because of coronavirus. Saskatchewan also did relatively well until corona broke out in the north. Will that impact Wall's chances?

By far, I believe the worst performing Premier in the country is Manitoba's Brian Pallister. His government twice tired to ram through a far-right agenda during the pandemic. He has been mostly absent from the discussion, except to wave his fingers and threaten people for not following rules. He has offered less direct assistance to Manitoba residents than anyone else, and whatever he has offered he had to be dragged kicking and screaming into doing that. Now he is doubling down on his austerity agenda, going after Manitoba Hydro and post-secondary institutions. It is so bad that I think his government is a much bigger threat to the well-being of the province than the coronavirus ever could be.

That's my take. What about the rest of you? Did I get anything wrong? Did I leave anything out?


Legault is at least close. Quebec has the worst outbreak and hasn't flattened the curve, or got its testing rates up, or secured a supply of masks, or scored any significant wins at all--but it's opening faster. Pallister has been odious from the get-go, but his odiousness is less specific to COVID-19.


Gonzaga wrote:
Legault is at least close. Quebec has the worst outbreak and hasn't flattened the curve, or got its testing rates up, or secured a supply of masks, or scored any significant wins at all--but it's opening faster.

Is that why the latest poll, according to Wikipedia, has the CAQ at 35% which is their lowest ever level of popular support with the Liberals 3 points back? That's more than a bounce because the Liberals just chose a new leader?

Gonzaga wrote:
Pallister has been odious from the get-go, but his odiousness is less specific to COVID-19.

Even some of the more odious Premiers have been more generous in offering assistance. Pallister his not budging at all.


Although I have been very critical of the BC NDP over Coastal Gas and Site C I give them top marks for their response to COVID.

They are social democrats and so they had no ideological problem using all the tools of the government that their expert Public Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, told them they needed to bring to the table. I think the response in the senior's care homes is where they excelled. They basically became the employer for all the care homes in the province and because they got to reassign people across companies it ensured that the staff did not work at more than one home but received enough hours. Our private care homes were no better run than in Ontario and Quebec so the incredibly superior outcome in BC is clearly the result of quick and decisive government action.

I suspect that whenever they want to call an election they will win all the close races in the province.


Not a premier but former NB NDP leader turned Tory cabinet minister Dominic Cardy has been getting some good press:

National Post: "Dominic Cardy saw the virus coming back in late December and put together an action plan for the province by February" (May 8, 2020)


Dennis is King of PEI:


The Progressive Conservative government led by Premier Dennis King is the most popular Narrative Research has seen on P.E.I. since it started political polls on the Island.

The King government was performing well in the Narrative polls before the pandemic, with 81 per cent mostly or completely satisfied with its performance in February. In May, it found 92 per cent mostly or completely satisfied.

The margin of error for that part of the poll was 5.7 percentage points.

Satisfaction with the government was reflected in stated voting intentions.

Fifty-four per cent of respondents said they were ready to vote PC, up from 45 in February. The gain came at the expense of the Greens, down six points to 22 per cent, and the NDP, down five points to one per cent.

The Liberals were steady at 22 per cent. Undecideds were also steady at 20 per cent.

We'll see if this lasts after he decides to let in seasonal residents.


Horgan has been doing good but methinks his speech writers are going to get an earful. It is not a minor historical lapse to forget the interment and dispossession of the Japanese on this coast.

Covid 19 has been traumatizing, as you know, for those of Asian ancestry and it is right for you to call attention to this with your comment that these abuses will not be tolerated in BC.  Thank you for that. As you referred to history in your address today, Japanese Canadian community members were dismayed that your historical references did not include the dispossession, uprooting, incarceration and exile perpetrated against Japanese Canadians initiated mostly by the politicians of BC.   

It is so important to address truth by those in power, and for those communities who have experienced racist injustices, to use voices, stand with one another, be collective in calling for justice. The Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens’ Association has a mandate to support the democratic rights of all and to reach out to multicultural communities with recognition that these actions support good citizenship. We are aware that to address and overcome injustice, communities need to be knowledgeable about each other and stand and work together. 

We ask you to ensure the history of Japanese Canadians in BC is  included when making reference to BC’s history of relations with citizens of Asian ancestry, as we stand together to  fight racism today and in the future.


Now that school is starting up, will the inevitable covid outbreaks that come up impact the popularity of each provincial government?


Here are the latest numbers for all Premiers

Very little has changed. Ford has really benefitted from the pandemic polling. Recent spikes don't seem to have impacted Legault or Horgan. Higgs is well-positioned going into an election. Pallister continues to be unpopular, and Kenney is at the lowest point of popularity ever for his entire Premiership.