British Columbia

52% of B.C. voters say Justin Trudeau's blackface history is a 'serious' issue: poll

New polls show the Conservative Party with a substantial lead over the Liberals in British Columbians' voting intentions.

New polls reveal Conservatives with big lead over Liberals in British Columbians' voting intentions

From left, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer, Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh. (Patrick Doyle/The Canadian Press, Ben Nelms/Reuters, Philippe Wojazer/Reuters, Christopher Katsarov)

Justin Trudeau's blackface history doesn't appear to be having an impact on voter intentions in B.C., even though 52 per cent of British Columbian voters consider it a serious issue.

Those are some of the findings in two polls conducted during different weeks in September by research company Insights West.

The polls found that the Conservative Party of Canada holds the lead in B.C. with 29 per cent of voter support in both surveys, compared to 17 and 19 per cent for the Liberals.

The NDP registered at 14 per cent support in both polls, with 13 and 14 per cent for for the Greens.

When asked if they generally approve or disapprove of the way each party leader has performed their job, the Green Party's Elizabeth May emerged with the highest approval rating — 51 per cent. 

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh followed with a 46 per cent approval rating, Andrew Scheer of the Conservatives with 35 per cent and Justin Trudeau 34 per cent.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is shown in this 2001 photo published in the yearbook of West Point Grey Academy, a private school where Trudeau was teaching at the time. (

British Columbians rated the environment and climate change as the top issue facing the nation by a substantial margin (23 per cent) over personal income, wages and the cost of living (12 per cent) and housing prices and affordability (11 per cent). 

However, a distinct split was detected when a respondent's political affiliation was considered. Only two per cent of Conservative voters said climate change was the top issue, compared to 33 per cent of Liberals and 36 per cent of NDP voters. 

Housing prices received almost triple the number of mentions among NDP voters (17 per cent) and Liberals (15 per cent) versus the Conservatives (6 per cent.)

Conservative voters counted the economy and federal deficit (both at 18 per cent) as the top issue facing the country.

Insights West president Steve Mossop says the results of the two polls indicate that the federal election is shaping up poorly for the reigning Liberal government in B.C.

"Government handling of transparency, deficits, housing affordability, pipelines, and poverty and homelessness have hurt the current Liberal government, and the handling of the recent face-painting scandal means the Liberals have a rough ride ahead in this election campaign," said Mossop.

The first poll was conducted Sept. 6-10 with a representative sample of 869 B.C. adults. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.4 per cent, 19 out of 20 times.

The second poll was done Sept. 19-23 with a representative sample of 867 adults. The margin of error was 3.3 per cent, 19 out of 20 times.


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