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Despite approval gain, Kenney remains among least popular premiers in Canada: Angus Reid

Last Updated Jan 17, 2022 at 2:06 pm MDT

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney gives a COVID-19 update in Edmonton, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Jason Kenney saw his approval rating rise four per cent from the last ratings period

Just one in five Albertans believe Kenney handled the COVID-19 pandemic well

Just 30 per cent of Albertans say Kenney's government handled the rollout of rapid COVID-19 tests well

New data from the Angus Reid Institute is showing while Alberta’s premier has seen his approval rating rise the last few months, he still remains among the least popular premiers in Canada.

After the province’s COVID-19 plans went from “Open for Summer” to “Closed for Fall,” Jason Kenney’s approval rating dropped to a mere 22 per cent.

Since that point, the premier’s approval rating has increased by four per cent despite Albertans strongly opposing how Kenney has handled the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to data collected by Angus Reid, Kenney was given some of the lowest marks among all premiers for how he has handled the pandemic thus far.

Just one in five Albertans believe Kenney handled COVID-19 well, while roughly 48 per cent say he has done a “very bad job.”

Meanwhile, seven in ten Albertans say Alberta’s government has done a good job handling vaccines.

When it comes to rapid tests though, Kenney’s government was given another failing grade by Albertans with just 30 per cent saying the government has done a good job.

A lot of that disapproval coming as rapid tests become near impossible to find across the province.

Related article: 

Lack of rapid test supply from feds causing supply issues in Alberta: health minister

A signifcant drop in Kenney’s approval has been linked to the aforementioned “Open for Summer” plan the government put out in June 2021.

Kenney’s government did it’s best to keep the Calgary Stampede alive and keep businesses open as the weather warmed up, but it came at a cost to both the premier and the province.

Alberta was hit by one of the worst fourth waves of COVID-19 in the country, and with it came a drop in Kenney’s approval. In just a four month span, Kenney saw his approval rating drop nine per cent — the most significant drop since he became premier.

When it comes to approval ratings, Alberta’s premier bested only Manitoba’s Heather Stefanson who has held the position for just over two months.

Stefanson was hit hard for her first approval rating due, in part, to rapid tests not being availble and telling Manitobans to “learn to live with the virus” as the province saw record COVID-19 infections.