In February, a long-awaited meeting between the prime minister and the provincial and territorial premiers will take place in Ottawa.
The discussions will focus on how to fund and manage health care across Canada, as stories about personnel shortages and surgery delays dominate the airwaves.
We have seen health care rising as an issue at the federal level, particularly among Canadians aged 55 and over who continue to voice concerns about the viability of the system. The meeting will also provide an opportunity for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to reconnect with the electorate after a complicated end of 2022, even if the supply and confidence agreement that the Liberal Party reached with the New Democratic Party (NDP) ensures that no federal election will take place until 2025.
Every six months, Research Co. and Glacier Media ask Canadians about national unity and their heads of government. At the start of this year, more than half of Canadians (52 per cent) think their province would be better off with a different prime minister in Ottawa, up one point since our previous survey in June 2022.
As has been traditionally the case, animosity towards Trudeau is particularly high in Alberta (66 per cent, up two points) and Manitoba and Saskatchewan (65 per cent, up five points). The proportions of dissatisfied Canadians are lower in Atlantic Canada (44 per cent, down eight points) and Quebec (42 per cent, down three points).
There are bigger problems for Trudeau in two other provinces.
In Ontario, which has proven crucial for the Liberal minority wins in 2019 and 2021, 52 per cent of residents (up four points) think they would be better off if someone else takes over at the federal level. In British Columbia, where Trudeau did remarkably well in 2015, 57 per cent (also up four points) appear to be ready for a new prime minister.
In Ontario and British Columbia, the Liberals need to maintain support in cities. There is an evident challenge from the Conservative Party, as outlined by the way in which federal opposition leader Pierre Poilievre has discussed housing – an issue that is particularly prominent among young urban voters.
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