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Premier Ford's approval rating drops, down more than 20% since last June

Ontario Premier Doug Ford arrives at a press conference at Queen's Park during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Tuesday, November 3, 2020. The provincial government unveiled a new tiered system for COVID-19 restrictions that will give municipalities and public health units guidelines for when to implement lockdows and closures. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

A new survey on the approval ratings for Canada’s premiers shows Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s approval has dropped another eight per cent since March.

Ford’s rating hit a high of 62 per cent back in June 2020 after the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has since dropped down to 40 per cent, which was his approval rating when the Progressive Conservatives won a majority government in June of 2018.

The new poll from Maru Public Opinion found Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe had the highest approval rating at 64 per cent, with Quebec’s Premier François Legault at 62 per cent and British Columbia Premier John Horgan at 60 per cent.

Ford sits in eighth spot out of the 10 Canadian premiers. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Manitoba’s Brian Pallister both sit at 33 per cent. New Brunswick Premier Blain Higgs is in seventh spot with an approval rating of 56 per cent.

The survey comes as many provinces are seeing improved COVID-19 case numbers and deaths as vaccination rates rise across the country.

More than 33 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Canada. Over 76 per cent of eligible Canadians have received at least one dose and 23 per cent have been fully vaccinated.

Ford faced criticism recently over the handling of the third wave of COVID-19 in the province. An announcement of increased police powers and the closure of outdoor amenities during a second stay-at-home order in April caused uproar and led to the Ontario government rolling back those measures days after they were announced.

While the vaccination rates continue to increase in the province, the government was criticized for the slow rollout and issues with the vaccine booking website as people tried to book their second doses.

Ontario saw its highest case counts and hospitalizations during the third wave of COVID-19. At the height of the third wave in April, Premier Ford was forced to self-isolate for two weeks after being potentially exposed to the virus.

The Maru Public Opinion poll findings were taken from a survey conducted between May 26 to June 8 from 5,277 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Maru/Blue online panellists. The poll has an estimated margin of error of plus or minus 1.4 per cent, 19 times out of 20.