News / Vancouver

Housing action sees B.C. Premier Christy Clark rise in popularity

A new poll on the popularity of Canada’s premiers sees Christy Clark surge on the back of major housing announcements.

Premier Christy Clark has seen her approval rating jump up seven points according to a new poll by the Angus Reid Institute.

Jennifer Gauthier/Metro File

Premier Christy Clark has seen her approval rating jump up seven points according to a new poll by the Angus Reid Institute.

Premier Christy Clark is getting a timely boost in popularity off the back of the British Columbia government’s recent action on housing.

Clark’s approval rating has shot up seven points (34 per cent, from 27) since May, according to the latest Angus Reid Institute poll on premiers’ performance released Thursday.

The bump reverses a steady downward trajectory that has seen Clark’s approval slide from a high of 45 per cent in June 2013 to just 27 per cent in May.

“To see an uptick of seven points in one quarter, I’ve never seen that in the last three and a half years,” said Shachi Kurl, executive director of the Angus Reid Institute.

Kurl believes Clark’s approval numbers are closely tied to action on housing, specifically B.C.’s implementation of a 15 per cent tax on real estate purchases made by foreigners and changing legislation to allow Vancouver to implement an empty homes tax.

British Columbia has also ended the self-regulation of the real estate industry and last week announced an additional $500 million for affordable housing projects.

“We know that these are very highly approved of moves and measures,” said Kurl. “[Housing affordability] is the number one issue, it’s the one thing people have been preoccupied with. And we also know that until we’ve seen some of these announcements made, there was a great deal of frustration and dissatisfaction with government on this file.”

It’s not all rosy for B.C.’s premier.

While 34 per cent approve the job Clark is doing, 62 per cent still disapprove.

“When you find disapproval numbers that high, it means members of their own base are taking the opportunity to say they don’t necessarily like the way that leader is doing their job,” said Kurl.

Clark’s new approval rating puts her fourth among premiers, up from sixth in May.