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Albertans more concerned about economy than COVID-19: survey

Last Updated Jun 29, 2020 at 1:13 pm MST

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – Concerns about COVID-19 are falling sharply in the province, with Albertans now more worried about the economy.

That’s according to a new poll by Think HQ which shows just over a third of respondents (35 per cent) are very concerned about the virus, down 23 per cent from two months ago.

President of Think HQ, Marc Henry, said the survey found the top two issues are jobs and the economy.

“Things are opening up and people are leaving their houses. They’re less concerned about it (coronavirus). They’re now focused on other issues that were top of mind for them. ”

The survey found while 74 per cent of respondents approved of the government’s response to COVID-19, about 50 per cent are not confident it can manage the provincial economy.

At the same time, the survey found that any so-called “COVID bump” enjoyed by politicians through the handling of the crisis is eroding and it appears the prime minister’s approval has taken the biggest hit, down seven per cent to 43 per cent.

But what about Alberta’s Premier?

“We saw that with Jason Kenney, his approval numbers overall went up seven percentage points as we got into the coronavirus crisis but they’ve slipped backwards again,” said Henry.

“He’s now back into slightly negative territory in terms of his personal approval, he’s sitting at 48 per cent approval overall.”

Other politicians ranked in the survey include Alberta NDP leader Rachel Notley, who saw a slight increase in approval to 45 per cent while only 31 per cent of those surveyed approved of the job of Health Minister Tyler Shandro.

“Shandro never received a ‘COVID-bump’ despite heading the ministry leading the charge on response,” added Henry. “In fact, his April numbers were dreadful. This June, they’ve actually worsened.”

“It’s not unusual for cabinet ministers to have a low profile, but it is unusual for one to have half of the province disapprove of him, and another one-fifth not know who he is.”