Justin Trudeau’s approval rating has diminished amid heavy criticism of his handling of the Canadian trucker protests, including his use of Emergencies legislation.
Nearly half of Canadians said their impressions of Mr Trudeau had worsened because of his response to the convoy, one poll found, while another said a majority of people thought his words and actions had inflamed the situation.
A Nanos Research survey found that 47 per cent of Canadians said their impressions of Mr Trudeau had worsened over his government’s response to the demonstrations, while only 20 per cent said theirs had improved.
“What’s clear from the survey is that even though Canadians generally support what the prime minister has done, his personal brand has taken a hit as a result of the truckers’ convoy protest,” Nik Nanos, a pollster, told the Globe and Mail newspaper. “There’s no political windfall for Justin Trudeau coming out of implementing the Emergencies Act.”
Another survey by the Angus Reid Institute, a polling organisation from British Columbia, found that 65 per cent of respondents thought Trudeau’s remarks targeting demonstrators had made a tense situation worse.
Trudeau called the group a “fringe minority” that held “unacceptable views.” Last autumn, he angered demonstrators further by saying that some of those opposed to vaccination were “often misogynist, often racist, too. It’s a small group but takes up space.”
“This isn’t just because of small inconveniences like not being able to eat at a restaurant,” said Ashtyn Lammers, a protester. “People have lost their livelihoods, their jobs. Friends and families have been torn apart because of the division that the prime minister has instigated.”
Shachi Kurl, president of the Angus Reid Institute, said: “Trudeau once distinguished himself with the ability to effortlessly communicate via feel-good symbols and imagery.
“He now unabashedly, unapologetically doubles and triples down on the politics of inflammation.”