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RSR ROBBINS Research - Canada Politics May 19, 2009
  May 19, 2009

A random telephone poll of 1,017 Canadians conducted May 12-18, 2009. Margin of error 3.0%. 'In Kind' donation provided by Jim Van Rassel and others.

Question #1
In your opinion which leader and party is best suited to lead Canada into the future?
Stephen Harper and Conservative Party of Canada    32.5 %
Michael Ignatieff and Liberal Party of Canada    33 %
Jack Layton and New Democrat Party of Canada    14.5 %
Gilles Duceppe and Bloc Quebecois Party (amended)    10.5 %
Elizabeth May and Green Party of Canada    7.5 %
Other    1.5 %
Undecided    9.0 %
Numbers rounded to nearest one half percent     %
Question #2
During difficult economic times-demand on the federal Employment Insurance fund increases. In your opinion is it important for the Government of Canada to come forward and accommodate these demands?
Yes    73.0 %
No    20.0 %
Question #3
In your opinion how long should it take from the date of application for Employment Insurance until an eligible applicant should receive their first Unemployment payment?
14 days    17.0 %
28 days    56.0 %
35 days    24.0 %
Over 35 days    03 %
Undecided    11.0 %
Question #4
As unemployment numbers in Canada increase—does it—in your opinion make sense to modify requirements for employment insurance eligibility to ensure Canadians who have lost their jobs—have some type of financial safety net?
Yes    74.0 %
No    16.0 %
Commentary
Outcomes:
Conservative
BC (32%), Alberta (54%), Saskatchewan (46%), Manitoba (47%), Ontario (35%), Quebec (16%), New Brunswick (36%), Nova Scotia (31%). PEI (34%), Newfoundland and Labrador (34%).
Liberal
BC (30%), Alberta (22%), Saskatchewan (27%), Manitoba (28%), Ontario (41%), Quebec (28%), New Brunswick (34%), Nova Scotia (39%), PEI (35%) Newfoundland and Labrador (37%).
The federal Conservative government is down (11%) from election totals achieved in the last general federal election in October, 2008. The federal Liberal Opposition is up (22%) under new leader Michael Ignatieff.
Conservatives have seen support fall most dramatically in the province of British Columbia, have lost noteworthy support in Ontario and continue to do relatively poorly in the province of Quebec.
The federal Liberals have improved significantly in British Columbia since the last election and are performing well in Ontario and Quebec.
Gilles Duceppe and Bloc Quebecois have increased popular support and are trending upward.
A clear majority of respondents are of the opinion that the federal government should meet the demands for Employment Insurance. These demands are highest in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic provinces.
A clear majority of respondents are of the opinion that the federal government should modify requirements for eligibility. These opinions are highest in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic provinces.
The vast majority of respondents are of the opinion that EI payments should be available between 3 and 5 weeks.
Commentary:
Unemployment rates are up in most provinces particularly in Atlantic Canada including Newfoundland and Labrador (15%), Prince Edward Island (12.5%), Nova Scotia (10%). Unemployment is also higher in Ontario (9.0%) and Quebec (8.5%). British Columbia has now risen to (7.5%). Prairie provinces like Alberta (06%), Saskatchewan (05%) and Manitoba (4.5%) are doing better than the national average.
Liberal Opposition leader Michael Ignatieff has indicated he was willing to call an election predicated on Employment Insurance---on its face a bold statement.
However consider this statement from Statistics Canada. “Employment grew by 36,000 in April 09, the result of an increase in self-employment.”
Our most (anecdotal) research indicates that first EI payments are taking as long as 50 to 60 days to get to applicants. This would not be acceptable to most Canadians.
Employment Insurance rates quoted by governments are often under reported. Historically the number provided is based on those persons looking for work. A large percentage of persons who have “given up” looking for work are not properly considered in the figures. To suggest that these numbers may be explained by people starting new businesses (self employed) in down economic times in light of this reality is a little troublesome.
Quebecers --as this ROBBINS poll suggests are losing confidence in their federal government and increasing looking to the separatist party Bloc Quebecois as their party of choice.

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