Canadians are more worried about U.S. President Donald Trump and the actions of his administration than ever, according to a new poll.
Seventy per cent of respondents in a new Angus Reid Institute (ARI) survey expressed a negative opinion about the American leader, who marks his first year in power on Saturday. Just one-in-eight (13 per cent) said they had a positive view.
There isn’t much optimism for the rest of Trump’s term, either. Seventy-seven per cent of respondents said they were concerned about the next three years. That’s a jump from a February 2017 poll, when 68 per cent of respondents told ARI they were worried about his (then) four-year spell in the White House.
The polling firm’s findings come as the federal government continues to navigate a sensitive relationship with Trump that is completely unlike the one it shared with his predecessor. While impetuous and impulsive, Trump has also made good on controversial pledges to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership as well as the Paris treaty on climate change.
Trump has also repeatedly threatened to rip up NAFTA, which has complicated Canada’s ongoing negotiations for a new deal with the U.S. and Mexico.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has referred to the U.S. as an “unruly neighbour,” says he remains optimistic that NAFTA negotiations will result in a “win-win-win”.
The majority of Canadians, however, aren’t showing much optimism when it comes to Trump.
Most respondents from every province had a negative view of Trump, according to ARI. The (slight) exception is Alberta, where 29 per cent said they had a positive impression of the presiden and 49 per cent held a negative view.
In Atlantic Canada, 77 per cent gave Trump the thumbs down, while only nine per cent had a positive opinion of him.
Breaking down the poll’s results by political affiliation, ARI found that Conservative voters showed the highest support rate for the president. Twenty-seven per cent expressed a positive view of the leader’s first year in power, while 48 per cent had a negative impression.
The vast majority of Liberal and NDP supporters — 85 and 79 per cent, respectively — had a negative impression of Trump.
Tory voters showed a bit more optimism for Trump’s next three years, but the majority still said they were worried about the remainder of the president’s term.
ARI’s poll was conducted online among a representative randomized sample of 1,516 Canadians. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.