Nearly 70 percent of British Columbians oppose a costly renovation of the Royal BC Museum and are more concerned about inflation, health care and housing affordability, according to polls released Thursday by the Angus Reid Institute.
The poll found that 42 percent of the 615 adults surveyed were “strongly” opposed to the $800 million project, while 27 percent were simply against.
The survey found that four percent of people “strong” support the project, while 18 percent supported it — for a total of 22 percent.
Eight percent of the respondents had no opinion.
“If a museum of political blunders is ever built in British Columbia, the rollout of the Royal BC Museum remodeling could take on a gallery of its own,” wrote Angus Reid president Shachi Kurl.
The BC government announced in early May that it would rebuild the 54-year-old Royal BC Museum, without presenting a business plan.
While the government expected the news to be well received, the opposite happened and two weeks later, Tourism Secretary Melanie Mark presented a heavily redacted business plan.
The BC Liberals have already promised to cancel the project if elected in 2024, with leader Kevin Falcon calling it a “vanity project boondoggle.”
“The backlash comes as the NDP government under John Horgan faces other political headwinds from inflation and rising cost of living,” Kurl wrote.
The poll found that 70 percent of respondents felt the BC government was underperforming on inflation, health care staffing and housing affordability.
Horgan’s approval has fallen seven percentage points to 48 percent in the past three months, but the BC NDP still has an 11 percent lead over their rival BC Liberals. The BC Green party has 15 percent support.
Newly anointed Liberal leader Falcon is rated favorably by 23 percent of British Colombians and unfavorably by 44 percent.
Rising cost of living was the top concern of 61 percent of respondents, while less than seven percent were concerned about the government’s response to COVID-19.
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