A new survey shows the cost of living is the most common issue facing residents in all but two provinces, and it suggests Canadians are not too thrilled with how their provincial government is handling it.

The Angus Reid Institute’s Government Performance Index, released Wednesday, shows the cost of living is the most common issue among Canadians in every province except Quebec and New Brunswick. Residents of Quebec and New Brunswick were more concerned with their government’s performance on health care, which came in second for every other province.

“Canadians’ priorities have been clear and evident in recent years,” the report states. “They are concerned with the rising cost of living and with the state of health care. These issues rank foremost in residents’ minds in all provinces across the country.”

Housing also emerged as a top issue, coming in third in every province except Saskatchewan, which listed education as its third.

The territories and Prince Edward Island were not included in the survey due to their small populations. 

Canadians are for the most part unsatisfied with how their governments have handled these issues, the survey found. Only Nova Scotia scored higher in the index now compared to 2019, while Saskatchewan fell 23 points and British Columbia fell 22 points. 

“This is driven by a perceived lack of progress – and indeed, outright decline – by provinces on persistent issues headlined by health care, a provincial issue of high importance according to respondents both five years ago and today,” the report states.  

“Tenured governments in B.C., Ontario and Quebec have seen increased criticism over handling of key issues such as housing affordability and education while the new government in Manitoba deals with lingering concerns about public safety.”

Despite the 23-point drop, Saskatchewan still performed the highest with a score of 42, which would have put it sixth five years ago. Meanwhile, New Brunswick scored the worst at 22.


The Angus Reid Institute conducted an online survey from Feb. 28 – March 6, 2024 among a representative randomized sample of 4,550 Canadian adults who are members of Angus Reid Forum. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding. The survey was self-commissioned and paid for by ARI.