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Telegram poll identifies priorities for next Newfoundland and Labrador government

This graph by Narrative Research show poll respondents' emphasis on the importance of oil and gas to the province's economic future.
This graph by Narrative Research show poll respondents' emphasis on the importance of oil and gas to the province's economic future. - Contributed
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. —

People in Newfoundland and Labrador have identified multiple top priorities for the next government in a poll commissioned by The Telegram.

The Top 3 priorities on the list are addressing the deficit/debt, the economy and health care.

The poll results also show one-quarter of residents consider the economy and jobs the main priority.

A majority of responders also believe the government should maintain its focus on the oil industry for the province’s long-term economic prosperity.

The Telegram commissioned Narrative Research to conduct the online survey between May 8 and May 12 across the province. A total of 761 people took the survey.

Margaret Brigley, CEO of Narrative Research, said the findings highlight the public’s desire for the government to focus on the province’s financial state, as well as the Newfoundland and Labrador economy. Health care and accountability in government were also key issues.

Results are generally consistent across the population regardless of region or age, Brigley noted.

However, some differences are evident by gender, with men placing greater priority on the provincial debt or the economy, and women being almost three times as likely as men to consider health care a top priority.

“Results highlight the public’s desire for government to focus on driving change to address the province’s financial challenges, address its current economic situation and focus on meeting the health-care needs of the province,” Brigley said.

“Despite fairly strong support for the oil and gas sector overall — with only two in 10 expressing complete support for maintaining focus on the oil and gas sector — findings suggest there are perhaps doubts among some Newfoundlanders and Labradorians as a whole, and especially among younger residents, about oil and gas as being key to the future.”

The results reveal that two-thirds of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians (65 per cent) believe the province should maintain its focus on the oil industry for long-term economic prosperity. Most notable is that while the number is fairly consistent across demographics, approximately half (48 per cent) of millennials support this view compared to seven in 10 (69 per cent) baby boomers.

In another question on the survey, slightly less than half (48 per cent) of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians believe the province is better off as a result of Confederation.

Half of the province’s residents are not willing to endorse Canada as being an overall positive for Newfoundland and Labrador, the results indicate. One-quarter of residents (26 per cent) think the province is worse off as a result of being part of Canada, while a similar percentage consider it to be no different or are unsure.

glen.whiffen@thetelegram.com


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