As the number of COVID-19 cases surge in Manitoba, residents are giving their provincial government significantly lower marks for its ability to handle the public health and economic consequences of the pandemic, a new Probe Research poll finds.

Today, fewer than one-half of Manitoba approve of the work Premier Brian Pallister’s Progressive Conservative government has done to protect Manitobans’ health and address the economic fallout caused by COVID-19. The proportion of Manitobans who say the provincial government is doing a good job of protecting public health has plummeted from nearly three-quarters in June to 45 per cent today – including just one-in-ten who strongly approve of the government’s efforts in this area. Similarly, slightly fewer than one-half of Manitobans say the province is doing a good job of managing the economic consequences – down from six-in-ten in June.

graph showing decrease in number of Manitobans who are confident in the government's approach to managing COVID-19

Manitobans are twice as likely to express confidence in the performance of non-partisan public health officials than in the provincial government’s elected leaders. More than eight-in-ten Manitobans approve of the job being done by Manitoba’s chief nursing officer, Lanette Siragusa, and its chief public health officer, Dr. Brent Roussin. Only four-in-ten Manitobans, meanwhile, approve of the work being done by Health Minister Cameron Friesen and Premier Brian Pallister during the pandemic.

graph showing approval for elected and public health officials in Manitoba

Other key findings include:

Nearly three-quarters of Manitobans agree the province’s approach to dealing with the pandemic has been more reactive than proactive.

Slightly more than one-half say they find public health guidelines issued by provincial officials confusing.

Manitobans hold mixed views when it comes to the provincial government’s approach to schools. While more than eight-in-ten agree all students should be able to learn remotely, fully three-quarters agree it is important to keep schools in the province open. At the same time, six-in-ten say the provincial government is keeping students safe, while fewer than one-in-five feel the government has gone overboard with its rules to manage the spread of COVID-19 in schools.


Disclosure Statement

Probe Research is a member of the Canadian Research Insights Council (CRIC) and confirms that this research fully complies with all CRIC Standards including the CRIC Public Opinion Research Standards and Disclosure Requirements. Learn more at:


Between October 31st and November 3rd, 2020, Probe Research surveyed a representative sampling of 800 adults residing in Manitoba. This included members of Probe Research’s online proprietary panel, as well as Dynata, a supplemental online panel. Because an online survey is a sample of convenience, no margin of error can be ascribed. For the purposes of comparison, a non-probabilistic sample of N=800 would have a margin of error of ± 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.​ Minor statistical weighting has been applied to this sample to ensure that age and gender characteristics properly reflect known attributes of the province’s population. All data analysis was performed using SPSS statistical analysis software.​ The questionnaire was designed independently by Probe Research.