Premier Brian Pallister deflected questions about his future after a poll this week showed he faces "intense disapproval" from close to half of Manitoba voters.
Some pundits have suggested Pallister should step down as Progressive Conservative leader for the good of his party.
At a news conference Thursday, the premier said he was staying put.
"I think that I'm going to continue to do the job I was hired to do, and I'm going to do it to the best of my ability as I've always done throughout my life," he said. "I'm very proud of the work of our government."
The Probe Research/Winnipeg Free Press poll found that 62 per cent of Manitobans disapprove of Pallister's performance as leader, including 46 per cent who are sharply critical. In Winnipeg, that disapproval rating jumps to 68 per cent, with 53 per cent strongly disapproving of the premier's performance.
The poll also found that 34 per cent of those who voted for the PCs in 2019 are critical of how well he is doing his job.
Asked if the poll results prompted some self-reflection, Pallister said: "I've been facing strong criticism in every aspect of my life throughout my life. And that doesn't change my focus."
He also said he doesn't reflect on polls between elections.
"I focus on the job I'm hired to do. And the job I was hired to do is to get this province stronger, fix its finances, repair its services, rebuild the economy — and part of that is lowering taxes."
Asked about his likely retirement date, the 66-year-old Pallister would only say: "We're not out of the woods yet on COVID. I'll be continuing to work on that as my major focus, as will my colleagues."
Once the pandemic is under control? "Well, there might be another pandemic. Who knows?" he responded.
— Larry Kusch