Majority blames Ford for Ontario strike: poll

Six in 10 Ontarians blame the Ford government for the ongoing labor disruption involving tens of thousands of education workers that has forced schools to close for in-person learning, according to a new poll.

Conducted by Abacus Data, the poll released late Sunday morning provides insight into how Ontarians are reacting to the ongoing contract dispute between 55,000 education workers represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and the government of Ontario.

It took place on Friday and Saturday as CUPE members walked out of work to protest a new law that imposes a four-year contract on them and bans strikes.

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“This first public opinion poll in Ontario reveals that many people are following this issue closely and are aware of the provincial government’s actions thus far,” said the research firm’s CEO, David Coletto, in a statement. message accompanying the results.

According to the poll, 62 per cent of Ontarians believe the Progressive Conservative government is responsible for the school closures caused by the strike. That number is rising among parents of school-aged children, with 68% saying Ford PCs are responsible for the current situation.

Regarding the use of the notwithstanding clause to impose a contract on workers, 50% think it was a bad idea against 36% who approved. Among parents, 46% think the controversial clause shouldn’t have been invoked, while 42% think using it was a good idea.

When asked what the government should do next, 70% said they wanted the government to ‘negotiate a fair deal with education workers’ to end the strike instead of continuing with its approach current situation in which they insist on a lower wage increase for the workers. .

“One of the reasons Ontarians want the provincial government to negotiate a fair deal with education workers is that about half of them think they don’t make enough money,” said said Coletto, adding that 50% of respondents believe that education workers are not treated properly. compensated for the increase in the cost of living.

The poll also found nearly half of Ontarians support other unions walking off the job in protest at the Ford government’s handling of negotiations.

Little impact on PC support

While many are pointing the finger at the PC government for the current situation, the poll found that “it doesn’t appear the issue is hurting” Ford’s support across the province.

Parents of school-age children are split, with 31% saying they are more likely to vote Progressive Conservatives, while 38% are less so.

According to the poll, the Conservatives would win yet another majority government if an election were held today. They have a large lead among men and people aged 45 and over.

“…while more people say they would be less likely to vote PC than more likely to vote PC because of the government’s handling of this issue, the proportion of those moving away from PC is not significant enough to worry conservatives,” Coletto said.

As for the public’s impression of the Prime Minister, the poll found that Ford’s image has become less positive since his election in June, with 45% having a negative impression compared to 29% who have an opinion. favorable.

For Stephen Lecce, only 15% have a positive impression of the Minister of Education, while 42% have a negative opinion.

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