Majority of Ontario Residents are in Support of Doug Ford’s First Actions as Premier
Doug Ford was elected as Ontario’s new Premier on June 7th, 2018. In addition to the traditional private swearing in ceremony, Ford opted to hold a second public inauguration ceremony outside of Queens Park. When asked to indicate their level of approval of this, the latest Campaign Research poll conducted among 1480 Ontario residents revealed that a plurality (38%) of Ontario voters approved of the gesture. The highest level of approval was demonstrated by males and those in Eastern Ontario and Hamilton/Niagara region.
Since taking office, Premier Doug Ford has outlined a host of initiatives his government will implement, such as a line-by-line audit of government spending in which, a strong majority, 69%, indicated approval of. Ford has also announced a public service hiring freeze until his government has completed the audit, in which the party has clarified that the hiring freeze will exclude “essential frontline staff including police, fire services and corrections”. Over half of Ontario respondents agreed with this decision (55%). Furthermore, 61% also agree with Ford’s decision to implement a freeze on salaries of public service managers, executives, and staff not covered by collective bargaining until his government has completed their audit of the provinces finances and have put in place an expenditure management strategy.
In regard to Ontario’s cap-and-trade program, 54% of residents in Ontario supported Doug Ford’s decision to end the program. This level of support was consistent among all age groups and regions, with the exception of those aged 25-34, and those who reside in Ottawa and Toronto. 67% of LP voters and 71% of NDP voters did not support this decision, compared to the majority of PC voters (91%) who did. Ford has proposed that by ending the cap and trade program, gas prices will decrease by 4.3 cents per litre. However, a majority of Ontarians are unsure whether they believe it will actually happen.
Ford has also budgeted $30 million to pay for legal fees in order to fight a federal law that requires every province in Canada to follow minimum standards for carbon pricing and taxes. The new government of Ontario states that this decision was motivated by the negative impacts these laws have on the economy. When asked about the level of agreeance with this decision, 28% strongly disagreed with it, followed by 21% who neither agreed nor disagreed, while 38% strongly or somewhat agree with it.
Doug Ford’s government has also proposed a revision to Ontario’s OHIP+ program in which those covered by private insurance plans will bill those insurers first and the government second, while those who are not covered by private insurance benefits will still continue to receive their eligible prescriptions for free under this program. 66% of Ontario residents agreed with this revision, with similar levels of support shown among all age groups and regions.
In a recent meeting with Justin Trudeau, Doug Ford argued that the federal government was responsible for the costs Toronto and Ontario have incurred by providing housing and other services to recent surge of asylum seekers, stating that, "This mess was 100 percent the result of the federal government, and the federal government should foot 100 percent of the bills”. When asked whether or not they agree with this decision, 67% of Ontario residents agreed that the federal government is responsible for covering these costs, with strong support across all ages and regions of Ontario.
“The early policies of Premier Ford’s mandate have been met with wide-spread support among Ontarians. A strong majority support much of what Premier Ford has announced, particularly the line-by-line audit. The decisive win Premier Ford and the PC Party received last month has carried through to the early days of their mandate and Ontarians are lock-step with the government, so far.” said Eli Yufest, CEO of Campaign Research Inc.
This online study was conducted by Campaign Research as part of its monthly omnibus study between July 9 and July 10 through an online survey of 1480 randomly selected Ontarian adults who are members of Maru/Blue’s online panel Maru Voice Canada and were provided with various incentives to respond. The panelists were selected to reflect Ontario’s age, gender and regional distributions in line with 2016 Statistics Canada census data. For comparison purposes, a probability sample of this size has an estimated margin of error (which measures sampling variability) of +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.
The results have been weighted by age, gender, and region to match the population according to 2016 Census data. Certain areas or groups may be oversampled but have been weighted to reflect their proportion of Ontario’s population. This is to ensure the sample is representative of the entire adult population of Ontario. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.
The following screening question was asked in order to determine eligibility for participation in the study
"Are you 18 years of age or older and eligible to vote in federal elections?"