CUPE Local 79

CUPE Local 79

September 16, 2011 09:25 ET

Massive Toronto Poll Shows City Residents Overwhelmingly Against Ford Cuts; Want Councillors to Break With Mayor to Protect Services

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 16, 2011) - In the largest-ever public opinion poll conducted in Toronto, residents in every one of the City's 44 wards said they want their councillors to vote to protect city services in their community even if it conflicts with the wishes of Mayor Ford. The poll also found that voters' opinions of Ford had grown worse since the municipal election and that only 27 per cent said they would vote for him as mayor in the next election.

The poll of 12,848 residents of Toronto over 18 years of age was conducted on Tuesday, September 13 by Forum Research, one of Canada's largest survey firm. It was commissioned by CUPE Local 79, Canada's largest municipal employees' union. The survey has a margin of error of ±1 per cent, 19 times our of 20.

"We knew that the people of Toronto were opposed to the massive cuts to city services being proposed by the Ford administration because our members are on the front lines of many of those services," said Ann Dembinski, President of Local 79. "They hear directly from the people who use those services, every day."

"We commissioned Forum Research to find out how deep the public opposition to the cuts is and even we were surprised by the results. Toronto is united in rejecting the Ford agenda. The near-unanimity is really stunning."

Key findings of the poll include:

  • More than one half of Toronto voters say their opinion of Mayor Ford has "grown worse" since the municipal election (54%), and this includes one quarter (28%) of those who voted for him last October.

  • Voters are twice as likely to say they won't vote for Rob Ford in the next municipal election (60%) as to say they will (27%).

  • Less than two thirds of those (62%) who say they voted for Rob Ford last time say they will vote for him again.

  • Voters agree (59% "strongly", 77% in total) that a local councillor's duty is to protect city services rather than agree to Mayor Ford's wishes.

"This poll is a wake-up call for those councillors who blindly support Mayor Ford's quest to gut city services and privatize 'anything that isn't nailed down,' to use Councillor Doug Ford's words," added Dembinski.

"Their political careers are on the line. They can either pay attention to their constituents or ignore their wishes in order to stick with Ford. If they defy their constituents in order to please Ford, they will be tossed out in the next election."


12,848 residents of Toronto 18 years of age and older were interviewed on Tuesday, September 13, using a random dial Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. The margin of error on a sample of this size is plus or minus 0.9%, 19 out of 20 times asking. In other words, if you asked all the adult residents of Toronto the same questions, their answers would be within 1% of those shown here, 95% of the time.

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