People are officially fed up with the Ontario government over the teachers strike
The conflict between the four main teachers' unions in the province and the Ontario government is ongoing, and it seems the dispute could hurt some Progressive Conservative MPPS when the next election rolls around.
According to a new poll commissioned by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF), many respondents in PC ridings are unimpressed with how the government is handling the issue, and are "less inclined" to vote for them in the next election.
The poll was conducted by Strategic Communications and consisted of an automated phone survey to landline numbers from January 14 to 18.
A total of 9,726 residents in 33 PC ridings participated in the poll, 3984 of which indentified as parents. The overall margin of error for a sample of this size is +/-0.97%, 19 times out of 20.
The poll found that 53 per cent of respondents think the Doug Ford Progressive Conservative government is doing a "poor" job, while 29 per cent feel their own local Member of Provincial Parliament is doing a "poor" job.
It also found that 53 per cent of respondents strongly disagree with the PC government's proposal to increase class sizes, and 49 per cent strongly disagree that e-learning is an acceptable substitute for in-class secondary school education with a teacher.
Meanwhile, 55 per cent of respondents strongly agree with keeping full-day kindergarten in Ontario.
Overall, the poll found that 56 per cent of respondents said the changes being made in education by the Doug Ford government make them less inclined to vote for the PC Party in the next election.
The poll did not ask Ontario residents what they think of a wage increase for teachers, though the government maintains that that's one of the key issues in the ongoing dispute.
OSSTF President Harvey Bischof told CTV News they decided to commission the poll when Premier Doug Ford said he didn't believe teachers were truly on board with the ongoing strikes and that they were being forced into it by union leaders. He has also consistently questioned whether residents are being properly represented.
"One of the things we wanted to see is whether Conservative MPP were properly representing their constituents," Bischof told CTV.
"It's pretty clear that overwhelmingly their constituents are saying they’re going in the wrong direction."
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