Doug Ford's support is 'collapsing' faster than any premier in Canadian history, pollster says
Things aren’t going well for Ontario Premier Doug Ford or his government.
Last June, the Progressive Conservatives won a majority government with 40.5 per cent of the vote. The latest polls show that support has collapsed.
Last week, an Environics poll noted a whopping 75% of Ontarians felt Ford’s government was “on the wrong track.” That included 37% of 2018 Tory voters.
More recently, a Mainstreet poll found just 19.9% of Ontarians polled have a favourable opinion of Ford, while 73.4% “have a negative opinion of the premier.”
Remarking on the findings, Quito Maggi, President and CEO of Mainstreet Research remarked:
“His support is collapsing … We have never seen an incumbent premier reach these depths in popular opinion with barely a year into his mandate.”
But there are other signs the government is in disarray:
Doug Ford booed at Special Olympics
On May 15, Premier Ford was booed by “hundreds of people” according to the Toronto Star, while speaking at the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
“Boy … you know something? I haven’t heard that much energy in a long time,” Ford said in response.
Many attributed this to revulsion at the impact of the Ford government’s incredibly dangerous cuts to autism support.
Several days later, Ford was booed again at a tech conference in Toronto after he cut $24 million from support for AI research.
Parents call for resignation of minister Lisa MacLeod
As PressProgress reported previously, the Ministry of Community, Family and Social Services has seen some of this government’s sharpest and ugliest cuts and that’s made Ontarians very angry.
During one telephone townhall, Global News reported there were several calls by parents impacted by the ministry’s cuts for Minister Lisa MacLeod to resign.
That wasn’t the first time. Back in February, the minister had to tell the legislature she does not plan on resigning, soon after the cuts were announced. Protests have followed.
Megan Rigden has son & daughter both w/ severe #autism she was just escorted out of Queen’s Park by officers after travelling from Windsor for 2nd time to try to get answers from @MacLeodLisa & @AmyFeePC… says she couldn’t handle talking points & had emotional outburst #ONpoli pic.twitter.com/X05L0O79HT
— Travis Dhanraj (@Travisdhanraj) March 19, 2019
Despite suggestions the backlash may prompt the government to ease up on its cuts, the ministry has been desperate to shore up support. The Ontario Association for Behaviour Analysts even alleged the ministry threatened it with “four long years” if the association didn’t provide a supportive quote to promote the changes.
CBC reported Minister MacLeod did not deny it but noted, amid new calls for her resignation: “It’s been an emotional time.”
It’s been an emotional time.
Throughout this process my focus has always been on the 23,000 children who were abandoned under the previous government’s plan. This is an issue I take very personally and I apologize if my comments made anyone feel threatened or uncomfortable.
— Lisa MacLeod (@MacLeodLisa) February 14, 2019
Sam Oosterhoff scared off by teenagers, the elderly and women’s rights protesters
MPP Sam Oosterhoff has been having a bad time too.
After pledging to “make abortion unthinkable in our lifetime” during a recent anti-abortion rally, Oosterhoff has been greeted by protesters, regularly.
Sam Oosterhoff abruptly ends coffee event with constituents in Grimsby. Vast majority are here to protest his stance on abortion. He is trying to leave but crowds are marching in front of driveway at Legion. #ONPoli @CHCHNews @CHCHTV pic.twitter.com/civ9g5voQ6
— Matt Ingram (@MattIngramNEWS) May 18, 2019
That includes protests by French catholic school students in Welland, women dressed as handmaids and more.
Prior to this round of anti-Oosterhoff actions, the MPP previously had a problem with groups of elderly people bringing books into his office for a “read-in” to protest library cuts. His office called the police to have 15 senior citizens removed.
One protester remarked to CBC News: “Old retired people with library books, what kind of a threat is that?”
Niagara Regional Police Service Constable Phil Gavin told media officers who went toe the office to attend to the “disturbance” did not have to do much.
“The group left on their own accord following a brief sit down. Our officers remained on scene for approximately 45 minutes to ensure the public peace.”