When Doug Ford won Ontario’s premiership, 40% of Canadians approved of him; the number today stands at a meagre 29%.
While Ontario is faced with an enormous debt burden, there is no ignoring it, the premier’s recent cuts seem to have hurt his standing with many voters.
While the Ford’s ratings are low, they are not career ending. With numerous parties all competing in Ontario, approval ratings tend to hover at a fairly low level, usually around the 40% mark.
In comparison, According to The Toronto Sun, Saskatchewan’s Scott Moe bags the highest approval rating at 60% for a provincial leader, followed by Quebec’s François Legault at 59%. Doug Ford’s 29% is actually only the second worst, as Nova Scotia’s Stephen McNeil is at a disastrous 14%.
Doug Ford’s cuts have been harsh. His education cuts in specific caused a massive backlash, after he removed free tuition for low-income students, and dropped financial assistance for college and university students by more than $300 million.
In terms of health care, he has cancelled free prescription medication to those under 25 in the Pharmacare program and chopped the number of paramedic service providers from 59 to 10.
He cut social services by $1 billion and blocked the Basic Income Pilot Project.
However, Ford has helped Torontonians in some areas by expanding metro coverage and also plans on lowering insurance costs for auto insurance.
Ontario Childcare Access and Relief from Expenses (CARE) tax credit is expected to help low-income families sustain their children, and his dental plan for seniors seems to have helped.
The mixed records of his budget helped some, but it seems as though it alienated more than anything else. Many point out that his cuts have burdened the middle and low-income groups, while he caters to the rich by giving them tax breaks.
With the debt situation, Ontario was facing after Kathleen Wynne’s overspending, cuts were necessary and needed. However, it seems as though Ford has failed to explain his cuts and as a result has been perceived as hitting Ontarians where it hurts, and now it’s hurting his approval ratings.
What do you think about the Ford government’s first year in office?
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