Ontarians don’t think cutting services is the answer to tackling the deficit, poll shows

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas

Toronto – A new poll conducted for OPSEU shows that nearly three-quarters of Ontarians don’t want government to reduce a post-pandemic deficit by cutting public services. 

The Nanos Research survey found that the majority of Ontarians favour increasing taxes on corporations and the wealthy to cover a deficit that is expected to increase due to the pandemic. OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas says COVID-19 has reminded everyone about the importance of public services to everyone’s lives. 

“This poll is revealing a sea of change in Ontario,” says Thomas. “For years, people have been bombarded by rhetoric from politicians who fear-monger about the deficit and promise to cut, cut, cut.  

“But the pandemic has shown the reality that behind every cut lies suffering and death. And folks are saying: no more,” said Thomas. “They’re saying it’s time for corporations and the wealthy to invest their fair share in our province.” 

The poll of 1,017 Ontarians – conducted by Nanos Research between May 24 and 27, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20 – found that 72 per cent “oppose” or “somewhat oppose” reducing the deficit with “cuts to public services such as social services, job training, enforcement of regulations, etc.” 

Instead, 81 per cent “support” and “somewhat support” raising taxes on the wealthy, while 76 per cent “support” and “somewhat support” raising corporate taxes. The poll also revealed a strong desire for the government to focus on job creation. 91 per cent said job creation should be a priority, while 96 per cent want government to encourage businesses to start manufacturing essential products right here at home. 

“Ontario is an incredible province filled with incredible people – we have so much capacity to create jobs, create opportunity, and create wealth,” said OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida. “And that’s coming through loud-and-clear in this poll. People understand that both public and private sector jobs boost the economy.  

“People want government to create, not cut.”

For more information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas 613-329-1931

The Nanos poll will be released on Friday at www.opseu.org and www.nanos.co