Ontario: 69% of citizens are ‘angry’ with premier Doug Ford

TORONTO – It’s a decidedly bad time, politically, for Ontario Premier Doug Ford. After the survey by the Angus Reid Institute – published  yesterday – which relegates Ford to last place in the ranking of prime ministers approval, today it is the turn of a survey by the “Pollara” institute which highlights how 69 % of Ontarians surveyed are “angry” at the premier over the Greenbelt issue. Virtually 7 in 10 disapprove of the Ford government taking more land out of the “Green Belt” to build new homes, despite growing frustration with a tight housing market that is pushing prices out of reach.

The “Pollara” investigation is the latest in a series of polls on the so-called “anger index” of citizens and follows harsh reports from two legislative oversight agencies into the $8.28 billion land swap scandal that led to the resignations of Ontario Housing Minister Steve Clark and his chief of staff. A political earthquake which, evidently, left rubble in the approval of Ford and his government.

Going into the detail of the “Pollara” survey, 44% of Ontarians say they are very angry about Ford’s political strategy, 25% annoyed / quite angry (so the total number of dissatisfied people is, in fact, 69% ), 25% are neutral (which means they are not in favor of Ford, but simply indifferent), 5% are quite happy with the prime minister’s actions and only 1% approve of the prime minister’s decisions regarding the Greenbelt (the builders?). It is necessary, however, to also highlight that the “Pollara” survey was conducted – from 23 August to 5 September – on a fairly small sample of Ontarians: 513. But the same institute underlines that the margin of error is only by 4.5%.

The survey does not only concern Ontario and Doug Ford: it was in fact conducted across Canada for a total of 1,519 (margin of error: 2.5%) respondents to whom “Pollara” asked what they are most angry about and with whom. What emerges is that the “Rage Index” (i.e. the level of anger) of Canadians has reached a record right now, with 7 points higher than the “anger” recorded last spring.

In particular, the month of September was characterized by a record of anger towards the federal government. Reason: economic distress, which has itself reached a new high. Even though the inflation rate is lower than it was a year ago, the percentage of Canadians angry about inflation is higher than it was a year ago. The most angry about economic problems are young Canadians and that’s largely due to the housing market, which nearly half (49%) of Canadians under 35 are “very angry” about. And it is understandable, given that no young couple, nor single person, can afford to buy a house right now and, therefore, plan for a future.

But who is this anger aimed at? To the federal government and provincial governments. 58% of Canadians are angry or dissatisfied with the federal government and, considering that 27% are indifferent, the people who appreciate the work of Trudeau and his companions are very few: 13% are moderately happy and only 1% he is happy. Similar situation for provincial governments: 53% are angry or dissatisfied, 26% are indifferent, 17% are moderately happy and 4% are happy. We are talking about governments of different colors, but united by one fact: the displeasure of the citizens. The problem, therefore, is not mistrust in this or that leader, this or that party. It is the mistrust in politics, considered incapable of solving everyday problems.

READ THE WHOLE SURVEY HERE: Rage-Index-September-2023

In he pic above, premier Doug Ford in a screenshot from a video on his Twitter page – @fordnation