Most blame the Ford government
TORONTO – An overwhelming number of Ontarians believe that health care in the province is in crisis – with a solid majority laying the responsibility at the Ford government’s feet – according to an Environics Research poll commissioned by the Ontario Federation of Labour released today. The online poll of 1,000 Ontarians found that 79% feel that “health care is currently in a state of crisis in Ontario,” and that 55% of Ontarians point to the Ford government as most responsible for the current situation.
“These results confirm the devastating experiences we are hearing from Ontarians: they are concerned about our health care system, and Ford is to blame.” said Patty Coates, Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) President. “The tripledemic of COVID-19, flu, and RSV are peaking simultaneously, bringing our already struggling health care system past its breaking point. We need action from this government now.”
The poll also confirmed that most Ontarians do not believe that privatization is the answer to the health care crisis. Six in ten Ontarians (59%) oppose greater involvement by private for-profit health care providers – with overwhelming majorities agreeing that “the main objective of private for-profit healthcare companies is to make more money for their owners and shareholders” (81%) and that “allowing private for-profit companies to offer health care services means people with more money will get health care faster than the rest of us” (79%). “The government must immediately increase funding to public hospitals and clinics so they can rebuild capacity,” said Coates.
The OFL has previously pointed to Bill 124 – which capped public sector compensation at one percent for three years – as a driver of the health care crisis. It has contributed in large part to a shortage of frontline health care professionals. While the bill was recently struck down by Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice, the Ford government has made it clear they plan to appeal this decision. The poll released today shows that public opinion aligns with the court’s decision, finding that 70% of Ontarians oppose Bill 124, including 53% of people who voted PC in the last election, and 76% of Ontarians believe that it is not fair to cap wages for nurses and other health professionals at this amount when inflation is so high.
“The Ontario Superior Court of Justice got it right when it struck down the unconstitutional Bill 124. Appealing the decision is disrespectful to public sector workers who have — and will continue to — carry us through this unprecedented crisis,” added Coates.
Health care is not Ontario’s only crisis. The poll also shows that most Ontarians feel we are in the midst of a crisis when it comes to cost-of-living/affordability (77%), housing (70%), and long-term care (61%). “Ontarians have had enough of this government. We’re fed up,” says Coates. In response, the OFL will be launching a new campaign in January 2023 to provide real solutions to these crises.
This Environics Research poll was conducted online between November 29 and December 10 with a sample size of 1000. View the Opinion Survey referenced, here.
The Ontario Federation of Labour represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario. For information, visit www.OFL.ca and follow @OFLabour on Facebook and Twitter.
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