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4 comments   Listen   Print   article:323346:21::0
In the Media

article imageState of Toronto: Most support mayor's policies, approval rises

Toronto - Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's popularity is growing again. A new poll shows that the mayor, who has been a controversial figure in the city, has an approval rating of 47 percent and more than half support his policy initiatives.
Following Monday’s Donald Trump news conference at the Trump Tower in downtown Toronto, Mayor Rob Ford decided to walk from the event to city hall, which is about five blocks. As the mayor was walking along Bay Street, he was stopped by about a dozen people who wanted to shake his hand, wish him well and give him a pad on the back. Ford seemed humble by the entire ordeal.
Approval Rating
A new poll suggests that kind of support he received Monday afternoon is akin across the Greater Toronto Area. According to a Forum Research poll published Friday, nearly half (47 percent) of Torontonians approve of the job Ford is doing, which is up from 41 percent last month.
The mayor’s largest support came from older demographics, motorists and residents who live in the suburbs. It also found that voters who are most likely to support the Progressive Conservatives in a provincial election also support Ford.
Supporters and reporters swarm around Toronto Mayor Rob Ford at a Cut The Wait Challenge Community W...
Supporters and reporters swarm around Toronto Mayor Rob Ford at a Cut The Wait Challenge Community Walk in Scarborough.
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Ford’s lowest level of support came from Torontonians that live in the city and East York, use the Toronto Transit Commission, walk or bike, vote other than the PCs and middle aged (between 35 and 64).
Policy Initiatives
Although the city council has blocked much of Ford’s policy initiatives this year, a large number of Torontonians support the mayor’s plans. Nearly two-thirds (61 percent) approve of ending the land transfer tax and implementing licensing for cyclists so that traffic laws can be enforced on them.
When it comes to the contentious issue of transit, which incited resentment and anger among councillors earlier this year, 60 percent of respondents said they support Ford’s subway-based transit plan, while 36 percent support an LRT-based transit strategy.
“It appears the mayor's recent difficulties with council have actually endeared him more to his supporters, and backing for his signature transit plan is up, so things are looking up for him recently”, said Dr. Lorne Bozinoff, President of Forum Research, in a news release.
Toronto Transit Commission Chair Karen Stintz (file photo).
Toronto Transit Commission Chair Karen Stintz (file photo).
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Recently, Ford’s allies introduced motions to contract out city cleaners because they argue that they could find a cheaper contract elsewhere. However, the council voted 29 to 12 last week in favour of paying its unionized cleaners an annual salary of $64,000, including benefits.
It seems most Torontonians didn’t support council’s decision. 58 percent said they supported the idea of contracting out city services. The poll did find, though, that 52 percent of taxpayers do not support contracting out crossing guards.
Since entering office, Ford has said he would look at repealing the five-cent plastic bag tax, which is actually six cents if you factor in the Harmonized Sales Tax. The mayor said at the end of December that the issue would be studied this year. This is another Ford initiative that is supported by 52 percent of the city.
“He’s on the right side of most of the issues that we asked about and that’s where you want to be, you want to be on the right side of the issues and you don’t want to share that with anybody,” added Dr. Bozinoff.
Mayoral Race
City Councillor Adam Vaughan speaking at a media event to honour David Pecaut Square.
City Councillor Adam Vaughan speaking at a media event to honour David Pecaut Square.
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The mayoral campaign isn’t until 2014, but some are already looking ahead at who would take on Ford. Following his transit loss in March, which council voted in favour of placing light-rail transit along Sheppard Avenue East, Ford told reporters: “We came up a few votes shy, but this is an election issue," he said. "Obviously, the campaign starts now."
Forum’s poll found that Ford would win a three-way between Councillor Adam Vaughan and TTC Chair Karen Stintz. Ford would garner 40 percent of the vote.
If it would be a three-way involving Vaughan and Councillor Shelley Caroll, Ford would still gain 40 percent of the vote.
If it was a three-way election between Vaughan and former Progressive Conservative leader-turned-radio host John Tory, it would be a closer race, but Ford would still pull out a close victory (six points). Tory has not hinted at running for mayor.
If it was a three-way election between Vaughan and former Progressive Conservative leader-turned-radio host John Tory, it would be a closer race, but Ford would still pull out a close victory (six points). Tory has not hinted at running for mayor.
Rob Ford lookalike marching at the Pride Parade in Toronto.
Rob Ford lookalike marching at the Pride Parade in Toronto.
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Pride Parade
Last year, Ford created a media storm for not attending any Pride events or the parade. The mayor said he goes to his cottage in Muskoka every Canada Day weekend. This week, the mayor told reporters that he will not be attending Pride, but, depending on his schedule, he may go to some of the events the week before the annual parade.
Whether or not Ford should go is split among Torontonians. The same poll found that 44 percent believe he should attend the parade, while 25 said he shouldn’t take part and 29 percent said it’s the mayor’s decision.
“Not going to Pride is not going to hurt him with his base,” said Dr. Bozinoff. “The people who think he should go aren’t going to vote for him so I guess he’s thinking what’s the downside for not going, it is not going to impact his base.”
article:323346:21::0
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