As Mayor Tory and City Council prepare to debate the 2017 City Budget, a new poll shows that a majority of voters would rather pay more in taxes than cut public services. The poll of 1,029 voters in the City of Toronto was conducted in mid-January by Viewpoints Research on behalf of the Toronto Can Do Better campaign.
According to 52% of respondents, “the City must maintain its current level of services, even if that means some increases in taxes”. Only 32% said they “would be willing to see cuts in services to hold the line on taxes”.
The findings also showed overwhelming support for raising new revenues in the budget to better maintain the transit system (84%), create good jobs (82%), build new transit (78%), and provide more affordable housing (77%).
Healthy support was also shown for revenues to reduce poverty (75%), provide more recreation programs for children & youth (72%) and more affordable childcare (69%). However Mayor Tory’s signature transit project, Smart Track, received lukewarm support in comparison (51%).
The results bolster the Toronto Can Do Better campaign’s call for City Council to do a better job expanding city services to match a growing population, and investing in transit, good jobs and housing. Key indicators show Toronto is falling behind in many areas that voters consider key priorities. Alarmingly long waitlists for recreation programs (189,000) and affordable housing (177,749) are not being addressed, and affordable childcare remains an issue with 17,700 kids waiting for subsidies. Transit fares have risen while service on over 20 bus routes has decreased and overcrowding is expected to get worse. Service cuts to homeless shelters and senior’s homes remain in the City’s proposed budget.
Almost half of voters (46%) agree with the statement, “John Tory isn’t making the kinds of changes to this city I need to make life better for me and my family”. 29% disagree with this sentiment and 25% unsure.
The poll also confirmed that Mayor Tory’s approval is declining. While almost 4 in 10 voters believe the Mayor is on the ‘right track’ when it comes to addressing the City’s priorities (38%), 6 in 10 think he is on the ‘wrong track’ (26%) or are ‘unsure’ (36%).
The survey was conducted online between January 18th and 24th, 2017. In order to qualify for the survey, respondents had to have voted in the 2014 Toronto municipal election.
For more information, please contact:
Katrina Miller, 647-272-5024
Ravi Joshi, 647-833-5826