A new Ipsos Reid poll conducted for CTV News and CP24 shows the desire for change in Ontario’s government is strengthening and that Tim Hudak’s image has improved.
This is good news for those who believe the McGuinty-Wynne government has set this province on a path to economic ruin with a free-spending budget and a debt-load that prompted the Liberals’ own former finance minister, Dwight Duncan, to warn Ontario’s interest payments on its debt “are a ticking time bomb.”
Duncan made this assessment in January 2013 and guess what? The deficit for the upcoming year is projected to be higher than last. That’s two years in a row that the budget shortfall has increased and the Grits are without a believable fiscal plan that will see the budget balanced in the foreseeable future.
This week Dwight Duncan continued to warn Kathleen Wynne and Finance Minister Charles Sousa that “Ontario is faced with a staggering debt,” and he called for public services to be contracted out. Government, Duncan said, would have to “fundamentally re-evaluate its role.”
But that isn’t going to happen is it? Under Kathleen Wynne, government services will increasingly be solely within the purview of public service unions. Suggestions to the contrary will be ignored or, worse, ridiculed. Here’s an excerpt from Scott Stinson’s article on the National Posts’ website that will put this in perspective:
The Liberals know all this [necessity of aggressive spending cuts], having been warned repeatedly by bureaucrats in the Finance Ministry that steep reductions are a necessary evil. ‘To make the math work and in order to hit the deficit targets, spending growth going forward has to decrease dramatically,’ officials wrote in a 2013 confidential ‘advice to Cabinet’ document that was released last month by the opposition Progressive Conservatives.”
But better days may be ahead for Ontarians.
According to IPSOS, if the Ontario election were held tomorrow, 37 per cent of decided voters would vote for the PC Party while the Grits under Premier Wynne would receive 31 per cent of the vote and the NDP under Andrea Horwath would receive 28 per cent. Sixteen per cent of Ontarians overall are undecided.
Notable among the poll’s findings, though, is this:
Firstly, Tim Hudak has taken the lead as the person who respondents say would make the best Premier of Ontario (34%), followed by Andrea Horwath (29%) and Kathleen Wynne (28%) who is down 3 points.
Secondly, there is a growing desire for political change in Ontario with 72 per cent (up 4 points) of Ontarians believing it is “time for another party to take over.” Encouragingly, only 28 per cent believe “the Wynne government has done a good job and deserves re-election” (down 4 points). Moreover, the survey shows Tory commitment with PC voters being most likely to show up and vote, and least likely to change their vote.
Finally, a mere 36 per cent of respondents believe “Ontario is currently on the right track,” (down 6 points), while 64 per cent believe it is “headed in the wrong direction” (up 6 points).
While I’m not going out and celebrating over this, I do find this news encouraging. For my own part, I went to one of party leader Tim Hudak’s “photo ops” here in Burlington and was pleased to see how well he handled himself as he walked around chatting to an agreeable crowd.