‘Close to unanimous’ — vast majority want health care and long-term care improved

“I’ve been watching politics and polling for a long time, and I’ve never seen numbers like these.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President

Toronto (15 June 2020) — As the province begins to slowly emerge from the worst of the pandemic, a new poll shows that Ontarians overwhelmingly agree on what the government’s priority should be next: strengthening our health care and long-term care.

Ontarians want health care to be a priority

“I’ve been watching politics and polling for a long time, and I’ve never seen numbers like these,” said Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE). “98 per cent say long-term care specifically should be a focus for this government, while 96 per cent of Ontarians say health care generally should be a priority for the Ford government coming out of the pandemic.”

“96 per cent and 98 per cent — that’s about as close to unanimous as you can get in Ontario,” said Thomas.

The poll of 1,017 Ontarians was conducted by Nanos Research between May 24 and 27.  The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

Impression of health care workers has improved during the pandemic

The survey also asked Ontarians to rate their perceptions of front-line and public sector workers. Nearly 70 per cent said their impression of health care workers has improved because of their work during the pandemic.

“People aren’t calling them heroes for nothing,” said Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer. “Day in and day out, they’ve been risking their lives to keep us safe, and most of us know it.”

“I hope Mr. Ford listens to the people on this one. I hope he’ll finally find the means to extend pandemic pay to all health care workers,” said Almeida. “I’m sure he’s come to understand the inherent unfairness of Bill 124.  I urge him and his government to repeal that legislation as quickly as possible.”

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The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE