Toronto Star Poll: Interesting Public Opinion Data on COVID, Education, and Policing

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Some interesting data in the latest Campaign Research polling for the Toronto Star last week. The polling document is 105 pages.

The poll groups Hamilton and Niagara together as one region. This grouping is not useful for determining what the poll is indicating for Hamilton specifically, we are very different from Niagara.

  • On COVID and social distancing, the polling data indicates the majority people in Ontario and our region will continue to maintain social distancing practices. [Pg 21]
  • Hamilton-Niagara respondents are significantly more likely state they are “not that concerned” about contracting COVID than people in other regions. Whereas people in Halton/Peel are significantly more likely to state they are “very concerned”. [pg 25]
  • On schooling scenarios in the fall, half of Ontarians polled stat they support hybrid (online with some in-class days) schooling.
    The gender split here is interesting, female respondents were more likely to choose either online only or in-class only than males. 20% of females age 18-34 stated a preference for online only (14% preferred in-class only), whereas 25% of females age 35-54 stated a preference for in-class only (14% preferred online only). [Pgs 62-65]
    On page 85, we learn that 73% of respondents in the female 18-34 demographic state they do not have children, whereas 61% of those in the female 35-54 demographic state they have children.
    People are split on which is more responsible for deciding schooling plans this fall – the provincial government or the local school board. [pg 64] After the 1997 education reforms, the sole purpose for maintaining local school boards is to have a layer of local politicians who receive the blame for provincial decisions.
    Asked if they will send their children to school in the fall if in-person learning resumes, males and females in the 35-54 demographic poll similarly but with males more likely to say they will keep children at home. [pg 85]
  • On policing, the public is divided when asked if they support or oppose a 10% reduction to police budgets. [pgs 92 & 93]
    There is strong support for “taking certain tasks away from police such as mental health calls and then adjust the budget to reflect the reduced burden”, 74% of choosing this response against two other options – cutting the police budget or abolishing the police to be replaced with some other kind of public safety body. [pg 94 & 95]
    Divergent views be age and gender are evident in the other questions regarding policing.
    Asked about racism and police culture, the majority of respondents – in all demographics – agree “Black people and/or Indigenous people and/or other people from racialized communities are treated worse by police than other citizens?” [pg 100]
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First published: July 18, 2020
Last edited: July 18, 2020
Author: Joey Coleman

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