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Failing grades to teachers, Ford government in labour dispute: poll

Striking teachers of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation walk the picket line outside of Northern Secondary School in Toronto, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

The ongoing standoff between Ontario high school teachers and the Ford government gets a failing grade from Ontarians.

A new DART & Maru/Blue Voice Canada poll shows just over 40 per cent of Ontarians feel neither side is being fair or reasonable or acting responsibly in the labour dispute with teachers coming out slightly ahead of the government when it comes to who is being realistic (34 per cent).

Thirty-three per cent of those asked say the government is acting in the best interests of the taxpayers but 37 per cent say the teachers are acting in the best interests of parents and students.

In both cases, 4 in 10 people asked said neither side was acting in the best interests of taxypayers (44 per cent) or parents/students (39 per cent).

The poll was conducted among 593 randomly selected Ontarians on the heels of a one-day strike last week which shut down schools across the province. It is considered accurate with +/- 4.6 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

The Ontario Secondary Schools Teachers’ Federation says another one day withdrawal of services is set to take place next Wednesday in selected locations across the province including Toronto.

Teachers have been without a contract since August and have been conducting province-wide work-to-rule campaigns since Nov. 26.