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Poll finds government ministers losing PR battle in education fight

Ontario high school teachers held a 1-day strike on December 04, 2019 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Ontario public high school teachers walked off the job for one day as negotiations between their union and the province remain at a standstill. The Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF) launched the strike at midnight Tuesday night as some 40,000 high school teachers and 20,000 support staff represented by the union walked off the job Wednesday. (FILE/Getty Images)

As education unions ramp up their battle against the Ford government, polling data obtained by CityNews shows the provincial government is losing the critical public relations battle when it comes to parents.

A poll conducted by Strategic Communications on behalf of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation indicates two of Doug Ford’s Top ministers could be vulnerable in their respective ridings.

Treasury Board President Peter Bethlenfalvy was rated poor by 36 per cent of parents with children in public school who were polled in his riding of Pickering-Uxbridge.

Finance Minister Rod Philips was given a poor rating by 34 per cent of parents with children in public school in the District of Ajax.

Among parents with children in public school in those respective ridings, 66 per cent in Ajax say they strongly disagree with the Ford government’s plan to increase class sizes while 55 per cent in Pickering-Uxbridge strongly disagree.

Sixty per cent of parents with children in public schools in Ajax strongly disagree with the government’s move towards more e-learning classes while 50 per cent strongly disagree in Pickering-Uxbridge.

As to the question of the next provincial election, 62 per cent of parents with children in public schools in Ajax would be less inclined to vote the PC’s while 55 per cent in Pickering-Uxbridge would be less inclined to cast their ballot for the Conservatives.

The automated phone survey was conducted between January 14 and 18 in the District of Ajax and Durham. The margin of error is +/- 5.6 per cent, 19 times out of 20.