Majority of Torontonians support 2024 Olympic bid, Wynne’s pension proposal, poll says
Fireworks launch off the CN Tower during the opening ceremonies of the Pan Am Games on July 10.
Chris Herhalt, CP24.com
Published Thursday, August 6, 2015 6:07AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, August 6, 2015 7:38AM EDT
Fifty-eight per cent of respondents to a poll conducted by Mainstreet Technologies say they would support a bid by Toronto to host the 2024 Summer Olympic Games.
Thirty-eight per cent of respondents said they would not support a bid, while four per cent said they weren’t sure.
Mainstreet Technologies’ David Valentin said the support for a bid may be partially explained by the fact that public discussion about a potential bid has focused on all the benefits and none of the costs.
“People may or may not be aware of the fact that Toronto has bid for the Olympics before, so if Toronto was able to bid in the past, why wouldn’t it be able to bid in the future,” Valentin said. “The conversation about what is given up by funding the Olympics hasn’t happened yet.”
The support may be related to responses to another of Mainstreet’s questions, which found a full 86 per cent of respondents thought the 2015 Pan Am Games were “very or somewhat successful.”
Valentin said some of the early negativity about the Games, related to congestion and other issues, may have been what created such a positive response to the Games by their end.
“People were told that it would be hugely over budget, things wouldn’t get built on time, it would be no fun, no one would pay attention, tickets wouldn’t get sold. People were told something was wrong with these games.”
The poll also found that 59 per cent of the 2,415 Toronto residents reached by the poll support the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s proposal to create a new public pension fund through a payroll tax of 3.8 per cent of a person’s income, shared evenly between employee and employer.
Twenty-seven per cent of respondents said they did not support the proposal and 13 per cent said they weren’t sure.
The proposal has drawn fire from groups such as the Canadian Federation of Independent Business who say it would stifle hiring and possibly force struggling firms to lay workers off. It also drawn the ire of Conservative leader Stephen Harper, who has repeatedly said Canadians have ample opportunity to prepare for retirement with registered retirement savings plans and tax-free savings accounts.
“I thought there would be more support for (Harper’s) position and more people saying they disapproved (of the ORPP),” Valentin said.
The poll also found that a slim majority of Torontonians want temporary high occupancy vehicle lanes off of select area highways for good, instead of Wynne’s proposal to turn them into toll lanes. It’s a proposal that has been mentioned in successive provincial budgets but largely stayed out of the spotlight until the Pan Am Games.
Fifty-one per cent of respondents said they disapproved of the plan, while 43 per cent expressed support for it. Another six per cent said they weren’t sure.
Regardless of what Wynne decides on the HOV lane issue, 73 per cent of respondents to the poll said a federal party’s plan for transit funding will be very important or somewhat important to them during this federal election campaign.
The poll was conducted with interactive voice response technology on Tuesday. It has a margin of error of +/- 1.99 per cent, 19 times out of 20.