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Mayor Olivia Chow’s approval rating drops following release of Toronto’s budget: poll

Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow’s approval rating has taken a hit following the release of the city’s 2024 budget, according to a new poll.

The Liaison Strategies poll, which was released Monday, found that Chow’s approval rating has now dipped to 55 per cent.

“The Olivia Chow honeymoon is over,” David Valentin, the principal at Liaison Strategies, said in a written statement.

“In previous months we’ve found her approval as high as 75 per cent and as low as 71 per cent.”

The 2024 budget, Valentin said, is at least partly to blame for the drop in support.

According to the poll, only about 47 per cent of Toronto residents approve of the proposed budget, which will see homeowners pay an additional 9.5 per cent in taxes this year.

Chow received high marks when it comes to Toronto’s relationship with other levels of government (65 per cent), as well as her movement on affordable housing (64 per cent). But only 48 per cent of respondents said they approve of the work she is doing when it comes to crime, Valentin said.

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“Support for cutting funding from the Toronto Police Service to fund social services is down from 39 per cent to 31 per cent with 44 per cent now opposing the measure,” Valentin said.

“This despite the fact that only 17 per cent rank crime as the most important issue facing the city.”

Affordable housing was identified as the top issue by about 36 per cent of respondents and about 21 per cent of people ranked transit as the top issue facing the city.

Before Chow took office, when asked if Toronto was moving in the right or wrong direction, most respondents surveyed during the election said it was moving in the wrong direction.

“That’s now changed significantly and 49 per cent say the city is moving in the right direction,” Valentin noted.

“The numbers tell us that Torontonians mostly approve of how things are going at the moment. Approvals in the 70 per cent range were always going to be a challenge for any politician to maintain – especially once tough conversations about the budget and tax rates took the spotlight.”

The poll, which surveyed 875 Toronto residents between Feb. 5 and Feb. 6, is considered accurate plus or minus 3.31 per cent, 19 times out of 20. 

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