Almost Half Of Ford Supporters Don’t Think Toronto Would Benefit From Newcomers : Poll

Almost half of Ford supporters dont think Toronto would benefit from newcomers: poll

The Globe and Mail, September 21, 2010

Almost half of people who say theyd vote for Rob Ford also have qualms about welcoming new Canadians to Toronto.

A Nanos poll done for The Globe, CTV and CP24 found 48.8 per cent of Ford supporters either disagree or somewhat disagree with the statement 'Toronto would benefit from welcoming more new Canadians to the city.'

By comparison, 32 per cent of the broader Torontonian population felt the same way.

Its a view Mr. Ford himself has espoused, arguing in multiple debates that Toronto simply 'doesnt have room' to accept any more newcomers. His rival candidates have shot back that this is tantamount to xenophobia, especially problematic in a city where half the population is comprised of immigrants.

At a debate at the University of Toronto last week, Mr. Ford pointed to extensive waiting lists for social housing and family doctors: Better for the city to eliminate those lineups, he argued, before accepting anyone else.

(His rival, George Smitherman, pointed out that, if the city did a better job of capitalizing on newcomers skills, 'those people will be our doctors.')

Others have noted that Toronto has no control over who moves to the city whether from within Canada or elsewhere. Advocates have pointed out, however, that the city can play a role in determining whether newcomers prosper or not. A Board of Trade study from earlier this year found the city loses billions of dollars annually thanks to its inability to capitalize on immigrants skills and credentials.

While more than two-thirds of Torontonians say they agree the city stands to benefit from a swell in immigration, however, Rob Ford would still win an election if it were held today, according to the poll, which surveyed 1,021 Torontonians last week. That statistic would seem to indicate that while many Torontonians dont buy into the Etobicoke councillors ideology, they buy his message.

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.