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Poll finds Ontarians pessimistic - Metro US

Poll finds Ontarians pessimistic

Four in five Ontarians feel the provincial economy is “poor” and most do not believe Premier Dalton McGuinty has a plan to improve things, a new Toronto Star-Angus Reid Strategies poll suggests.

More than half of respondents — 53 per cent — fear the economic situation will worsen, with just six per cent optimistic things will get better.

The province’s sputtering economy is by far the most pressing concern with Ontarians, ranking as the top issue by 59 per cent of those surveyed. Unemployment was second with 17 per cent followed by health care at six per cent, the environment at five per cent and poverty at three per cent.

With 61 per cent rating economic conditions as “poor” and an additional 21 per cent saying they are “very poor,” there is mounting pressure on McGuinty’s Liberal government to act. The government is to present its budget March 26.

Only 24 per cent believe McGuinty “has a clear plan to deal with the economic slowdown.”

Despite such pessimism, two-thirds — 66 per cent — are not concerned about losing their jobs, while 28 per cent express such fear.

Their concerns about the economy were being echoed in the legislature yesterday.

New NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said she has seen the plight of the unemployed in every corner of the province.

But McGuinty insisted Ontarians understand that the global recession did not originate with him.

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