The patronage scandal that continues to batter the premier’s office has hit home for voters, with almost 60 per cent believing the Ford government is corrupt and even more saying too many “cronies” have been hired, a new poll suggests.
The Corbett Communications survey also found that just 10 per cent of respondents think the departure of chief of staff Dean French — whose friends and family members received plum postings — will undo the damage.
The cronyism question has not gone away; we saw another person outed (Friday)” over ties to French, said pollster John Corbett, referring to the resignation of Ian Neita, a board member for the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.
That came just two days after a lawyer who chaired a justice of the peace committee stepped down following a government review — and after a number of other questionable postings were quashed, including French’s son’s lacrosse buddy and his wife’s cousin.
Voters “keep seeing people being outed by various opposition sources and they begin to think that there’s a secret underground of Dean French cronies in the government,” said Corbett. “The problem hasn’t gone away at all. It’s still right top of mind for people.”
The survey of 936 voters taken July 9 and 10 — a little over two weeks after French left as Premier Doug Ford’s chief of staff — saw 63 per cent say the government has doled out appointments to too many cronies, with 57 per cent agreeing with the statement that the Ford government is corrupt.
Among PC voters, 10 per cent believe that to be true, the poll found; almost 30 per cent of PC voters “agree too many cronies have been hired” and “disagree the departure of French has solved the problem.”