Don’t mess with TVOntario
May 17, 2018
For immediate release
Toronto – Three quarters of Ontarians support maintaining (53%) or increasing (20%) funding to TVOntario and its French-language counterpart TFOntario, according to a new Nanos survey released this morning, including 66% of Ontarians who would consider voting for Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives (52% support maintaining TVO funding, while 14% would increase it).
The survey commissioned by the watchdog group FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting indicates that a party leader planning to end support for Ontario’s educational public broadcasters could pay a heavy price at the ballot box.
Among its findings, the survey reveals that only 28% of Ontario voters would support or somewhat support a party leader who would cut TVO/TFO, while more than half (54%) would oppose or somewhat oppose a political leader advocating such a position.
Mr. Ford has promised to cut at least $6 billion from the Ontario budget, leading Friends of Canadian Broadcasting’s Executive Director and Spokesperson, Daniel Bernhard, to express concern that TVO could be included in those cuts.
On March 20th, FRIENDS asked all four party leaders to outline their views concerning TVO/TFO in writing. Responses have been received from the Green, Liberal and New Democrat parties, but to date, the Conservative Party has not responded.
“Given Doug Ford’s hostility toward the media, and his campaign’s efforts to impersonate real news, we’re seriously concerned about his silence on TVO”, said Bernhard.
According to the Nanos poll, most Ontario voters don’t trust Mr. Ford to defend public broadcasting.
31% of voters believe NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is most trusted to protect TVO and TFO. Kathleen Wynne is most trusted to protect TVO and TFO by 20% of voters. Doug Ford is most trusted by 16%, and Green Party leader Mike Schreiner is most trusted by 4%.
The survey reveals Ontario voters deeply value TVO and TFO.
- Seven–in-ten agree (53%) or somewhat agree (18%) that Ontario’s political leaders should ensure that TVO and TFO remain strong for future generations of children and adults. 64% of voters who would consider voting Conservative hold this view.
- 57% believe TVO and TFO are important public educational services that deserve the financial support of the Ontario government, while only 15% believe Ontario’s public broadcasters should no longer be supported by taxpayers. Among those who would consider voting Conservative, 52% believe TVO and TFO are important while 21% think they should no longer be supported by taxpayers.
“TVOntario and TFOntario enjoy broad support among Ontario voters, including Conservatives. Anyone who aspires to be Premier would be well-advised to support public broadcasting too,” Bernhard said. “It’s not just the right thing to do,” added Bernhard, “supporting TVO and TFO is also in their political self-interest.”
Nanos Research undertook the survey for Friends of Canadian Broadcasting between April 29th and May 6th, 2018 as part of an omnibus random telephone survey of 500 Ontarians, 18 years of age or older. The margin of error for a random survey of 500 Ontarians is ±4.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
Friends of Canadian Broadcasting is an independent watchdog for Canadian programming and is not affiliated with any broadcaster or political party.
The complete survey report is available at www.friends.ca/TVOpoll.