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Northeast sector on Rapid Transit-Taxes
  Oct 03, 2006

A random sample of 650 residents of Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, and Port Moody, adjusted for gender and population for each city. This survey was conducted between September 21-28, 2006 and features a margin of error of 4.4%, 18 times out of 20 @96%competency/confidence. This survey was paid for (in part) by New Trend Optical and proprietor Jim Van Rassel (604) 942-9300.

Question #1
In your opinion, should local elected officials be permitted to allow some property owners NOT to pay their taxes owing to special classification or particular designation?
Yes    44 %
No    56 %
Question #2
There has been significant discussion and debate regarding rapid transit in the region. Which of the following (3) forms of rapid transportation would, in your opinion, be the BEST one?*
An above ground Skytrain running from Lougheed Mall down Lougheed Highway to Coquitlam Centre, Town Centre, and Douglas College    56 %
A light rapid transit model which runs at street level from Lougheed Mall through Port Moody City to Coquitlam Centre, Town Centre, and Douglas College    09 %
An above ground Skytrain from Lougheed Mall through Port Moody City to Coquitlam Centre, Town Centre, and Douglas College    35 %
Question #3
With the provincial government fundamentally responsible for the cost of rapid transit, what % of total dollars in your opinion should the federal government (if any) provide to the rapid transit project?
00    08 %
20    38 %
35    07 %
50    38 %
50 +    10 %
Question #4
(Coquitlam residents only)-Coquitlam city currently benefits from a percentage of Casino profits totaling 8-9 million annually to the municipal treasury. In your opinion, to which of the following one (1) area(s), if you had to choose only one, should these monies be allocated?
Capital construction projects such as road improvements and recreational services    63 %
Community charities and school playgrounds    12 %
Social programs related to addiction    06 %
Lower municipal taxes    19 %
Question #5
(All respondents) In your opinion when should the provincial government commence construction of Rapid Transit in this region?
Immediately    47 %
As soon as they have the money    53 %
Commentary
More than one half of respondents in the region are of the opinion that EVERYONE should pay their property taxes.
Respondents in Coquitlam were least likely to support tax concessions to anyone. (56%) of female respondents in that city indicated they were opposed to tax concessions to any property owners. Port Moody respondents were above the norm in that (53%) of respondents were willing to grant concessions, while Port Coquitlam respondents were more or less split on the matter.
Respondents in this survey overwhelmingly support Skytrain over Light Rail. It is true that in the abstract two of the three choices are Skytrain, the total number of respondents above the statistical probabilities are far above the 2/3rd’s statistical outcome (90%). The first choice (a) garners (56%) respondent choice, slightly less than the 2/3rd’s ‘generic likelihood’ of outcomes. Choice (b) factored poorly as both a first or second choice.
In Question #3 respondents from all regions are generally divided on whether the federal government should allocate 20% or 50% to Rapid Transit for the region. In Question #4 respondents are generally divided between those who say “get going yesterday” on Rapid Transit for the region, and those who think the provincial government is short money and who “don’t want to go further into debt.”
There can be little doubt from the results of this survey that Skytrain is the form of Rapid Transit demanded by residents of the Tri-City region. A slight majority of respondents reveal a tendency toward ALL property owners paying their fair share of municipal taxes, and Coquitlam residents confirm the need for road development by indicating their desire to have gambling proceeds directed there.
There is no appetite for (ground level) Light Rapid Transit in the Tri-City region despite the fact that a lot of attention by both elected and unelected officials and news agencies were directed toward this method of Rapid Transit. Local politicians and Translink have a little explaining to do over this ‘political football’. Thousands of dollars and ‘taxpayer time’ were wasted on a mode of rapid transit that was obviously never popular.
About one-half of respondents (plus) don’t think the federal government should be paying the bigger bill for Rapid Transit which is the responsibility of the Campbell government.
Respondents are nearly split relating to urgency of Rapid Transit construction. It is apparent that some respondents are of the opinion that the project should not start until ‘the money is available’ and also believe that the province does not have the money for such an expensive project. This perception is due in significant measure to the recent news relating to Olympic cost overruns including huge costs for the Sea-to-Sky Highway and the Canada Line, formerly the RAV Line, and the fear of rising health care costs in the face of reduced or inferior service.

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