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ROBBINS ASK 'Sound as a Pound' with 454 in Vancouver.
  Jan 16, 2007

A random telephone sample of 454 respondents in the City of Vancouver between January 11th and 15th, 2007. This ROBBINS ASK poll features a margin of error of 5.75%, 18 times out of 20 @ 95% competence/confidence level. This poll was sponsored by Glen P. Robbins, Glen P. Robbins and Associates, and Jim Van Rassel owner New Trend Optical (604) 942-9300.

Question #1
In your opinion is the recent devastation to Stanley Park linked exclusively to global warming, which produces strange weather patterns?
Yes    72 %
No    28 %
Question #2
Human trafficking of primarily ‘Asian persons’ has reached epidemic proportions in this country. Of the following choices offered which in your opinion BEST reflects those individuals or groups of individuals who are most likely responsible for this?
Unscrupulous Asian criminals are out for a profit at any expense    23 %
Unscrupulous Canadians are out for a profit at any expense    32 %
Unscrupulous people are out for a profit at any expense    45 %
Question #3
In your opinion is the damage caused to Stanley Park?
A clear example of the by product of global warming-    09 %
An obvious tragic consequence of a storm    17 %
Both (a) and (b)    74 %
Question #4
Recently, six children sextuplets were born at 25 weeks gestation to Jehovah Witness parents in Vancouver, British Columbia. Health professionals speculate that in order to keep the children alive, a blood transfusion may be necessary; something the Jehovah Witnesses faith is against. In your opinion should it come down to this, should the BC Supreme Court compel by way of Court Order, hospital administered blood transfusions to keep the new babies alive?
Yes    96 %
No    04 %
Question #5
Prime Minister Stephen Harper says that the same sex marriage debate is over. Do you believe him?
Yes    40 %
No    60 %
Question #6
Unconfirmed reports suggest that Prime Minister Stephen Harper would prefer that students in K-12 sing “O Canada” every Monday morning in school. If this idea were brought forward would you approve of it?
Yes    54 %
No    46 %
Question #7
Most daily newspapers which are delivered to Vancouver doorsteps for a subscription price or for free or provided free of charge on Skytrain and from newspaper locations are not printed on recycled newspaper. Most of these newspapers are recycled only to the extent of 35%, with the remainder serving as part pollution or total pollution if not recycled properly. In your opinion should the owners and publishers of these newspapers be compelled to pay an environmental charge or fines for polluting the environment?
Yes    72 %
No    28 %
Question #8
Would you vote for Stephen Harper’s Conservative government if an election were held tomorrow?
Yes    34 %
No    66 %
Question #9
Vancouver BC Liberal Lorne Mayencourt, an openly gay politician, is contemplating challenging longtime Vancouver Liberal Hedy Fry for her federal seat. Mr. Mayencourt first wants to know what the public thinks. In your opinion would you like to see Lorne Mayencourt run for the federal Conservatives and defeat longtime federal Liberal Hedy Fry?
Yes    43 %
No    57 %
Question #10
A recent ROBBINS ASK public opinion poll revealed that British Columbians do not support private public partnerships advocated by the BC Liberal government, on the basis that the arrangements are unaccountable owing to the fact that a private business is exempt from public scrutiny, and thus the public would not have a proper accounting of their tax investment in the 3P project. Businessman Jimi Pattison and the Pattison Group of Companies have been fixtures in the BC community for decades. If Jimi Pattison and the Pattison Group of Companies was the private partner involved with the government on 3P projects, do you trust that the accounting of tax dollars would be fair and honest for all British Columbians?
Yes    58 %
No    42 %
Question #11
Many British Columbians outside the City of Vancouver ‘proper’ have indicated that they are opposed to the prospect of being responsible for Olympic 2010 Cost overruns which may be as high as $50-100 per British Columbian. With this in mind is it your opinion that residents of the City of Vancouver should be solely responsible for reparations to Stanley Park estimated at $10 per person.
Yes    36 %
No    64 %
Question #12
There has been a lot of controversy regarding the twinning of the Port Mann bridge and the impact it would have on traffic to Vancouver. There has also been a lot of discussion about rapid transit in the northeast sector of the lower mainland and specifically Port Moody and Coquitlam. Currently, Skytrain has been developed between downtown Vancouver through Burnaby to New Westminster and Surrey. In your opinion would the extension of Skytrain through the Northeast sector of the lower mainland and over to Langley be a good plan for managing the movement of people?
Yes    76 %
No    24 %
Question #13
Would you accept the Province of British Columbia paying 4 billion dollars for Skytrain through Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge and across the water to Langley?
Yes    58 %
No    42 %
Question #14
Would you accept Vancouver businessman Jimi Pattison and the Pattison Group providing one-half of the development and construction cost or 2 billion dollars for this Skytrain development in return for control of Skytrain operations on a leased basis?
Yes    55 %
No    45 %
Commentary
Through questions #1 and #3 it is clear that damage caused to Stanley Park is perceived to be connected to global warming, although there remain some who ‘abstract’ the cause from the ‘apparent’ effect. Question #7 reveals that although local newspapers may like to write about global warming and its impact on the community, they don’t want to take any responsibility themselves. This is typical whenever there is money involved.
There can be no more double standards in the pollution game, either you are part of the problem or part of the solution, and the advertisers that dump their messages on doorsteps, or the newspapers that carry them, should make up their mind which side of the ‘saving the environment’ ledger they want to be on. Vancouver residents apparently agree with this sentiment. It is truly stunning that intelligent people seem to believe that you can have a deeply introspective discussion about one subject or another, and that if it behooves their particular self-interest, they do not have to bear the scrutiny they expect of everyone else. Religion, commerce and politics, too often our leaders are just a little too pious for the good of the rest of us. Even the hardcore environmentalists give the news print business ‘room’, after all everyone has their price don’t they?
Question #2 induces the suggestion (as well as a fact), that ‘Asian’ people are the objects, (the victims) of human trafficking, a social problem which the respondents are reminded is of “epidemic proportions”. Nearly one-quarter of Vancouverites directly blame “unscrupulous Asians”. There is not sufficient commentary from callers to suggest this is necessarily a type of racial sentiment, because it is just as easily explained as respondents responding to the ethnic background of the victim (and the practical logical progression in thinking therein). However one-third of respondents blame “Canadians”, although there is no proof (in the question at least) that the culprits are in fact Canadian citizens. Nearly one-half of respondents see “people” as the culprits, probably the safest (and most politically correct response).
It is interesting that (59%) of respondents who blame “Asians” in question #2 also support PM Harper’s rumoured desire for students to sing the national anthem in K-12 schools (Q#6). (70%) of respondents who blame “Canadians” in question #2 support singing the national anthem in question #6. Respondents who blamed ‘people’ for human trafficking of ‘Asians’ are less inclined to support singing the national anthem in schools.
One of most overwhelming lopsided totals of all (ROBBINS) time (question #4) makes it clear that if any of the sextuplets recently born to a Jehovah Witness couple require blood transfusions, even if it is against their religion, they should receive them. Respondents were unequivocal in their demand that the BC Supreme Court intervene if necessary. (Sadly one of the babies had died by publication).
It is certainly far more likely that Canadians will support Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s anticipated legislation designed to protect religious based organizations from performing same sex marriages against their beliefs, than to protect religious freedoms when lives of young babies are on the line. Canadians were split on same sex marriage, but since nothing dramatic has happened since same sex marriage became legal, with Canadians it has become a ‘let sleeping dogs lie’ issue.
Having said that, only 40% of respondents believe that Stephen Harper is finished with the same sex marriage debate. The aforementioned legislation protecting religious organizations ought to increase this number once enacted. Currently one-third (plus) respondents will support Stephen Harper in an election. This is lower then his national average of slightly more than 37%, but higher then it has been in previous years. Support for openly gay politician Lorne Mayencourt AND the Conservative party (should he run) exceeds the required standard needed to win an election. Note the respondents are derived from ALL of Vancouver and not longtime federal Liberal MP Hedy Fry’s Vancouver riding exclusively.
If Lorne Mayencourt elects to contest Hedy Fry’s federal election on behalf of the Conservative Party, this will have enormous political implications as the urban centers sought by the Conservatives will become more accessible and the 40% generally required to win close races will become possible for the federal Conservatives. This could open the door to an additional 10-20 seats for the Conservatives not previously considered available to them. The religious right may not approve of this, however the success of their candidates in the last federal election (2006) was unremarkable, and the Prime Minister is a proponent of open and fair nominations.
A slight majority of British Columbians are more inclined to (otherwise unpopular) private public partnerships if business magnate Jimi Pattison is involved. Mr. Pattison was involved during Vancouver’s Expo 86 with the initiation of the lower mainland’s first Skytrain, and Vancouverites are apparently more comfortable with his participation than they are with Premier Gordon Campbell’s. Mr. Campbell made an awful mistake over his Stanley Park announcements, exhorting his position on behalf of the province ‘that there would be no money without Vancouver city money at the same time.’ This situation isn’t helped by alleged odd political behaviour by Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan vis-à-vis his relationship to his NPA party, leaving the city apparently wide open for new political actors to roar like Lions through the political Gates. (Wink, Nod and a Whistler to Mr. Baird, Arnie, and Oscar).
Mr. Pattison and the community were hard at work helping the situation, and then later Premier Campbell changed his mind. In this day and age you must craft your position in a definitive way from the outset, as his initial position was entrenched immediately thereafter by news reports from NDP critics and remained that way in the minds of voters. Mr. Campbell hurt himself on his own turf. He seems unable to naturally connect to political situations as he confronts them, and almost always reacts somewhat mechanically. The Premier is a late 90’s politician in a 21st Century technological and messaging age. This is not the best acting by any method.
It is clear that Vancouver residents support Skytrain out to Langley, and when the high cost is introduced a majority still accept the endeavour. A majority also support Jimi Pattison’s involvement in the deal despite a general lack of support for private public arrangements devoid of accountability. The respondents who trust Jimi Pattison ‘by comment’ do not trust Premier Campbell to the same extent. Mr. Campbell’s faux pas have provided big business with an opportunity to grow their popularity with citizens, but he has hurt the provincial government’s reputation. Fortunately for the current BC government, former Premier Glen Clarke made himself available to support his boss Jimi Pattison. It would be terrific if both Mr. Pattison and Glen Clarke gave some thought to the nature of pollution surrounding their own modest publications. This is a fair trade-off considering the implications for transportation and CUPE.
Premier Campbell’s plans for transportation development in the lower mainland have stalled. Given his apparent lack of ability to change from an incorrect direction on policy to one which makes sense (Skytrain) simply because he wants his own mark on transportation development is ridiculous. The BC Liberal pollsters can publish 45% public support all they want; the party WILL NOT hold that total in the next provincial election. They are heading to 40% faster then they are rising, and the BC NDP are laying in wait permitting the BC Liberals to claim a lead, but waiting to make a sudden move ahead of them in 2008.
That is why you don’t see BC NDP Leader Carole James too often. She is pleasant and has good favourables relative to awareness. The NDP will let her ride the growing BC Liberal and anti-Campbell sentiment, and maybe ‘pilot fish’ a little Hillary Clinton in the President’s office (which is fast becoming a no kidding deal). The BC Liberals need to replace Gordon Campbell with someone like Carole Taylor lest they be trapped with Campbell in a race they cannot win, or being exposed to strategic political moves which would trap them in second place. Finance Minister Taylor can make herself look even more attractive by inducing former BC Liberal Deputy Premier Christy Clark into running (ya know ya want it).
Stephen Harper’s ‘go to’ guy in BC will be new Environment Minister John Baird who will have to sell his government’s policy all across Canada but particularly in BC. With Olympic and Gateway Minister David Emerson out of town with young protégé James Moore, the stage is open for Baird to further initiate his imprint on this province. Mr. Baird recently ‘blew away’ a former Ottawa Mayor (whose name sounds an awful lot like Nameolini) over a similarly stupid light rail project the former Ottawa Mayor was trying to sell in the federal capital. Ottawa citizens rejected the silly proposal and the former Ottawa Mayor, (as will Tri-City voters).
It is interesting how Vancouverites respond to the notion of having to provide payment for damage to Stanley Park when influenced/manipulated by the idea that British Columbians may be forced to pay substantially more for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. Vancouverites in this ROBBINS ASK poll were less inclined to completely acknowledge that Olympic cost overruns are a certainty and more frequently suggested that the Olympics are something that benefits the entire province. I am not certain if this sentiment is shared with people in Williams Lake. I am far more certain that there is a majority of respondents from Vancouver to Langley who support the whole of the construction of Skytrain from Lougheed Mall through to Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge and across to Langley, or alternatively branching off from the Lougheed Highway across the Port Mann bridge to Langley.
Either move would permit Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon to abandon the twinning of the Port Mann bridge, or to charge a toll on the bridge. Unfortunately for the BC Liberals, their word is not very valuable these days, and BC residents prefer to operate on a ‘show me don’t tell me basis’.

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