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Vancouver Green Olympics 'off the rails'.
  Mar 30, 2007

A random telephone poll of 1,020 British Columbians between March 23-29th, 2007. This ROBBINS poll features a margin of error of 3.15%, 19 times out of 20 @96% confidence/competency. This poll was funded by Glen P. Robbins and Associates, ROBBINS MediaWorks, and Jim Van Rassel, owner of New Trend Optical (604) 942-9300. Mr. Van Rassel has recently become a member of the Conservative Party of Canada.

Question #1
In your opinion are Gordon Campbell's BC Liberals 'on track' to achieve "The Greenest Olympic Games ever"?
Yes    31.2 %
No    58.7 %
Split 50/50    10.1 %
Undecided    14 %
Question #2
In your opinion will BC Budget requirements for social programs including health, education and the environment, be positively or negatively impacted by costs associated with the development of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics?
Negatively    54.72 %
Positively    29.47 %
Split 50/50    15.81 %
Undecided    06 %
Question #3
In your opinion do you see the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics as a?
Positive financial influence on BC's economy    46.14 %
An economic drain on our financial resources    50.22 %
Split 50/50    3.14 %
Question #4
How would you characterize your knowledge of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Costs?
I am very familiar with the Budget Costs    6.64 %
I am not very familiar with the Budget Costs    82.8 %
Split 50/50    12.25 %
Question #5
Which Clean Air Green Plan is likely to be the most successful in your opinion?
Stephen Harper's Conservative Plan involving carbon trading among provinces    47.12 %
The Liberals, NDP, Bloc Quebecois, and Green Kyoto Plan involving International carbon trading    37.88 %
Split 50/50    14.34 %
I really have no idea    12.45 %
Commentary
A clear majority of respondents throughout the Province of British Columbia are NOT of the opinion that Gordon Campbell's BC Liberals are on the 'right track' to make the Vancouver 2010 Olympics the 'Greenest' ever.
A majority of British Columbians are of the opinion that social program costs will be negatively impacted by 2010 Winter Olympic Games costs.
British Columbians overall are 'split' on their opinion of whether or not the 2010 Winter Olympic costs will be a positive influence on the economy or a financial drain.
Only a small minority of respondents indicated they were very familiar with the 2010 Winter Olympic costs. A super majority were not familiar.
A slight majority of respondents in the province are of the opinion that an carbon tax trading system among Canadian provinces is better than an International one (Kyoto) among countries.
Commentary- It appears obvious that British Columbians are not confident in the BC Liberal government's ability to deliver a Green 2010 Olympics. Most don't believe that this is a Green oriented government, even if some believe the BC Liberals are sincerely trying to be.
Within the context of the question regarding social costs and Olympic costs it is very obvious that British Columbians view Olympic costs relative to social costs for health, education and the environment negatively.
There are more British Columbians (just less than one half) who are willing to believe that "overall" (without the matter of costs being mentioned), the 2010 Olympics will be a positive financial investment.
British Columbians are more supportive of Canada Clean Air than Kyoto Clean Air, and thus support the Prime Minister's version of the Clean Air Act. The support is very similar to the support for the Conservative Budget which ROBBINS determined a week ago.
Conclusions- The production values (Television) for politics nationally, particularly on the CBC are very good in our opinion. The production values exhibited in the Quebec provincial election require some upgrades to meet the 'other' national standard.
Similarly in British Columbian production values appear more consistent with a regional standard, and deserve an extensive upgrade in order to bring the public on board with the notion of what is 'required' to create a climate of Green prior to the 2010 Olympics.
Sorry to say, the BC Liberal government (and to a large extent the media which 'follows' it) create kind of a 'boozy looking' culture, a kind of 1980's Gordon Gecko 'Howe Street' version of the movie "Wall Street". It is one thing to intellectualize knowledge relating to environmental concerns, it is quite another thing to actually grasp the totality of what is required to 'create' a Green culture.
The BC Liberals are facing a massive hole of public confidence in terms of costs associated with running government including delivery social programs, AND funding the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Just less than one half of British Columbians may yet believe that the Olympic Games will be a positive investment, however the perception is that we are paying for it now with social programs. British Columbians continue to question the bookkeeping methods of this government. We suspect that this growing 'suspicion' and general decline in confidence and trust will escalate the longer the government evades questions relating to costs etc., and continues to 'stall' for time without being properly accountable.
The BC Liberals will continue to limp along or worse, so long as they maintain the status quo with Gordon Campbell whose entertainment value is not conducive to increased media watching, and whose government continues to deflect away from being properly forthcoming in terms of costs.
When ROBBINS pointed out the reality of a serious conflict in Port Moody over land purchases and proposed Translink construction it was August 2006. 'Public Eye' and specifically Translink Chair Malcolm Brodie described this eventual revelation as "exclusive" in a March 2007 "Public Eye" edition, eight months later. Certainly the entire northeast sector transportation 'debate' was more about 'stalling' for time to benefit the Campbell government's inability to properly reconcile his 'booming economy' strategy with a decided lack of funds for promised projects and infrastructure. Basically, 'booming' BC can only afford that which is required for the Olympics, and the bare necessities for social programs. No matter what is said about rising health care costs, and the various explanations for these (which are valid to an extent), it does not properly explain why we do not have detailed unitized costs associated with health care delivery, and why there are so many complaints about service. The BC Nurses Union believes this is all part of a wider strategy to privatize health care, while many British Columbians, kept in the dark about Olympic Costs and other, are beginning to wonder aloud if dollars earmarked for social program are being diverted to the Olympic Games. How many other 'insiders' enjoyed the land value bumps which followed the 'sneaky' little land play in the Tri-Cities? Clearly, this is low end corruption. When I go through the rolls of the local community organizations and see banking, real estate and lawyers, and combine this with a potential injection of money down coming down the pike, I just know someone is going to act in their self interest. Some of these organizations operate more like cults than clubs. While were so busy checking out the gangsters, bikers and gangbangers, keep another eye open for the local suit. There is little doubt that by and large British Columbians are better people than the elected officials who purport to represent us. After a decade of these tiresome actors, the political industry in this province desperately requires wholesale changes.
Clearly, the current government wants to avoid disclosure, be vague about costs particularly as this pertains to the Olympics, and to generally 'baffle' the public in the hopes that they will be able to distract, discourage, deflect, or deny sufficient realities regarding the state of the provinces financial condition, particularly as this relates to the Olympics, and more importantly (as far as this poll is concerned), 'Green Olympics' until an election is upon us. In order to do this, an agreement with the media of sorts to provide some 'cover' is essential. These people are primarily responsible for damaging not improving our province. It's my professional opinion that we cannot wait for 2009, action must be taken by interested parties and other individuals to ensure that we cleanse the province of the existing status quo. Will a majority government in Ottawa make it easier to introduce this political cleansing?
The media has a problem. Its credibility will continue to diminish if they are not more deliberate in putting pressure on the provincial government to be more open and transparent, particularly as the Olympics is concerned. Their efforts to date appear to be only satisfying those respondents who appear the least interested in the political system in any event, and are thus not an attractive standard to adhere to.
The political industry is a massive one considering the economic implications. Fundraising for President of the United States may reach 1 billion dollars. British Columbia expects to be on the world stage in less than three years. The public that they hope supports it, is generally not confident, and the political actors who are expected to delivery the message are not seen as interesting or attractive. We cannot induce the people to move in any concerted direction with these 'bad optics'. Honestly, I believe I could do better with circus folk.
The political spin which accompanies politics in the United States or at the federal level here in Canada are generally 'pretty tight' and work well in marketing messages to the public. Either through ineptitude, general laziness, or in an attempt to hide from true disclosure for partisan purposes and environment has been created where BC's political culture really looks like amateur dinner theatre. It is a culture which is far too elastic, and where there is insufficient competition. This is not the fault of the people, it is the fault of the main institutional players in the province.
If we continue to put off facing all of the realities associated with costs, disclosure, tough reporting etc. until after the Olympics we will be so far behind where we ought to be. It is really important in my view to establish a provincial Conservative Party AND effective Green Party to properly open up the debate. Otherwise, I suspect most of those reading this can see the direction we may be headed in, and it doesn't look pretty.
Glen P. Robbins (604) 942-3757 -30-

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