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British Columbia government emerging as Institutional Whorehouse
Evergreen Line debacle underscores lies, corruption and worse on Premier  Feb 09, 2008

This is about our fourth or fifth poll on this tedious subject matter-Light Rapid Transit-Evergreen Line and features random telephone interviews with 255 voter/respondents in Coquitlam and Port Moody between February 5-8, 2008. Percentages are adjusted to reflect population and voting trends. This poll features a margin of error of 4.77%, 19 times out of 20 @ 95% confidence. (Lower margin of error is intended to reflect nature of strategic calling environment). This poll has been sponsored in part by Jim Van Rassel (604) 328-5398, a member of the Conservative Party of Canada, and potential candidate for Mayor of Coquitlam in next civic election November 2008.

Question #1
Recently it was announced that a type of Skytrain model will be used for the northeast sector servicing the Tri-City and outlying areas. The question remains: which route? Our polling firm has canvassed the public often with definitive results which in 2005 provoked one city to hold a referendum. Most recently, our public opinion in the United States predicted a Barack Obama dead heat with Hillary Clinton, compelling John Edwards to bow out, when mainstream pollsters had him 12 points behind. In an effort to put this unfortunate calamity relating to Skytrain to bed once and for all which route do you refer?
Skytrain down Lougheed Highway to Towne Centre and Douglas College at 1.4 billion cost    56 %
Skytrain thru Port Moody alongside the West Coast Express railway tracks-to Towne Centre and Douglas College at 1.4 billion dollars    44 %
I don’t believe the Evergreen Line will ever be built so I fully intend to drive my car    34 %
Undecided    8.5 %
Question #2
Which of the following choices BEST reflects what you perceive should be the most important basis from which to make the decision on Skytrain Route?
Whichever route the ‘people’ prefer    48.5 %
Wherever the most development is planned    15 %
Wherever construction causes the least interruption    28 %
All three    08 %
Undecided    00 %
Question #3
The Evergreen Line has been promised for many years. A few years ago the 1.4 billion dollars costs for each route was $800,000,000 to $900,000,000. At that time Translink has pledged $400,000,000 and the provincial and federal governments had not made a commitment. Now with other development costs, the costs associated with the Evergreen Line have allegedly risen by 35%. The provincial government has NOW pledged $400,000,000 and wants the rest from the federal government. Given THIS information who from the choices offered is MOST responsible for delays and anticipated cost overruns on the Evergreen Line?
Translink    07 %
Provincial Government    38.5 %
Federal Government    14 %
All three    40.5 %
Question #4
In your opinion, should taxpayers in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and the Atlantic Provinces be compelled to pay for cost overruns on the Evergreen Line brought about by delays and indecision on the part of elected officials in BC?
Yes    21.5 %
No    78.5 %
Undecided    6.5 %
Question #5
Should the Translink Board governing transportation in the region be constituted by?
Elected officials    47 %
Unelected experts    53 %
Undecided    09 %
Question #6
In your opinion should municipal, provincial, and federal elections be compelled by law to obtain a specific minimum of voter turn-out in order that election to be deemed legal and valid?
Yes    72 %
No    28 %
Question #7
In your opinion is voting a ‘duty’ for eligible voters?
Yes    70 %
No    30 %
Question #8
In your opinion what is the level of credibility of federal, provincial, and municipal political leaders?
High    07 %
Medium    45 %
Low    48 %
Undecided    06 %
Question #9
A recent survey by Vancouver police recently reported on CKNW revealed that up to one third of all police calls relate to individuals with mental illness problems. Many people on the downtown eastside are there as a consequence of the closing of Riverview mental hospital on Lougheed Highway in Coquitlam. Coquitlam city councillor Mae Reid has worked extensively to keep Riverview properties ‘as is’ and free from developers, and recently Coquitlam city council voted to make the entire lands designated a Heritage site, with a request that the federal government also declare the lands for Heritage. In your opinion should the Riverview lands be maintained as a Federal Heritage site with the existing hospital revamped and put back into use to assist those citizens with mental illnesses AND a moratorium placed on any development for the Riverview area?
Yes    77 %
No    23 %
Undecided    02 %
Question #10
Whose public opinion polls do you trust more?
Those conducted by polling firms dependent on corporate, union, and other monies from mainstream newspapers    05 %
Those conducted by a polling firm with no dependence on corporate, union, and other such payments such as us-ROBBINS Sce Research    75 %
Neither of these two choices interests me    20 %
Undecided    10 %
Question #11
Which of the following choices BEST reflects how you would like the Skytrain route and ancillary questions satisfied once and for all?
Prepay $75,000 for a 5,000 sample poll of citizen stakeholders as a type of ‘independent referendum by a truly independent polling firm ROBBINS Sce Research (1998)    34 %
Place on a ballot for next November civic elections    18 %
I seldom if ever vote in municipal elections    28 %
Just get on with the job of building the Evergreen Line    20 %
Undecided    12 %
Commentary
Observations and Commentary-
Skytrain down Lougheed Highway remains the preferred option for voter/respondents affirming any number of polls conducted by ROBBINS Sce Research (1998), “The best in the business”.
Proposed development plays little role in the minds of decision-makers/ “voters” in Port Moody and Coquitlam. Even if the democratic option ‘the people’ is removed, two-thirds of respondents still choose ‘where there is least interruption’ as their response. Respondents unequivocally believe there is sufficient development in the region to support the construction of light rapid transit in the northeast sector, and reject that conditions of development apply. One senior citizen who “lives just behind the 7-11” on St. John’s in Coquitlam says “I can count eight cranes in the area, there are no kids coming to live here why do we need more development?”
Coquitlam city councillor Lou Sekora’s recent assertion that people who don’t want development (“gravel trucks, cutting down trees” etc.) should re-think their positions, will not resonate with voter/respondents at all. People in this region are prepared to tell Gordon Campbell “to go to hell” and are of the opinion “that government forgets about us because we don’t vote for them (BC Liberals) here”. People in Port Moody and Coquitlam don’t want the Campbell government, and are unimpressed by the sycophants at the federal and civic level who abide by him.
Developers are not respected by people in this region.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper need not step up with money for the Evergreen Line, as the delays are (rightly) blamed on the BC provincial government and not his. (Some of the time in delay falls into the period that the Liberals were in government in Ottawa, mitigating further any responsibility for Ottawa stepping up. Responses to question #4 affirm this). Only (20% +) are able to rationalize why other provinces should be required to pay their taxes for our poor planning at the provincial level and the local level, to the extent that respondents are willing to accept Translink’s unelected ‘experts’ over elected officials. This result should not be considered as some type of vindication to BC Liberal Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon, but more as an open mockery of the entire process. “These announcements about the Evergreen Line are simply to distract us from the fact that they have no intention of building it (The Evergreen Line) anytime soon.”
This is supported by the fact that nearly three out of four voter/respondents believe that minimum levels of voter turn-out should exist for an election to be valid. Think about this the next time another local newspaper, radio station, television reporter or mainstream polling firm, continues to enable Stephane Dion by saying nobody wants an election. The real reason in BC and in this strategic environment, is not because they don’t like democracy or don’t want to vote, it’s because they don’t have any damn confidence in the people who are in office right now in the province (and trust me this isn’t about Harper).
Politicians who rule out Skytrain down Lougheed Highway because of fears of development at Riverview are simply irresponsible and should really think first before they make such stupid pronouncements. First, the people don’t see development in the region as bona fide basis from which to make the decision, and second any politician who attempts to push development through will ruin the careers of anyone associated with the ‘provocation’. (Note Rich Coleman). The people have figured out this Campbell government is all about development, despite the fact that news continues to promote lies and propaganda about the state of our economy based primarily on development, when much of the downtown inventory is owned by Asian investment blocks, and any downturn in the economy (with the U.S. admitting they have very tough times ahead), particularly in housing development, will trigger a sell off of real estate and an instant recession in this province (Should this happen, and you have purchased real estate based on this type of ‘expert’ ‘swizz’ reporting, AND there is a sharp downturn in housing prices, class actions lawsuits might apply against the broadcaster(s)).
There is no political benefit for Stephen Harper’s Conservative government to anti up for light rapid transit in the area. There is however tremendous political capital in being seen granting federal Heritage status to the Riverview lands. This political announcement would link federal goodwill to goodwill on the downtown eastside, which desperately needs a little good news.
(I would send the PM and Bev Oda-and send Mr. Flintstone for coffee while the cameras are rolling).
Starting with PM Mayor Joe Trasolini’s preposterous plan to build at grade transportation down St. John’s (while purchasing property on that street and making a million dollars profit-no news reported that-WE did), and now coupled with James Moore and his political friend BC Liberal Iain (are we still going with this resume?) Black, who recently granted $6,000 to each person in Belcarra to buy political votes (oops I mean help with the water system), the Evergreen Line has become a political distraction of comedic/tragic proportions. Despite Port Moody’s referendum (and voter turn-out of <20%-pitiful) in 2005 which asserted the ‘voters’ desire NOT to have Skytrain through Port Moody (setting the stage for the subsequent stall-profiteering), the Mayor has managed NOW to increase the number of people in his city who want Skytrain (52%).
The sad irony to underscore how pathetic this debate has become is that Conservative (I think) James Moore (Port Moody Westwood Port Coquitlam) has his constituency office on St. Johns in Port Moody, and in the last federal election received a disproportionate percentage of voters (47%) from Port Moody, Belcarra and Anmore (where he has already spread taxpayers money to the rich living there). James Moore attracts much less than the (40% +) he averaged in the last federal general election among Coquitlam residents and attracts about that number from Port Coquitlam (owing largely to the NDP running a pony in the last election-(see same sex marriage). He and Iain Black, BC Liberal for Port Moody Westwood Plateau are trying to squeeze Joe Trasolini to accept the Port Moody version because the of desire of politicos in the region lobbying for developers and their friends. Trasolini has played out his hand in Port Moody and needs to either bust a move federally to challenge Moore (Trasolini will attract as many votes in Port Moody, Anmore, and Belcarra as James Moore, will match him or exceed him in Coquitlam, and Port Coquitlam is up for grabs-Trasolini can challenge Iain Black who will go down with Gordon ‘Titanic’ Campbell-your affirmed A.D.D. Premier).
In the questions which playfully advertise ROBBINS near flawless ability to apply social science, law, news reports, and application of mathematical ratios has produced (without any humility) a completely superior public opinion product.
Because of our obvious abilities and success in this province, across Canada, and in the United States (see www.robbinssceresearch.com), we can now enjoy our success and continue to point out what an institutional whorehouse our province has become.
Once again, we say to our friends in the United States and abroad. Please don’t spend your money here. Our democracy is no better here in BC than in many countries in the third world.
Look for the Premier and his friends in government (and in the media) to govern with a bone in their nose; shake the suits replacing them with grass skirts (for the hybrid vote).
What a dump!
Glen P. Robbins has a bachelor of arts in Political Science from Simon Fraser University, has been polling privately for 10 years, is a former independent newspaper publisher, and has been ordered by the BC Supreme Court to be “treated as a lawyer” anytime he attends court (despite no law degree). {Now that’s a fun guy!}.

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