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BC Liberals "Bungle in the Jungle" (with addendum)
  Aug 03, 2006

A random sample of 500 British Columbians between July 31, and August 3 2006. This ROBBINS poll features a margin of error of 5.25%, 18 times out of 20 @95% competency (confidence). This poll was financed in part by New Trend Optical of Port Coquitlam British Columbia-Jim Van Rassel proprietor (604) 942-9300.

Question #1
Do either you or anyone in your family make use of BC Parks and or campsites during the summer holidays or at any other time of the year
Yes    44 %
No    56 %
Question #2
In your opinion should BC citizens be made to pay fees for using parks and or campsites in the province
Yes    72 %
No    28 %
Question #3
In your opinion should the BC Liberal government permit high end private for profit developments, including hotels, lodges, with potential for helicopter and float plane traffic, to be built inside designated BC parks?
Yes    18 %
No    83 %
Question #4
In your opinion who should be given preference when developing inside designated BC parks?
Foreign Corporations    0 %
BC Corporations    26 %
BC and/or Canadian Corporations    8 %
Any Corporations with the best bid    0 %
No Corporation should be permitted to develop inside BC Parks    66 %
Slightly less than one half of British Columbians indicated that they or someone in their family make use of BC parks and campsites during the summer or at other times during the year. The majority of respondents who make use of these facilities are between voting age and 40, although many in the over '40' age make use of parks and campsites as well.
A majority of respondents believe it is appropriate to pay fees, however there is a strong belief that these fees are used specifically for parks maintenance etc.
Question #3 reveals that there is very little appetite amongst British Columbians for 'high end' private for profit developments inside BC parks. Question #4 (which presumes 'go ahead' with development inside parks) confirms that it is unlikely that there is any appetite for development inside BC parks, even when they are considered as simple 'lodges' and not high end hotels and other which according to Freedom of Information documents are planned as well.
Commentary-(with permission to treat the government as hostile)- Respondents in this ROBBINS poll are happy with BC parks and campsites as they are. Respondents believe there are hotels and lodges a plenty for people to go to, and they do not see the need for any further development in public parks.
Some respondents informed ROBBINS that they actually moved to the province because of our wonderful parks and were mortified at the thought of hotels, automobiles and parking lots being scattered throughout provincial parks.
There is little resistance to fees in BC parks, including amongst those respondents whose families will be using the parks this summer. Most respondents who disagree with fees are not supportive of development inside parks.
It is difficult to understand why the BC Liberal Environment Minister would have oversight over tourism and development. There appears to be no more appetite for this BC Liberal privatization proposal as there was for the BC Liberal government's attempt to hijack assets from the BC public and sell it to their friends as was the case with the Coquihalla Highway debacle.
Considering the regions of the province where the BC Liberals have suggested they would like to construct these accommodations, such as the Okanagan and Peace River regions, there is more acceptance of the proposal, but this is amongst men more than women. The latter are most overwhelmingly against these developments. Indeed, other proposed sites such as Maple Ridge, the Cariboo and the Kootenays do not support the proposed development. The suburbs in the lower mainland, on Vancouver Island, and in Victoria proper and Vancouver proper are also dead set against the proposal of developments inside parks.
One respondent sarcastically noted that given the BC Liberals 'history' of respecting public opinion, they might also consider potential fees from tourists and other high rollers to "urinate on campers and wildlife from hotel balcony's purely for the sport of it."
ROBBINS asks "is this an effort by the BC Liberals to swap property owned by all British Columbians in return for commercial rights to BC Liberal friendly Corporations."
One clear example of this type of apparently self-interested effort currently underway with the BC Liberals is the approval by Port Moody city council (by virtue of a tie-breaker vote by BC Liberal Port Moody Mayor Joe Trasolini) to place a large commercial project owned by a Corporation with financial ties to the BC Liberals and to Howe Street money, right in the middle of a public park which has been used for years by families in the region. This commercial project is not likely to target families as their main customers, particularly those with young children. These facilities will also hold liquor licenses, which would mean more people who have been drinking alcohol in public places where young families who are not using that facility might also be playing. (Important addendum-August 10, 2006). Sources inform ROBBINS that IN FACT the tie-breaking vote referenced herein was not related to approval for a commercial application per se, but in fact the tie-breaking vote related specifically to form and content ONLY!!. FORM AND CONTENT RELATES TO LOOK AND FINISH AND NOT TO APPROVAL. Approval was provided by city council last fall-prior to the most recent municipal election in Port Moody. This is a very important distinguishing feature as this relates to the premise of this poll which involves commercial structures inside parks, however it does not distinguish from the 'political metaphor' of BC Liberals or known BC Liberals, or the current BC Liberals policy initiative, nor the implication cited between federal public policy relating to electoral finance reforms, and the relationship of donors and political parties, which includes the commercial project which is the object of this commentary. However it is important to ensure a proper account of the difference between approval for a commercial structure, and a tie-breaking vote decided by the Mayor of Port Moody which vote by a new council related to form and content, notwithstanding the direct implications of how that form and content might be construed by a reasonable person relative to the understanding by the public of what in fact was agreed to by previous city council over a year ago on a general matter of approval for a commerical application in the Port Moody park facility.
ROBBINS insiders are now suggesting that this most recent BC Liberal move is a last gasp attempt by the Campbell Liberals to swap BC property for favours and donations before giving in to electoral financial reforms desperately needed by that party specifically. More cynical observations suggest greater scrutiny of politician's 'net worth' from year to year would be a good idea.

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