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ROBBINS ASK -Van Rassel Omniblast Christmas poll
  Dec 19, 2006

This is a random digit dialing of 1,045 respondents throughout all regions of British Columbia and has been weighted for population distribution and gender, but not for age demographic. (62%) of all calls and (65%) of all respondents were collected between 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 pm, and NO adjustment was made for this. This ROBBINS ASK poll features a margin of error of 3.65%, 19 times out of 20 @98% competency/confidence. This poll was conducted between December 6th and 16th, 2006. This poll was paid for entirely with a generous donation by Jim Van Rassel, President and owner of New Trend Optical in beautiful downtown Port Coquitlam, British Columbia (604) 942-9300. We at ROBBINS are eternally grateful for his support and commitment to ‘making the world a better place’.

Question #1
-Premier Gordon Campbell plans to end mandatory retirement for British Columbians at age 65. In your opinion which of the following statements BEST reflects how you perceive this issue?
It’s my opinion that Premier Campbell’s decision threatens retirement benefits and reduces opportunities for young workers    17 %
It’s my opinion that Premier Campbell’s decision is a positive one which permits senior citizens to remain economically productive    38 %
Mandatory retirement should be raised to age 68 from 65 to reflect changing realties    21 %
It’s my opinion that we should leave mandatory retirement at age 65    24 %
Question #2
Assume for the purposes of this question, that it is a fact that $50 million will solve BC homelessness. In your opinion which of the following levels of government and other ought to be most responsible for the cost and care of homeless people?
The Provincial government    38 %
The Federal government    26 %
Local Municipal government    32 %
Family    04 %
Question #3
-Judges and Senators in Canada are permitted by law to work until age 75. Is it fair given the particular nature of their work that they are able to work to this age while others are forced to retire at age 65?
Yes    44 %
No    56 %
Question #4
In your opinion should the police have input on the selection and appointment of BC Supreme Court Judges?
Yes    48 %
No    52 %
Question #5
In your opinion did RCMP Police Commissioner Zaccardelli do the right thing by resigning over the Maher Arar matter?
Yes    78 %
No    22 %
Question #6
Maher Arar is seeking $37 million in damages from the Government of Canada over his alleged torture in Syria. Canada provided incorrect information to the United States about Maher Arar prompting U.S. authorities to send Arar to Syria where he was allegedly tortured. In your opinion who is most responsible for damages to Arar?
The Canadian government    24 %
The United States government    46 %
The Syrian government    30 %
Question #7
Should the Prime Minister of Canada hold dual citizenship, one for Canada and one for another?
Yes    17 %
No    83 %
Question #8
Is it acceptable to you that federal Liberal Opposition leader Stephane Dion retains his French citizenship which he has had since he was a young boy?
Yes    41 %
No    59 %
Question #9
If Stephane Dion becomes Prime Minister of Canada should he relinquish his French citizenship?
Yes    74 %
No    26 %
Question #10
Which BC provincial leader and party currently BEST reflects your views and values?
BC Liberals and Gordon Campbell-    39 %
BC New Democrats and Carole James    38 %
BC Green Party and Judy Tyabji Wilson    17 %
Other    06 %
Question #11
Please provide the first and last names of the new leader of the Liberal Party of Canada?
Could    70 %
Could Not    30 %
Question #12
Please provide the first and last names of The Prime Minister of Canada?
Could    92 %
Could Not    08 %
Observations: Glen P Robbins Nearly (60%) of British Columbians agree with Premier Gordon Campbell’s decision to raise the age of mandatory retirement, although (40%) of these believe that 68 is the appropriate new age for retirement. (56%) of respondents are of the opinion that it is not fair that Judges are able to work until age 75 while others cannot, although many of these respondents were “concerned about mental competency after the age of 70.” If I were offering advice to Premier Campbell, I would say that 68-70 seems to be an acceptable age for retirement amongst these respondents, as a number of respondents accepted 70-75 for Judges and Senators because of the special nature of their work, so long as they were mentally competent.
Most respondents are of the opinion that the provincial government should pay to house the homeless, or to ‘solve the problem’. Second most are of the opinion that municipal government should pay, while the third most are of the opinion that the cost to help the homeless is the federal government’s responsibility. Fewest believe family is responsible.
Slightly more than one half of respondents are of the opinion that the police should NOT have input on the selection of Judges for the BC Supreme Court while nearly three-quarters agreed with the resignation of RCMP Commissioner Zaccardelli. The number who support police input is very high given that this is a departure from the norm and considering the difficulties the police have encountered in the press of late, suggesting that public confidence in the judicial system remains tepid at best.
One quarter of respondents are of the opinion that Canada should pay Maher Arar’s damages, while nearly one-half are of the opinion that the United States should. Nearly one-third of respondents are of the opinion that Syria should pay the damages. Some male respondents expressed doubt about this claim for damages, and some wondered aloud exactly how ‘innocent’ Mr. Arar really is as this concerns ties to terrorist organizations. I certainly hope there is no validity to these ‘kinds’ of assertions after all of this! There is a significant hew and cry for more evidence as many respondents do not believe they are being told the whole story, and are very concerned about the veracity of the claims as many more come forward seeking redress for something a large number of British Columbians in this poll do not believe is Canada’s exclusive responsibility. Given the inquiry outcome and the sympathy in the press, the number of respondents who are not convinced reveals a need for further investigation that a quick settlement might not permit.
An overwhelming majority of respondents do not believe the Prime Minister should hold dual citizenship, while over (40%) are of the opinion that it is all right for Liberal Opposition leader Stephane Dion to retain the French citizenship he has possessed since he was a child. Just less than one quarter believe Stephane Dion can retain dual citizenship if he becomes Prime Minister.
Commentary by Jim Van Rassel The question is: You are 65 years of age, do you feel that you are no longer able to do your job? Listening to our respondents the answer is, “I have my experience and I have time in my life still to share what I know.”
Taking away that kind of natural resource (the human one) would be socially and economically disastrous at this time in British Columbia and (very likely) the rest of Canada.
I guess $50,000,000.00 would solve a lot of problems and in particular would go a long way to reducing the homelessness problem. The respondents in this question have put the onus on the province and local government to ‘foot the bill’ for homelessness. That being the case a few things come to mind. As tax payers we feel we have given enough and it is up to the two governing bodies to properly allocate money we have given in a socially and economically prudent fashion. Surely, this would mean to help the underprivileged if their family is unable to or will not. In British Columbia we have the 2010 Winter Games coming, at a tune of over $1.5 billion. This money would go a long way to solving our social responsibilities wouldn’t it?
The argument that the Olympics will put us on the world stage is true and the economic benefits that come with them are supposed to solve all our problems, but if you take the past four to five summer and winter games this did NOT happen. I beg the IOC and the countries that hosted the games to prove otherwise. Were social problems really resolved after Los Angeles no matter all of the success that was touted? Does government really want us to see people on the street as a sort of reminder that if we don’t comply we might end up there as well? What could have, should have, or would have been doesn’t matter; it is really just about the facts. This is our reality. Our reality is that many people are still starving and homeless, and we don’t need to look to Africa to know that this problem is right in our back yard.
What makes a Judge or a Senator any different then the rest of the population of Canada? Absolutely nothing. The same rules should apply for everyone, I believe that the Charter spells this out very clearly. Considering the two professions that are listed in this question, they should be standing on their heads fighting for everyone else who does not receive this special privilege. I applaud Premier Campbell for having the courage to raise this issue. If I choose to work until I am 70 years of age, why shouldn’t I? However, if I have to work because I am desperately poor than this is another story altogether.
Selecting Judges is important. Do we go to the American model of elections to improve our situation? Our politicians on this one very important question should be non partisan. Putting one party or an institution like the RCMP or a groups of lawyers in a position of influence when in comes to the Rule of Law is dangerous. The more input that is involved in the decision process of picking our judges the better for Canada and its people. The current problem in selection is clear. What if the selection committee has a certain bias one way or another? Lawyers (the selection committee) often make their living protecting criminals and that’s okay, that’s their job. But some of our Judges need to be a ‘hammer’, a tough son of a gun. There are too many liberal Judges, because there have been more Liberal governments. Also, the prosecutors have become more liberal because the Attorney General’s of late have all been too liberal. If the police have some input as many respondents suggest, than so be it. It is currently broke, so we need to fix it.
You can't argue with those Zaccardelli resignation numbers. He did the right and honourable thing (some politicians should try it once in awhile), and the public respects him for it. His resignation obviously did not help Mr. Arar’s civil case as far as the public (in this poll) is concerned.
This one is difficult, on the one hand you have Mr. Arar a Muslim living in Canada holding two passports and enjoying our way of life. On the other hand you have most of the Muslims in the rest world hating everything we represent. There is no easy solution. The only thing I can say if the allegations are (in fact) true is ‘sorry’. The world is at this moment in time not a safe and just place (what’s new about that?). Next time just stay in Canada when you know the U.S. is feeling this sensitive.
Could you imagine the Prime Minister of Canada ending up in Syria because he held two passports? This question reveals how uncommitted Mr. Dion really is to the whole of Canada and its culture.
Does it take being Prime Minister of Canada to believe in our great county and to exclusively hold the best passport in the whole world? Sometimes making an honest commitment to something worthwhile is the best solution to a lot of problems.

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