Burnaby wants a Port Mann twin
May 07, 2008 - Burnaby NewsLeader

traffic_1C_20080508.jpg
A letter writer says the City of Burnaby’s claim that residents oppose twinning the Port Mann is based on an unscientific, non-random, online questionnaire posted on the city’s website and selectively circulated at a shopping mall and a Burnaby library.

Russ Leach questions where the polls are to suggest the majority of Burnaby residents are in favour of twinning the Port Mann Bridge and improving Highway 1. The “independent poll results” which demonstrate that 72 percent of Burnaby residents support these projects are part of a scientific poll conducted by NRG Research Group, a leading North American public opinion and market research company.

Our group, Get Moving BC, commissioned this independent poll last September in response to Mayor Corrigan’s claim that 87 percent of the people in Burnaby opposed the Gateway project.

NRG Research interviewed 300 randomly selected Burnaby residents. NRG asked straightforward questions and discovered that 72 percent of the people in Burnaby do indeed support the twinning of the Port Mann Bridge and the widening Highway 1, with only 21 percent opposed and eight percent who did not have an opinion. These independent poll results are available in their entirety on our group’s website at www.GetMoving.BC.com. (see our resources page).

The question that really needs to be asked, then, is how the City of Burnaby and Mayor Corrigan can claim “strong (87%) opposition to the Port Mann/Highway 1 project” in Burnaby when a professionally-conducted scientific poll shows that only 21 percent oppose the project.

The mayor’s 87 per cent claim is based on an unscientific, non-random, online questionnaire posted on the city’s website and selectively circulated at a shopping mall and a Burnaby library. The questionnaire consisted of 11 “statements” about the Gateway project worded in such a way that it would be nearly impossible to disagree with them.

The City of Burnaby received only 154 responses to their questionnaire; and only 65 of these responses actually came from residents of Burnaby. Sixty-three responses came from Vancouver residents, with five each coming from Surrey and New Westminster, four from North Vancouver, three from Coquitlam, two from Port Moody and one each from seven other municipalities.

Burnaby staff then assigned a “score” to each questionnaire based on a “cumulative response” to their questions. Based upon this questionable measure, they decided that 87 per cent of Burnaby’s residents were opposed to the Gateway project.
And as absurd as it seems, the city’s anti-Gateway questionnaire never even asked whether the respondents supported or opposed the twinning of the Port Mann Bridge and the widening of Highway 1.

The people of Burnaby are in favour of the Port Mann Bridge/Highway 1 project, and this fact has been demonstrated independently, scientifically and fairly.

Michael McBratney
For Get Moving BC
Burnaby