New poll shows 84% want Ontario to spend more on environmental protection
June 16, 2000
A large majority (84%) of Ontarians believe that "the government of Ontario should spend more money on environmental protection and restore funding to the Ministry of the Environment" according to a poll released today by the Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy (CIELAP).
"The people of Ontario want Queen's Park to provide more - not less - environmental protection," said Anne Mitchell, Executive Director of the Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy.
CIELAP has issued annual reports on the impact of the Common Sense Revolution on environmental protection. The detailed studies have charted a severe deterioration of environmental enforcement staff, budget and regulations since 1995. The reports are called "Ontario's Environment and the Common Sense Revolution." The most recent edition (the fourth year report) is available on the CIELAP website www.web.net/cielap
An evolution of CIELAP's environmental analysis has been to assess the attention the Ontario public is paying to environmental issues and how environmental issues reflect on citizens perception of governance. CIELAP arranged with OraclePoll Research Ltd. to include several questions related to contamination of drinking water in Walkerton, and the impacts this has had on citizen perception of government and leadership in a province-wide Omnibus poll.
The poll shows that "Our concerns about the decline of environmental protection in Ontario are mirrored by the people of Ontario" said Ms. Mitchell.
It is noteworthy that virtually all (99.4) of the 500 Ontarians polled between June 9-14 were aware of the contamination of drinking water in Walkerton. This Ontario-wide poll has a confidence level of +/- 4.4% 19 times out of 20. Here is the question by question results.
- Are you aware of the recent events concerning the contamination of municipal drinking water with E-coli
bacteria in Walkerton, Ontario?
- Yes 99.4
- No -
- What effect has the contamination of drinking water in Walkerton Ontario, had on your confidence in the safety of municipal tap drinking water in your area? Have they strongly affected your confidence, somewhat affected your confidence, not affected your confidence or not at all affected your confidence in the safety of tap drinking water.
Please agree or disagree with each of the following two statements.
- Strongly affected your confidence in the safety of tap water: 33%
- Somewhat affected your confidence: 32%
- Not affected your confidence: 15%
- Not at all affected your confidence in the safety of tap water: 20%
- Don't know - 0%
- The government of Ontario should spend more money on environmental protection and restore funding to the Ministry of the Environment
- Agree: 84%
- Disagree: 8%
- Don't know: 8%
- What effect has the contamination of drinking water in Walkerton had on your confidence in the ability of the government of Mike Harris to be good managers of the province? Would you say it has had no effect, some effect or a great deal of effect on your confidence?
- No effect: 28%
- Some effect: 35%
- A great deal of effect: 30%
- Don't know: 7%
- Will the environmental record of the Conservative government of Mike Harris make you less likely to support this party; more likely to support this party; or would it have no effect on your support?
- More likely to support: 6%
- Less likely to support: 46%
- No effect on support: 40%
- Don't know: 9%
The Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy has for been commenting on and monitoring policy and regulatory changes related to the environment for 30 years.