The District of Lillooet is not impressed by IntegrityBC’s robopoll survey.
“The results of IntegrityBC’s survey are interesting; however, the conclusions they reached are disappointing,” Mayor Dennis Bontron commented Aug. 22 after the robopoll’s release.
“By applying reasonable and professional logic to the results, we see the results in a very different light.” Bontron stated. According to the district’s view, “5.88 per cent of residents of the District of Lillooet oppose the Cayoosh Creek water system proposal, as expected. 6.22 per cent of resident of the District of Lillooet do not believe the District has given the alternative proposal to the Cayoosh Creek water system sufficient consideration. 6.85 per cent of residents of the District of Lillooet believe that the District’s spending is excessive, and 6.11 per cent of residents of the District of Lillooet are dissatisfied with the performance of council.”
He continued, “Frequently survey and poll results are interpreted by the researcher to support their particular position. It would appear that Integrity BC has attempted to support the group that originally contacted them.”
Bontron told the News the District used IntegrityBC’s figures of 266 respondents (one per household) and 2011 census figures listing Lillooet’s total population at 2,322 as the basis for the municipality’s calculations.
The mayor added that the District is continuing its efforts to provide up-to-date information regarding the Water System Source Replacement Project. Another meeting is planned for September to allow residents to discuss details of the project with the municipality’s professional advisers.
The District’s numbers are in sharp contrast to IntegrityBC’s. According to IntegrityBC, 51.36 per cent of the 266 respondents oppose the District’s decision to proceed with the Cayoosh Creek/Seton River; 54.38 per cent of poll participants do not believe the District gave sufficient consideration to an alternative proposal; 59.81 per cent believe the District spending is excessive; and 53.37 per cent are dissatisfied with the performance of District Council.
IntegrityBC says its robopoll was not a scientific public opinion survey with calls placed randomly to a set sample size.
The watchdog organizations says it made three attempts over four days to contact 1,446 households in the District of Lillooet with a listed telephone number. Of those 1,446 households, 266 participated in the Aug. 7 to 10 survey.
IntegrityBC first entered the debate over Lillooet’s water project in May when, acting on complaints from local residents, it called on the provincial government to appoint a conciliator to resolve what it described as “escalating disputes in Lillooet over local governance and water management.”