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BC Liberal Geoff Plant's Campus 20/20 initiative-'just more political swizz' according to public
  Nov 07, 2006

A random sample of 460 respondents in a strategic calling environment including: Burnaby (150), New Westminster (20), Port Moody (15), Coquitlam (100), Anmore (5), Belcarra (5), Port Coquitlam (40), Pitt Meadows (25), and Maple Ridge (100).between November 2-6th, 2006 This “area begins just east of Vancouver city ‘proper’ and extends to the south in New Westminster and to the northeast and east, and features many similar demographics, with relatively modest disparity in income.. Consequently, we feel a fair depiction as between sequential patterns and averaging {mean, median} that the margin of error is approximately (4.5%), 18 times out of 20 @ 95% competency/confidence. This poll was funded by Glen P. Robbins, Glen P. Robbins and Associates, and NewTrend Optical of Port Coquitlam British Columbia, Jim Van Rassel proprietor (604) 942-3200. ROBBINS Sce Research (1998) and ROBBINS ASK are 100% owned by Glen P. Robbins (604) 942-9300. Mr. Robbins is a former stockbroker, business consultant, independent newspaper publisher, and currently a public opinion pollster. Mr. Robbins has a Bachelors Degree in Political Science from Simon Fraser University. Mr. Robbins is considered a legal expert by the British Columbia Supreme Court. This poll and 'hundreds' of other exceptional ROBBINS polls can be found at www.robbinssceresearch.com, or through search engines such as Google, MSN, or ASK.com

Question #1
The BC Liberal government has directed $3 million dollars to combat the use of meth amphetamines particularly amongst teenagers and young people. Critics argue that these monies should be provided for a broader campaign against the use of all drugs including and in particular alcohol. Which of the following BEST reflects your opinion on this account?
The BC Liberals are right; meth amphetamine is a severe problem and requires these resources    28.5 %
The critics are right; a broader strategy to include all drugs, in particular alcohol is necessary    62 %
Neither    10 %
Question #2
Former BC Liberal Attorney General Geoff Plant is leading the Campus 2020 initiative which is promoted in part as the solution to labour shortage. Which of the following do you believe is the key to solving the proposed labour shortage?
former BC Liberal Attorney General Geoff Plant’s Campus 2020 initiative promoting education at a cost of $10 million dollars    27 %
A higher minimum wage and better wages generally    58 %
Neither    09 %
Don't Know    06 %
Question #3
There are some who believe that repayment of students loans hamper the ability of college and university grads to get out of debt frustrating them from purchasing a home or making other progress after they graduate... In your opinion should post-secondary education be FREE for students who (a) have attended K-12 in British Columbia, AND (b) sign an agreement to live and work in British Columbia for a minimum of 5 years after they graduate?
Yes    64 %
No    36 %
Question #4
Who should receive priority for entrance in post secondary institutions?
International and immigrant students    03 %
Local BC students/Canadian students    62 %
Everyone should be treated the same    35 %
Question #5
Do you agree with the recent 100 million dollar treaty signed with a local Prince George first nation’s band?
Yes    52 %
No    48 %
Question #6
Who in your opinion should pay for ESL training in British Columbia?
The individuals who are immigrants to the province and who benefit from the training    65 %
BC taxpayer who benefit from immigrants being trained in English    35 %
Question #7
The BC government is considering investing in laptop computers in BC High Schools. Proponents of the initiative believe laptops will serve as an excellent learning tool, while opponents believe they will only be a distraction or worse. Which of the following statements best reflects your opinion of these two positions?
In my opinion laptops in high schools is a good thing    19 %
In my opinion laptops in high schools is not a good thing    81 %
Question #8
What is your opinion of the proposed national $10 minimum wage?
It’s too high    17 %
It’s too low    17 %
Its just right    66 %
Question #9
What in your opinion is the most likely outcome of former BC Liberal Attorney General’s Geoff Plant’s Campus 2020 post secondary initiative and completed report?
It will go great lengths to identify both the strengths and weaknesses of BC’s post secondary education system and make appropriate recommendations    19 %
It is a politically partisan initiative and will probably not change the status quo    67 %
It will do whatever Premier Gordon Campbell wants it to do and say    14 %
Question #10
At this moment in time, which provincial party do you currently support?
BC Greens    11 %
BC NDP    43 %
BC Liberals    40 %
BC Conservative    03 %
Other    o3 %
Question #11
Progressive Conservative political columnist Norman Specter recently referred to federal Liberal MP Belinda Stronach as a “bitch” on a Vancouver radio station for her alleged involvement in the failed marriage of a former NHL hockey player, and for her switching to the Liberal party from the Conservative party for a Cabinet position. In your opinion is this a fair comment to make in the political realm?
Yes    52 %
No    48 %
Question #12
Will the recent changes to Income Trusts announced by Conservative Finance Minister Jim Flaherty negatively affect you?
Yes    22 %
No    68 %
I don't know    10 %
Commentary
Respondents in these lower mainland cities and communities are not endorsing the recent $3 million dollar allocation towards ‘meth’ amphetamine education and awareness. A majority of respondents are of the opinion a broader strategy including and in particular one dealing with the problem of alcohol ought to have been initiated. Those that answered ‘neither’ in this question often stated that $3 million isn’t enough money to be a credible initiative.
The BC Liberals appear to have a blind spot for alcohol and young people in this province. This is evidenced by the fact that (i) statistically the Premier is likely to be an alcoholic personality (genetic-high blood-alcohol drinking and driving conviction) and (ii) during the BC Liberals first term a liquor industry lobbyist turned MLA Brenda Locke was made head of the Addictions Ministry. This reveals at least some evidence of a lack of sincerity on the part of the BC Liberals for dealing with the drug and alcohol problem in our society. Announcing tougher laws for smoking in public places is a good thing, but without a forthright discussion of alcohol abuse (and use) amongst young people, the Premier is avoiding a serious (and the largest) piece of the problem.
My personal observations and inductive reasoning, suggest the BC Liberal party does not want to annoy their friends in the liquor business. The Maple Ridge woman heading the charge against ‘Meth’ with nominal dollars, may yet emerge as a BC Liberals candidate in the next provincial general election, and this $3 million initiative might be best seen as a PR boost to their candidate in behind an issue which is serious. Unfortunately the fire departments in this strategic calling environment could use that money to replace the resources that evaporate when shutting down a Meth lab.
The BC Liberals appear stuck in the nineties where many of their political careers originate. They are far behind on social trends. Any conversation on health care should include one about all drugs and in particular alcohol. It is interesting to note that one of BC’s truly great politicians Socred Premier W.A.C. Bennett was dead against boozing and gamblers working in government. So are we. Big drinkers can be dishonest and don’t belong anywhere near the public purse. On this account the BC Liberals get an “F”
A number of respondents, who did not support former BC Liberals Geoff Plant’s 2020 Campus initiative generally, believe it is “a stalling tactic” between elections for the BC Liberals. Quite obviously from this poll on the whole (at least insofar as the applicable questions are concerned), on the matter of the alleged labour shortage, the entire raison d’etre of the Campus 2020 seems to be more of a political play. The public in this poll believes that an increased minimum wage and increased wages generally will solve the labour shortage problem relative to the Campus 2020 initiative (certainly better than $1,000 per new baby in 2007-now there’s a plan that has a Penticton nightclub written all over it). On this account the BC Liberals get a “D”
Respondents in these suburban areas are of the opinion (2/3rds’s) that homegrown BC University students should receive free education (forgivable loans) based on conditions. They also are of the opinion that university placements should be prioritized in the favour of students from BC/Canada far above any support for offshore students with big bucks (as a priority). This sense of priorities toward BC and Canadian post secondary students is underscored by the response that two-thirds also believe immigrants should pay for their own ESL training. Big dollar expedited immigrants are often processed through a program which is funneled through Howe Street (BC Liberal partisans). On this account the BC Liberals get an “F”.
Some high schools in British Columbia are experimenting with the use of laptops in schools. Our Grade 12 journalism student Kellie Robbins writes in the Gleneagle newspaper “The Edge” about her experiences at two high schools, one using laptops and the other not. Respondents in this poll reveal surprisingly marginal support for the use of laptops accepting the argument that computers are a dubious learning tool in schools and are more likely to be a distraction than a benefit.
A $10 minimum wage is widely accepted by British Columbians from these lower mainland suburbs. Given the number of businesses closely associated to the BC Liberals who charge entry level minimum wage, or whose highfalutin lifestyles are dependent on low wages for labour, it is doubtful that any BC Liberal provincial action will take place on the matter of a $10 minimum wage. The federal Conservative government could win big brownie points with many voters including NDPers if they implemented a national minimum wage-based of course on unemployment and/or other factors from region to region. On this account the BC Liberals get an “F”.
The press pundits recently surmised that British Columbians are coming around to aboriginal treaties. This ROBBINS ASK poll reaffirms this as true. I’m with rock legend Vaughn Palmer now writing about Gordon Campbell in the Vancouver Sun who asserts (and I paraphrase)’that this sense of understanding on the part of the BC public may not extend into perpetuity, first nations may want to ratify while the going is almost good.’ On this account the BC Liberals get a “B+”.
A series of ROBBINS ASK polls of late have shown the BC NDP and BC Liberals are even in terms of public opinion. To listen to the press one would think the BC Liberals are comfortably ahead in the polls. We don’t find this to be true. In the areas of the province studied herein we reaffirm the closeness between the two parties in terms of public support. The BC NDP are always better ‘on the ground at election time and will end up with 44-45% of the popular vote in 2009. The numbers ROBBINS ASK is producing suggest that Premier Campbell has realized he has a 50/50 chance of winning a third term and whether he wins or loses, he wins. If he loses to the BC NDP than the next BC Liberal leader will likely also have a conservative leader to deal with in the province, establishing the Gordon Campbell’s time in office as “special” with no BC Liberal as his successor to the Premier’s office.
British Columbians in this poll are split on whether or not it is “fair comment” to refer to Belinda Stronach as a “bitch”. This divide becomes even more accentuated when we consider one male respondent who answered “Yes” and joked that Ms. Stronach is a “sexy bitch”., while another asked “why doesn’t she pose in playboy…it might make more people interested in politics”. A women who answered “No” indicated that while “Ms. Stronach may in fact be a “bitch”,” it doesn’t make calling her one in public an acceptable thing to do.”
For our part, Mr. Specter’s gamble was most insightful. Specter, former Chief to Progressive Conservative leader Brian Mulroney and ambassador to Israel, essentially ‘cuts off’, or in the alternative significantly narrows Belinda Stronach’s (Conservative come Liberal) ability to be a king-maker in the upcoming Liberal leadership convention. This applies particularly to Michael Ignatieff who threatens more to take centre right voters from PM Harper than left centre votes from federal NDP leader Jack Layton.
It now remains to be seen if Liberal leadership finalists walk to or from Ms. Stronach, when before this ‘incident’ her support was actively being courted by all, as it was when she realized her influence of the development of the Conservative party of Canada.
Ms. Stronach creates an asymmetry in the Liberal party and galvanizes Conservatives, particularly male progressive conservatives (if she supports Ignatieff), and dilutes her influence in large measure if she supports Bob Rae (will she than consider joining the NDP?) My instincts tell me Belinda should keep her eye on Gerard Kennedy, where she is better able to adorn herself in progressive conservative ‘Green’ and reassert her profile among progressive conservatives who might see her as {what is the word I’m looking for(?)..a bitch? If Ms. Stronach is wearing Green at the convention, be rest assured she received this love letter (not to be confused with any Blue Velvet correspondence from Frank Booth).
Has Mr. Specter earned himself another appointment?
I am of the opinion based on this quadrant of sampling that the decision on Income Trusts by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty (coupled with provisions for income splitting amongst seniors) will work out fine for the party. It was a gutsy call (the Irish fear nothing). First, the TSX has come back (although not necessarily) in the area of Income Trusts, and there is a ‘noteworthy’ minority of respondents who support the BC NDP who say they are “negatively affected” or “don’t know” AND there are a number of respondents in this poll who support Geoff Plant’s (a lawyer and federal liberal) who also say they will be “negatively affected”. This leaves about 5% of overall respondents who neither support Geoff Plant’s 2020 initiative, nor the BC NDP who say they will be “negatively affected” or “don’t know”. How this impacts on the federal Conservatives strategy relating to Income Trusts is not absolutely certain, but given the state of flux in telecommunications, Bell’s becoming an Income Trust, and other telecommunications firms looking at the option, while the CRTC muses, the Finance Minister HAD NO CHOICE.
Article by Kellie Robbins in the Gleneagle High School (Coquitlam) newspaper “The Edge”
Local public schools are considering higher forms of technology to expand students learning potential. To accomplish this, government and local school districts would be compelled to direct limited funds toward these purchases at the expense of other more traditional learning resources such as library books.
One local high school, Heritage Woods Secondary is already using lap tops in an attempt to broaden student’s ability to acquire knowledge. My question is: does such an extravagant investment really have a positive effect on a student’s ability to learn?
As a former Heritage Woods student I have personal experience with lap top technology in the classroom. Students in English classes at Heritage Woods were permitted to take a lap top home for a six weeks. During this time students were able to take notes, type essays, and conduct research on the Internet. In addition to these areas of study, students were also able to download music, check their hotmail, play online games and do everything they might do on their own computer at home.
As school laptops are the responsibility of the Ministry of Education, some sites were red screened, meaning students were restricted from accessing them. However, red screening only prohibited access to the most extreme and inappropriate websites. These controls did not impede students from seeking out other distracting non educational activities during class time. Even the most diligent students became unfocused because of the excitement generated by the limitless options presented by lap tops combined with the Internet.
A more positive feature of the lap top was its capacity to type notes or ‘in class’ essays much faster than handwriting them. Unfortunately, the glitches associated with new technology sometimes offset this type of benefit. For example, many students did not save their documents properly and lost them entirely. This presented a new well imagined level of excuse for being late or for missing assignments altogether. Moreover, sometimes at the end of an ‘in class’ essay, when students tried to print simultaneously, the overall system ran too slowly. By the time everyone eventually printed their copies, they were late for their next class.
I have experienced technology in the classroom in two previous years at Heritage Woods. Coming to Gleneagle this year was an adjustment because of the return to the more traditional ways of learning, studying, and producing work. This conventional method was not a negative experience. Without the many distractions associated with technology it is much easier to concentrate, and focus on work. It is my impression from being associated with both experiences that lap top and Internet technology is definitely a want and certainly not a necessity in the classroom. If the Ministry and school districts want students to acquire knowledge more effectively, then it depends on the ability of their teachers to properly direct them.

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