Many more Canadians concerned about the environment than about terrorism

According to a poll conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights for CBC, more Canadians are concerned about the environment than about terrorism. This ranking of issues identified in the poll is:

  • economy (89 per cent)
  • health care (87 per cent)
  • jobs and unemployment (81 per cent)
  • the value of the dollar (79 per cent)
  • the environment (75 per cent)
  • oil prices (70 per cent)
  • housing prices (68 per cent)
  • terrorism (50 per cent)

Environment has not been as high as fifth place in similar rankings of issues since before economic problems rose to the top of the list in 2008. GallonDaily finds it frustrating that when environment falls as a priority in the polls it makes headlines, for example in the Toronto Star, but when it rises it gets little or no attention from the Canadian media. Headlines about this poll have focussed on terrorism, even though barely 50% of Canadians see terrorism as a high priority.

GallonDaily notes the following:

  • there may be ranking issues between housing prices and terrorism but CBC News has not provided a complete list.
  • CBC often provides access to the complete polling report, or at least to a detailed summary, but so far neither CBC nor Pollara seem to have done this with this poll.
  • CBC states that a total of 1,000 adult Canadians participated in the online survey between Feb. 8 and 11. Since the poll was conducted online, reporting on the margin of error is not applicable. However, as a guideline, a probability sample of this size would yield results accurate to +/- 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20. Without seeing the polling report GallonDaily is unable to comment on the exact question asked or how the online polling was conducted.

Nevertheless we are pleased to pass on the top line result that relates to public opinion about the environment. The CBC News story about the poll can be found at http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/terrorism-survey-50-of-canadians-feel-less-safe-than-2-years-ago-1.2978177

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