Over 92 percent of respondents surveyed say ‘no’ to fracking

MANITOULIN—A total of 92.21 percent of respondents to an online poll-survey have indicated they are not in favour of fracking taking place on Manitoulin Island.

“Our board will be discussing what we want to do with the results of the survey/poll,” said Therese Trainor, secretary of the Manitoulin Area Stewardship Council (MASC), who had put the survey together which was then posted online for several weeks on The Manitoulin Expositor

/Manitoulin Recorder website. “The results were fabulous in terms of the number of people who replied.”

“One of the surprising things of the poll-survey was that the number of residents that replied, 446, was higher than the poll figures of 313,” said Ms. Trainor. “With the poll people just had to respond to questions and with the survey they had to provide more information, so normally you would expect fewer people would take part in the survey than the poll. In this case it clearly showed the public’s interest in this issue.”

“Of the 446 respondents to the survey, 64 percent are full-time residents of Manitoulin, with the rest being seasonal residents or occasional visitors to the Island,” said Ms. Trainor.

“Close to 93 percent of the respondents to the poll question said ‘no’ to being in support of fracking taking place on the Island,” continued Ms. Trainor. “On the question of their familiarity to fracking 65 percent (of respondents) said they have knowledge of fracking and 29 percent felt they are very knowledgeable, so obviously the people responding feel they have a good understanding of fracking.”

While there was a long list of items respondents listed as to what they are most concerned about with fracking, Ms. Trainor explained, “the number one thing they (respondents) were concerned about was contamination of ground water. Habitat destruction and chemical threats to wildlife were near the top as well, but everything listed was close in terms of the numbers.”

“Another really surprising result was the respondents’ interest in wanting to be involved in keeping fracking from taking place on the Island,” said Ms. Trainor. “Forty-five percent were in favour of working to keep fracking off Manitoulin Island. Lots of the respondents indicated they would like to volunteer in any way to keep fracking from taking place on the Island, and 44 percent of respondents want to be kept informed on any developments concerning fracking taking place on the Island. The majority, 61 percent of respondents, left their contact information. All of this shows the seriousness of people that they want to be kept informed or involved if there are any proposals for fracking taking place on the Island.”

“We are delighted with the number of people that responded and take this issue seriously and left contact numbers,” said Ms. Trainor. “We can’t express how impressed we are with how the survey/poll was presented on the Internet by Dave Patterson of The Expositor. We will happily use this process again in the future,” she added.

Tom Sasvari