Stewardship Council pleased with response to fracking survey

MANITOULIN—An online survey and poll seeking Islanders’ input on the issue of fracking has been heating up the lines with a steady and decidedly local response rate.

“We are very pleased that we are getting so many survey responses from the Island,” said Therese Trainor, MASC secretary. “We are happy that people are choosing to respond to the poll, but we really need the information that comes from people filling out the survey more.”

Ms. Trainor said that MASC did not know what to expect when they first broached the idea of posting the poll and survey online on The Expositor’s website, www.manitoulin.ca, but acknowledged that the early response rate has been gratifying. “We haven’t starting looking at the responses yet,” said Ms. Trainor. “Right now we are just looking at the numbers of people who are responding.”

Website manager Dave Patterson noted that anecdotally, the survey responses appear to be coming overwhelmingly from Island respondents and that the number of people choosing to fill out the survey is remarkably high.

The response to the concept of fracking has been predominately negative in the poll, but by no means has that position been universal. “There have been responses from people who are not against the idea of fracking per se,” said Mr. Patterson.

The poll will remain up for at least another month and Ms. Trainor said that she encourages as many Islanders as possible log on, express their views and complete the survey. “We want as many people answering the survey as possible,” she said. “We really need to have a good handle on what the people in our region want.”

The poll is a single question asking if the respondent supports fracking on Manitoulin Island. The survey consists of eight questions, with the possibility of an open-ended response as to the respondent’s concerns.

As of Monday morning over 400 respondents had answered the poll and over 300 people had taken the survey.

Michael Erskine

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