State-of-the-islands telephone poll
In 2016, Islands Trust Council approved funding for a "State of the Islands" project to research and report on social, economic and environmental trends. An August 2016 phone-poll of 426 island residents by Forum Research is part of that project. The results of the poll went to Trust Council's September 2016 meeting as part of a session about developing a vision for the Islands Trust Area. Thank you to the residents who gave their time to answer the questions.
Here are some highlights from the 2016 phone poll
- 82% of the respondents were above the age of 55
- 36% of respondents live on their island because they like the rural/independent feel to their island and think it’s a good place to raise kids, followed by 28% appreciating the natural landscape
- 40% of respondents stated that transportation is the biggest challenge facing their island
- 38% of respondents want the island to stay the same when asked what they hoped would improve in the next 20 to 30 years
- 39% of respondents would consider leaving the island in order to gain better access to healthcare
- 93% of respondents stated they knew their neighbours well enough to ask for or offer help.
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Previous polls and surveys
The results of a 2011 public opinion survey indicated strong province-wide and Trust Area support for preserving and protecting British Columbia's Gulf Islands. The survey indicated strong support for the mandate, especially amongst Gulf Islanders. The Islands Trust was originally created in 1974 in response to concerns about overdevelopment of these special islands, with their unique ecosystems and communities. The poll confirmed that islanders still agree with the reasons the Province created the Islands Trust. The survey also indicated that British Columbians from outside the Islands Trust Area recognize the special nature of the islands.
Key findings are:
- 86% of respondents across B.C. agree that B.C.'s Gulf Islands are a special part of British Columbia; 97% of respondents within the Islands Trust Area agree.
- Across B.C., at least 83% of respondents agree the Gulf Islands should be protected from overdevelopment, and that the B.C. government should take action to make sure the Gulf Islands are preserved and protected; within the Islands Trust Area, agreement rises to 90%.
- Strong agreement, both provincially and locally, that tourism should be managed to protect the islands' unique environment, and that mining, clear-cut logging, large tourist developments and fish farms should not be allowed.
The poll, commissioned by the Islands Trust, was conducted March 1-3, 2011 by Ipsos Reid, a British Columbia based market research and public opinion company. The province-wide poll has a margin of error of +/-3.5 %, 19 times out of 20 on the total sample of 817 British Columbians. An additional sub-sample of 100 residents living in the Islands Trust Area was also surveyed, with a margin of error of +/-9.8%, 19 times out of 20. Both polls were conducted to ensure appropriate representation by age, gender and region. While the same questions were also asked in a 2004 poll, Ipsos Reid has indicated that a change in their methodology means the results cannot be directly compared.
See the full results of the 2011 poll and a poll conducted in 2005 here:
Survey on Public Attitudes Towards BC's Gulf Islands (2011)
Opinion Survey - Islands Trust Area (2005)