With the economy over taken the environment as the key issue for citizens, I recently completed a survey on environmental issues in Manitoba. Based on the results of the survey, from Surveymonkey.com, it’s best for environmentalists in Manitoba to consider a more policy market-based orientated environmental agenda to engage citizens, compared to a protest, activist driven model.
According to the survey done between February 23, 2010 and March 26, 2010, 100% of people surveyed mentioned that policy discussion would be the best way to engage someone on environmental issues, compared to 0%. This correlates with results showing that 60% of respondents said that questionable protest tactics some environmental groups use (i.e. running up CN tower), only hampers the environmental cause. Twenty per-cent said they helped, while another 20% said protesting neither helps or hurts.
Citizens think the current government should think of new ideas to clean the environment. Eighty per-cent of those who answered on whether they think the Province of Manitoba could do more to create new groundbreaking ideas on environmental issues said yes. Only twenty per-cent said no.
The Manitoba government received a negative reception on their environmental policy and strategy on environmental issues. On a scale of one to ten with one being very poor and 10 being world-class, 40% gave the provinces policy a 4 and another 40% gave it a five, meaning 80% of survey goers gave the province a below average grade on our governments policy action. Only 20% gave a 10, meaning Manitoba is doing a world-class job.
Perhaps some of the most interesting responses from this month-long survey, came from the idea of an alternative energy policy. The question asked “Do you think that the province of Manitoba should get away from Manitoba Hydro as its only alternative energy strategy and create newer strategies that encourage local small-scale consumer co-ops, civic utilities, or small-scale private alternative energy providers, outside of Hydro?”, eighty per-cent said yes, Manitoba needs to consider newer strategies for an alternative energy policy that can include co-operatives and small-scale private businesses who can offer alternative energy services. Only twenty per-cent said no.
The survey also supported the idea of creating a provincial wide green jobs strategy program here in Manitoba, that can include things like small-scale environmental business opportunities. Again, eighty per-cent said yes, while only twenty per-cent said no.
While the survey only attracted five respondents, the survey shows, that maybe Manitoban’s would consider more market based solutions to environmental problems, including broadening the alternative energy strategy, more policy discussion among citizens, and green job creation. Manitoba needs to look outside the box solutions to the current environmental problem and lead Canada in sustainability.