Letter: Many questions from resident survey

Resident survey creates more questions than answers

Three verbatim questions from the online Oak Bay Citizen Survey:

1. Do you feel there is an overpopulation of deer in the district of Oak Bay?

2.  On a scale of 1-4 with 1 being strongly opposed and 4 being strongly supportive, would you support an increase in property taxes to fund efforts to reduce the deer population in the District of Oak Bay?

3. Again, on a scale of 1-4, do you support a deer cull in the District of Oak Bay, assuming this was the only option available to the District in order to reduce the deer population.

Note: the word “cull” refers to a humane killing.

Questions 2 and 3 appear only if you click “yes” to question 1. Presumably this applies to the telephone survey too. A mail survey wouldn’t have supported this cover-up. (By the way, my phone numbers are in no directory so I had no chance of being included in the telephone survey.)

“Only” is bolded. Mayor Nils Jensen has emphasized that a cull is the only option for deer reduction. Authoritative sources say that Oak Bay’s cull in 2015 was not humane.

Why can’t people who clicked “no” to No. 1 respond to the tax increase and cull question?

If deer numbers are reduced, everyone should have a say about how it happens and gets paid for.

This bias may infect other survey questions, such as infill, taxes, OCP, etc.

Questions were created by mayor, council and a Vancouver polling company in camera.

Why the secrecy?

Why is this online survey being done at all? Non-residents of Oak Bay can fill it out. Some people can fill it out twice – by phone and online. And there are people in Oak Bay who cannot or are unwilling to do an online survey. Or they don’t know about it.

Why is it being done after Oak Bay spent thousands of dollars on a so-called scientific telephone survey?

Online polls are hugely biased and non-representative of resident opinions. What use is this online survey that eats up staff time?

Danalee GoldthwaiteOak Bay