Don Scott releases results from recent survey on Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo single-use bag ban and launches new public engagement survey

(Sept 5, 2017, Fort McMurray, AB) – Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo Mayoral candidate Don Scott is releasing the results of the recent survey conducted by his campaign in regard to the single-use bag ban bylaw enacted in 2009. In addition, Scott is launching a new public engagement survey on the priority of current issues facing the region.

“I am grateful to all those who participated in the recent survey on the single-use bag ban. As residents had raised this issue with me repeatedly, I sought to engage the public in a dialogue on the topic to assess the current public sentiment on the bag ban. I am pleased to say the survey received over 1,700 responses, over 500 comments and additionally sparked a lively dialogue on my Facebook page (Facebook.com/DonScottforMayor),” said Scott. “Of these responses, 50.26% indicated they are in favour of maintaining the bag ban, while 49.74% indicated they do not support the ban. This remarkable result shows an almost even split in survey respondents.”

The survey was completed 1,751 times, with 1,712 indicating they are residents of the region and 47 respondents indicating they do not reside in the region. Survey respondents provided 575 comments in relation to the topic.

“Of significant interest in the survey were the comments provided by respondents,” said Scott. “Both on the survey itself and the campaign Facebook page, residents shared their thoughts on the bag ban. Given the almost even division of opinion, based on this survey there does not appear to be a strong mandate to repeal this bylaw. However, I believe it is important to both evaluate the success of the bag ban, including in terms of impact on waste diversion at our landfill, and share this information with the residents to ensure they understand any environmental benefits of the ban. In addition, there appears to be interest in revising the ban to include options such as biodegradable bags, which could be explored in the future to ensure the ban continues to meet best practices.”

Based on the comments inspired by the survey, Scott is launching another survey designed to assess where residents rank certain issues facing the region in terms of priority for the next municipal government.

“Many survey respondents indicated they believe there are other issues we need to address as we head into the next four years. In March I announced a comprehensive platform and since that time I have issued several press releases on issues I have identified as critical. I am now launching a survey to assess where residents rank these issues to develop a better understanding of areas of focus for the next Mayor and Council of this region,” said Scott.

“Public engagement not only serves as a key pillar in my platform, but I also believe it is a critical part of good governance. One of the concerning aspects I saw in comments from the bag ban survey is that there may have been an assumption that I was seeking support for a predetermined stance or mandate as opposed to truly seeking an authentic dialogue with residents; I hope through continuing to engage residents through surveys, as well as direct communication through door knocking and meeting citizens, that I can restore confidence in public engagement as an open, honest and transparent conversation. Public engagement should be driven by the desire to engage and converse with residents, and not as a mechanism to drive agendas or achieve specified ends,” said Scott.

Scott’s new survey takes 3-5 minutes to complete and asks respondents to rate the priority of top issues facing the region, including an option to provide additional issues for consideration as well as indicate if there are issues residents would like to more information on. The new survey can be found at: www.surveymonkey.com/r/RMWBTopPriority

Said Scott: “I look forward to once again engaging residents through this survey and dialogue, and hope residents will share their thoughts with me as I seek to represent them and this region as the next Mayor of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.”

Results on the survey regarding priority issues will be released in the weeks ahead.

To learn more about Don Scott’s platform or to get involved in his campaign for a stronger tomorrow, please visit donscott.ca.

RMWBBagBanSurveyResults

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