Environment Canada opinion survey reveals skepticism of government action on climate change

Not many Canadians can think of things the Conservative government has done to mitigate climate change and some feel the government has done more harm than good, suggests focus group research commissioned by Environment Canada this summer.

Few focus group participants “could name a specific advancement” the federal government had made in recent years to combat climate change and “indeed, the impressions offered were more often a sense that efforts had been reduced rather than increased in recent years,” says the study report from the Harris Decima research firm.

Additionally, many participants – particularly those from higher income groups – were “skeptical” the government would put measures in place to mitigate climate change within a year.

But not all will be concerned by the perceived lack of government action. While most study participants agreed that climate change was a “very real concern” and “almost certainly due to human activity,” the focus group research reveals that not all Canadians are convinced.

Harris Decima notes that some participants “indicated some doubt or confusion about whether the changes being measures and reported are due to human activity or some uncontrollable, natural evolution.” Some believed that climate change was not occurring at all or that it was part of a natural cycle that would be corrected in a few years.

The firm conducted 12 focus groups with Canadians in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and the Yukon from May 25 to Jun 3, 2013 to investigate what issues were important to Canadians and how they wanted the federal government to address those issues.Six to 11 participants per group – each paid $75 for their participation – were asked to name the most pressing issues facing Canada. They were then asked for their thoughts on the environment, climate change, pollution and conservation.

At least one person in every group named the environment as a top priority for government, but job creation was overwhelmingly the most oft-mentioned priority.

Source | http://www.canada.com

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