Web poll shows division on Rec Centre expansion

The weekly editorial for the 100 Mile Free Press

Consultations on the South Cariboo Rec Centre Expansion Project started this month and over the next two months the project’s working group is giving presentations to over a dozen community groups such as the presentation they’re doing for the Age Friendly Society of the South Cariboo today (Jan. 25) from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at the Creekside Seniors Centre.

In light of this, we ran a web poll on the proposed South Cariboo Rec Centre Expansion.

Now by no means is this a scientific poll.

The biggest deficiency is obviously that people who don’t use the internet can’t vote. Furthermore, it’s restricted to those that follow or read the Free Press and there’s some room for “voter fraud” (although we did our best to remove duplicate voting etc.).

Currently, however, about 300 people have voted which is not an insignificant number.

The results from our poll, indicate just a hair over half are in favour with a few people who say they don’t know and the rest being opposed. Many of the opposed comments indicated the desire for a pool.

The near 50-50 split means the project is by no means dead in the water but has got to be slightly discouraging for those in favour of the project nonetheless.

When proposing a project as ambitious in scope as a multi-million dollar expansion, surely the hope would be that the vast majority of the community is on board. With the roughly 300 votes and a vast array of comments, it’s clear that it’s something the community is passionate about but also divided.

It also means there’ll still have to be some lifting to do by the South Cariboo Re Centre Expansion Working Group. Outside of the meetings with community groups, there’ll be booths in February at Save-On-Foods, Safeway and Peter Skene Ogden Secondary as well as four open houses near the end of February.

The biggest unknown is how many people are disengaged from the whole process or project but will vote when the time comes.

If it is as tight as the poll suggests, the question will be who actually makes the effort to vote in the referendum, providing it makes it past public consultations.

Maybe in a little while, when the public consultations are nearly completed, we’ll have another poll to see if the momentum has swung either way at all.

It’s certainly something I’ll be keeping an eye on in the coming weeks.

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