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SPEC poll finds Olympics low priority


The 2010 Olympic Bid Corporation has its polls showing support for the Olympic bid, but opponents of the bid have their own polls painting a different picture.

According to a poll done for the Society Promoting Environmental Conservation, only 19.7 per cent of British Columbians are prepared to spend public funds on the Olympic Games.

The poll, conducted for SPEC by MacIntyre and Mustel Research between June 6 and 12, asked 506 British Columbians to rank environmental protection, health care, education, public transit, police services and the Olympics when it comes to allocating public money.

Spending for the Olympics rated last, behind transit, environmental protection, police and public safety, education and health care as spending priorities. SPEC says only 13.4 per cent of Vancouver residents listed the Olympics as a priority.

"The provincial and federal governments say we don’t have money to clean up Vancouver’s sewage system that pours 700 million litres of nearly raw sewage and toxic effluent into Vancouver Harbour and Georgia Strait every day," SPEC President David Cadman said in a release. "And we’re told there is no money for hospital beds or classrooms. Yet, the federal and provincial governments last week came up with $620 million for the Olympics."

Cadman said it is clear that most British Columbians want scarce public funds to pay for essential services before any Olympics.

"A lot more discussion needs to occur with British Columbians before millions of dollars are committed to a 14-day sports entertainment event."

The poll results are considered accurate to within plus or minus 4.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Full results are available at: .

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