Toronto, ON – Thinking about the amount of trees Ontario has lost over the past decade due to various reasons including urbanization, infestation, fire and climate change, nine in ten (87%) believe that the amount of trees Ontario loses every year constitutes a ‘serious problem’ (40% very/47% somewhat). Just 13% think it’s not a problem (11% not very serious/2% not at all serious).
Moreover, most (82%) Ontarians believe the collective impact these events have had on Ontario’s ecosystem and biosphere has created a ‘crisis’ (25% severe/57% somewhat), according to a new Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of Trees Ontario. Only two in ten (18%) believe that there is ‘really not a crisis at all’.
When the ecosystem/biosphere in Ontario loses trees - over 10,000 hectares of forested land has been lost in the past 10 years due to urbanization alone - efforts are made to renew the loss. But whereas a decade ago Ontario renewal was taking place by planting 20 million trees a year on rural, private lands in the province, in 2007 only 2 million trees were planted mainly due to lack of funding - particularly from non -government agencies. Despite the many competing environmental issues confronting the province, nine in ten (87%) Ontarians believe that a high priority (36% very high/51% somewhat high) should be placed on increasing our collective efforts to plant more trees on rural and private lands in Ontario. Just 13% believe the priority should be somewhat low (11%) or not a priority at all (2%).
Currently retail and service outlets across the province are charging consumers 5 cents for every plastic bag they take from the store. The money collected by the outlet can go to wherever the outlet decides: for example, Loblaws plans to give $1 million a year over three years to the World Wildlife Fund - Canada. Metro Foods is donating $2 million toward an environmental stewardship program in schools in Ontario and Quebec for the 2009/10 school year, and Sobeys Ontario is funding grants of up to $20,000 to support Earth Day Canada projects. Alternatively, these outlets can just keep the money.
Given all of the places that an organization could donate its five-cent bag fee if it wanted to, almost all (91%) Ontarians would be supportive (49% very/42% somewhat) if an outlet decided to designate Trees Ontario—a not-for-profit organization that plants trees in Ontario on rural and private lands—as the recipient of its collected amount. Only one in ten (10%) would not be supportive (7% not really/3% not at all) of Trees Ontario receiving these funds.
And if Ontarians heard that a particular organization was contributing to Trees Ontario, most (70%) say that they would be more likely to think better of that organization and its reputation, while just 4% said they’d be less likely to think better of that company. One quarter (25%) of Ontarians say their opinions would be unaffected.
These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of Trees Ontario from January 6 to 13, 2010. This online survey of 846 adult residents of Ontario was conducted via the Ipsos I-Say Online Panel, Ipsos Reid's national online panel. The results are based on a sample where quota sampling and weighting are employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to Census data. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/-3.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had the entire population of adults in Ontario been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.
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