86% of those answering phone joined telephone town hall

SMITHERS An “outstanding” 86% of the 9,415 calls answered live at last week’s first-ever Skeena-Bulkley Valley telephone town hall chose to join the event.

“Outstanding!  8,061 households participated in our town hall, many on speaker phone with two or three listeners.  This is a tremendous success and a truly creative way to connect with communities right across our huge riding,” Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen said today.

“We’ve just seen the numbers and are awed by the power of this amazing technology to create a larger dialogue by putting our whole region in touch with each other.

“It’s an extraordinary way to share ideas and work together towards solid solutions to mutual challenges and opportunities.”

Cullen said a wide range of questions was raised during the call, with health care and the economy dominating discussion. “The loss or limitations of health care services and ways to get more jobs going in the Northwest definitely topped the agenda.”

While the 65-minute call meant only 20 of the 251 questions posed could be answered, Cullen said notes of all questions allow follow-up beyond the call. He said he was particularly pleased to hear from an 11-year-old boy in Fort St. James, who called to demand what his MP intends to do about reducing pollution.

Four polls were conducted during the town hall to canvass constituents regarding action they want Cullen to take on issues ranging from fisheries to retirement security. The polls drew 1,559 responses, 611 of which were logged around the proposed Enbridge pipeline and associated supertanker traffic (65% against, 13% in favour, 21% unsure).

While he had strong expectations for his first riding-wide telephone visit with constituents, Cullen said he is “still on a high” and excited about the opportunities this technology, pioneered by the Barack Obama presidential campaign, offers to sprawling ridings such as his.

“We’ve got a few technical bugs to work out but the event provided us with excellent outreach and data,” Cullen said. “We’re definitely looking at holding these fantastic telephone town halls annually.”

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Contact: Shelley Browne, 250-877-4140; cullen1@parl.gc.ca

Download an audio file of the Telephone Town Hall Cullen Telephone Town Hall, March 9, 2011 (.mp3) (Note: large file 3.7MB right click and choose ‘save target as’ to download or click to stream)

Telephone Town Hall interactive Poll Results

Q1:Do you think the Conservative government has our country on the wrong track?

  • Wrong track:  63% (57)
  • Right track: 37% (34)


Q2: Enbridge has proposed building a pipeline from Alberta to Kitimat and then shipping raw bitumen in tankers from the port there. We’d like to know how you feel about the proposal

  • Opposed:             66%   (400)
  • Support:            13%   (82)
  • Unsure:                21%  (129)


Q3:What issue would you most like to see addressed right now?

  • Making life more affordable by taking the HST off home heating costs:                     21%    (96)
  • Making your retirement security more secure:                                                         9%    (44)
  • Improving healthcare services in British Columbia:                                        25%   (116)
  • Taking on the biggest polluters:                                          16%  (72)
  • Getting our economy going and putting folks back to work:    29%    (133)


(note: due to a technical error during the townhall event, the fifth option in the above poll was incorrectly reported during the Live event. The results above are correct)

Q4:There has been much controversy over the Government’s handling of our fishery. We’d like to know whether you support public or private ownership of this important natural resource

  • Public Ownership:    87%  (344)
  • Private Ownership:    13%  (52)