Research conducted by a national polling company appears to have been influential in laying one of the cornerstones for the Campbell administration's climate action initiative, Public Eye has exclusively learned. During its February 12 throne speech, the Campbell administration announced it would be rewarding British Columbians for making choices that will "save energy, water, fuel, time and money" as part of its LiveSmart BC strategy. But the thrust and even the name of that program - which will include "public education campaigns that will give citizens the tools and information they need to make informed choices" - seems to have been outlined in a report prepared by Decima Research Ltd. for the government in the days leading up to that announcement.
The report - the result of 12 focus groups conducted during the last two weeks of January - stressed "British Columbians are increasingly looking at what they can do on a daily basis to reduce their cost of living, and at the same time reduce their environmental footprint." And group participants were willing to see government take measure to promote "environmentally-conscious behaviours" - such as rebating the purchase of hybrid cars or energy saving windows. But, according to the participants, government most important task was to teach British Columbians what they can do as individuals to solve the climate change problem.
Decima went on to report the phrase Living Smart was seen by focus groups as being "most consistently fitting with the sense of importance, urgency, and ethic" associated with environmental action.
Public Eye has filed repeated freedom of information requests since December for the results of Decima's research - the latest of which was set to be rejected on the grounds it would have revealed the substance of cabinet deliberations. But, instead, the Campbell administration quietly posted that report on the climate action secretariat's Website last week.