Port Authority Conducts Unethical Survey: Marketing Expert

TPA Survey Flawed and Against Industry Ethics Rules, Expert Explains TORONTO – The Toronto Port Authority has conducted another unethical phone survey ahead of its annual general meeting. The poll does not conform to industry practices with its leading questions, marketing expert Allan Bowditch asserts. “The survey questions on the Tripartite Agreement are ‘loaded’ and would not conform to the standards set out by the code of conduct of the Market Research Society,” Allan Bowditch, a 40 year-industry veteran in mark research said. “The questions about jet aircraft are also loaded and would not conform to the MRS code of conduct either. You cannot extol the virtues of something and them ask opinions of it.” The TPA conducts a regular survey before its annual general meeting, Last year’s and this year’s polls include leading questions on the planned Island Airport expansion and introduction of jet aircraft. “It is clearly leading and likely to affect the attitudes of respondents to how the questions about the economic impact of the airport are worded,” Bowditch, a fellow of the Market Research Society, continued. “The Port Authority’s questionnaire is flawed in key critical areas.” “What we see here is another attempt to manipulate public opinion by the Toronto Port Authority,” Norman Di Pasquale, Acting Chair of NoJetsTO added. “It’s another unethical opinion poll to push the TPA’s Island Airport expansion plans.” NoJetsTO is a coalition of concerned citizens dedicated to preserving Toronto’s mixed-use waterfront and a boutique Island Airport. Representing residents across Toronto, the non-partisan organization NoJetsTO opposes the expansion of the Island Airport through jet aircraft and extended runways. NoJetsTO’s goal is to preserve the status quo at the Island Airport by protecting the Tripartite Agreement that governs it.

– 30 –

For more information, please contact: Norman Di Pasquale, NoJetsTO Acting Chair, 647-808-2910 or media@nojetsto.ca About Allan Bowditch
  • Is a fellow of the Market Research Society and has been involved in this work for over 40 years.
  • Ran a leading International market research company Martin Hamblin GfK for many years as CEO and Chairman.
  • Recipient of a Lifetime Achievement award in Market Research from the PBIRG
  • Recipient of a special award for contribution to Market Research at EPhMRA
Full questionnaire of phone survey received August 8, 2014
I'm calling from [name of marketing research company] and I am looking to conduct a survey of the attitude and options of people living in the local area on some issues that are facing affecting the community and we are looking to speak with anyone over the age of 18. Are you interested? It would be much appreciated. To make sure that you qualify do you or anyone else in your household a member of the media or a polling firm? 1) What are the first three digits of your postal code? 2) Do you mind telling me what year were you born? 3) Roughly how often do you visit the waterfront are in Toronto – 2-3 times a month,  4-6 times a year, 1 -2 times a year? 4) What is your main reason for visiting the waterfront? 5) Would you say more often walking or biking? (in response to answer given) 6) How important is improving Toronto’s waterfront to you? Would you say:) very important, somewhat important, not very important, not at all important.
7) Could you tell me if an improved waterfront could benefit Toronto in these ways? Increased quality of life for Toronto residents, Increased tourism, Better image for the city, Increased economic activity. As you may know Toronto’s waterfront has been going through a process of revitalization in recent years, with the development of and creation of communities, green spaces along the waterfront. 8) Is this headed in right direction or the wrong direction? 9) Can you identify the groups involved in the revitalization?  Levels of government? 10) Any other organizations that you might know of? 11) Out of the three levels of government, which two have the most involved in the revitalization? Federal, Municipal, or Provincial? Are there any two in particular? 12) Could you choose two out of the three levels of government that have been most effective? 13) Before today, have you ever heard of the Toronto Port Authority? 14) As far as you know, what does the Toronto Port Authority do and what are they responsible for? 15) Using a scale of 1 -10, where 1 is very unfavourable and 10 is very favourable, could you rate your impression of where would you put the Toronto Port Authority? 16) How familiar are you with the Billy Bishop Airport located on Toronto Island near downtown?  Would you say very familiar, somewhat, not very familiar, not familiar at all. 17) Before today, were you aware that the Billy Bishop Airport is operated by the Toronto Port Authority? Very aware, somewhat aware, not aware, not aware at all? 18) In the past 6 months have you seen any advertisements for the Billy Bishop TorontoCity airport? 19) How many times have you flown out of Billy Bishop Toronto City?  Approximately how many times in the past? 20) Thinking about Billy Bishop, what describes your attitude to the airport and its operations? I don’t care one way or another if there is an airport on the island, I am dead set against an airport on the island, I want an airport on the island, somewhat in favour, believe that it is good for Toronto. 21) Recently, a study on the economic impact on the impact of the airport was conducted. I will read you a list of a few things that the study found and could you tell me if they make you feel more favourable or less favourable or does not impact your opinion either way: - The Billy Bishop Airport generates $1.9B in economic output - Billy Bishop Airport generates approximately 5,700 jobs - Billy Bishop helps generates tax revenue for the government of $57M - Billy Bishop generates $290M in wages - Billy Bishop airport supports important economic  sectors – finance, film, energy, transportation and others 22) When you fly out of BB, what percentage would be for business and what percentage for pleasure? 23) How would you rate your overall experience using Billy Bishop airport, very positive, somewhat positive, somewhat negative, very negative. 24) Why did you rate your experience as positive, when it was Toronto City Airport? 25) Back when you took the flights, could you clarify what was positive and why you say it is not now? 26) How important is it you would say it is that the Toronto Port Authority should exemplify the following attribute? Very important, important, not very important, not important at all: - Transparent - Accessible - Collaborative - Authoritative - Be a civic partner - Strict - Rigid - Be environmental stewards 27) In the year 2033, the tripartite agreement that governs the airport is set to expire. Without renewing the agreement, the Billy Bishop airport will cease to operate. Which is closest to your point of view: - We should amend the agreement now and extend it beyond 2033 to ensure future viability. - We should let the agreement expire and close down the airport. - We still have a lot of time to attend, so we don’t need to worry about it. 28) Do you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, disagree strongly with the following statements: - Billy Bishop Airport is a valuable asset for the city. - The island airport makes a great first impression for visitors who use it to travel to Toronto. - When the new Union express train operating to Pearson is operating, I would beless likely to use Billy Bishop Airport. - Billy Bishop Airport is an important part of Toronto’s future economic growth - Billy Bishop Airport  is an economic engine of the city. - The Toronto Port Authority provides important economic benefits to the city of Toronto. - Billy Bishop is a great gateway for the city and tourists - The Toronto Port Authority has an important role to play in Toronto - Billy Bishop Airport is great for the economy of Toronto. - Billy Bishop should be expanded so Torontonians have access to more flights and more destinations. 29) An underwater pedestrian tunnel is currently being built to link the island the mainland constructed and before today, before today how aware were you of the construction of the tunnel? Very aware, somewhat aware, not aware, not aware at all. 30) I will read you some statement about the pedestrian tunnel, state if you agree very much, agree somewhat, disagree very much: - The construction of the tunnel is inconveniencing me. - The short term pain of construction and the inconvenience it causes will be worth the long term gain of having a tunnel to permanently connect to the airport. - A pedestrian tunnel is the best way to improve access to the Billy Bishop and improve the experience of flying out of the Island Airport. 31) Who do you think is paying for construction of the pedestrian tunnel? Please choose all that apply: - City of Toronto - Passengers - Airport Improvement Fee - Federal, provincial or municipal governments 32) From your home do you hear any sound or noise associated from the planes that land and take off from the airport? 33) How confident are you that the noise you are hearing is generated by the airport? 34) Overall would you say the sound or noise is very bothersome, somewhat bothersome, or not really bothersome or not bothersome at all? 35) From your home do you hear any sound or noise that is associated with auto traffic? 36) With regard to the auto noise, would you say a lot of noise, some noise, not much noise or not noise at all? 37) Overall would you say the auto noise is very bothersome, somewhat bothersome, or not really bothersome or not bothersome at all? Some people support the use of jet aircraft at Billy Bishop Airport and say it would increase competition and lower prices for flights out of Toronto and would give Torontonians more access to more destinations, help the Canadian economy and aerospace companies like Bombardier, due to increased manufacturing orders for jet aircraft. Other people oppose the use of jet aircraft at the Billy Bishop airport. They say allowing jets to fly out Billy Bishop would lead to more noise coming from the airport and skies and would require runway extensions and would lead to increased traffic congestion due to higher passenger volumes and open the door for other airlines to fly out of Billy Bishop Airport. 38) Which of the following two statements is closer to your point of view: - Oppose the use of jet aircraft at Billy Bishop under any circumstance. - Support the use of jet aircraft provided the jet make no more noise than current aircraft. Tell me about any concerns that you may have about the operation and impact of the Billy Bishop airport.  Can record up to three, please give me your top three concerns.