From The Globe and Mail. Read the entire report here: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-critics-question-ottawas-online-survey-that-found-strong-opposition/
Critics of a federal government online questionnaire on gun control say it suffered from vague questions and manipulation after results showed at least three-quarters of responses oppose new limits on access to handguns and assault weapons.
The federal government has been exploring a possible ban on handguns and military-style rifles since last summer. Minister of Organized Crime Reduction Bill Blair began consultations on a potential ban, including running an online survey between Oct. 11 and Nov. 11.
According to documents released under Access to Information legislation, the government received 134,917 responses to the multiple-choice portion of the survey, with the vast majority registering opposition to any kind of new restrictions on Canadian gun owners.
Mr. Blair encouraged Canadians to fill out the online survey, but some people have raised concerns about the fairness of the questions and the integrity of the platform.
François Bellemare, a Quebec-based engineer and member of the Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights, said he alone submitted between 25,000 and 35,000 responses using a computer automation application called Macro Recorder.
Criminologist Irwin Cohen said the questionnaire suffers from an array of methodological problems, including overly ambiguous questions. Dr. Cohen, who holds the RCMP research chair in crime reduction at the University of the Fraser Valley and has done extensive research on firearms issues, said he found the results don’t square with more scientific polls he’s seen.
Ms. Rathjen added the results of the online questionnaire are simply evidence of the gun lobby’s strength. “To me it’s clear from the survey results that the gun lobby mobilized and swamped the consultation process.”