Last weekend, On The Bay Magazine sponsored a 40-hour Facebook survey beginning Friday evening (March 3) and ending at 9 a.m. Sunday morning (March 5). The objective was to determine which of the proposed three sites under consideration was the preferred location for the new hospital: the current location, a green field site on Poplar Sideroad, or a possible site in Wasaga Beach.
The Facebook survey targeted men and women in Southern Georgian Bay, reaching out to 6,700 people. Of those, 670 people opened the survey and 78% of those participated in the survey during the 40-hour period, for a total of 512 responses.
"Importantly, from the very first hour of the survey until the final hour, the results did not vary by more than two percentage points for the three locations, an indication of the consistency and integrity of the results," said On The Bay Publisher Jeffrey Shearer.
The choices were randomized so they appeared in different order for each respondent and voters could not vote twice in the survey.
Below is the survey question as well as a breakdown of the results:
Survey Question: Which location do you prefer for our new hospital?
- Current Location
- Poplar Sideroad
Total Votes - 512
Poplar Sideroad - 402 votes - 78.5%
Current Location - 58 votes - 11.3%
Wasaga Beach - 52 votes - 10.2%
After seeing the results, Collingwood Mayor Sandra Cooper, commented, "This Council and our community are very passionate and supportive of the redevelopment of the Collingwood G & M Hospital. Council and staff are committed to working collaboratively with our hospital, community and regional partners to ensure the new hospital remains in Collingwood."
Thom Paterson, Chair of the Board of Trustees for Collingwood General & Marine Hospital, said the Poplar Sideroad site is the board's preferred location for the new hospital. He added he was encouraged by the tremendous public response last Monday night at Council and the overwhelming support from those who responded to On The Bayâ€™s Facebook survey for the Poplar site.
"We are redoubling our effort to convince the town to begin the necessary land use planning for the Poplar Sideroad site," said Paterson.