PORT SAUNDERS, NL – Port Saunders fisherman Conway Caines claims he was denied the opportunity to voice his opinion in a survey because of his occupation.
Caines reached out to the Northern Pen on Monday, Jan. 8 to voice his frustration after he agreed to do a survey conducted by phone on Saturday, Jan. 6.
He says the survey was regarding the economy of Newfoundland and Labrador, a topic on which he wished to express his opinions.
But Caines says when he revealed to the surveyor that he was a fisherman, she informed him he was ineligible to complete the survey.
“She said, ‘sorry you can’t do the survey because you might be biased,’” Caines told the Northern Pen. “That really struck a nerve with me. A survey got nothing to do with biased, a survey is the opinion of a certain amount of people on a topic.”
Caines expressed concern that the provincial government contracted the survey and was excluding people like him in order to handpick the type of results it wanted.
“It seems to me they’re picking and choosing who’s going to give them what they want,” he said.
He wasn’t sure who was conducting the survey and wished to find out. He also wanted to know why fishermen were being excluded.
Caines provided the Northern Pen with the number that called him.
When the Northern Pen dialled the number, a recording revealed the survey firm was MQO Research.
Despite placing a number of calls, the Northern Pen was unable to reach anyone at the MQO Research office in St. John’s.
On its website, MQO Research lists the Newfoundland and Labrador government amongst it clients.