Survey shows that civic election hopefuls face an anxious crop of voters
In what shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, half of Metro Vancouver residents have considered relocating because of high costs, according to a recent survey called VoteLocal.
Released just six weeks before Vancouver’s municipal election on October 20, the poll was conducted by Vancouver-based Mustel Group and Toronto’s FleishmanHillard HighRoad (a division of U.S.-based FleishmanHillard, which has offices in Vancouver as well) in partnership with the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade.
Based on responses between July 9 and August 23, VoteLocal surveyed three different groups: a random sample of Metro Vancouver adults, 18 years of age or over (533); Greater Vancouver Board of Trade members (184); and current mayors and councillors, plus candidates in the up-coming election (93).
The results from the three groups differed slightly but stayed on a similar track. A clear majority of residents (67 percent), businesses (75 percent) and political candidates (82 percent) all believe quality of life and affordability in the region have declined in the last five years.
And while residents and business owners expect things to get worse, politicians are reportedly more optimistic, though they feel that municipal governments don’t have much control over affordability in what can only be described as a major cop-out.
“Metro Vancouver has long enjoyed a reputation for excellent quality of life, but residents and businesses seem to be falling out of love with the place we call home,” said Anna Lilly, senior vice-president with FleishmanHillard HighRoad.
“Our survey suggests that affordable housing, the pace of growth and development, and transportation are likely to dominate discussion in the lead-up to October 20.”