How do you feel about the quality of life in Saanich? What about council’s decision-making and the value of services funded through taxes?
Over six weeks, up to 400 Saanich residents will be invited to take part in an online mid-term citizen survey launched by the municipality on Feb. 8.
The survey will be conducted by BC Stats, the provinces’ statistical agency that manages data collection, research and analysis. Participants will be randomly selected and receive a postcard invitation in the mail to access the questions online. The survey will cover various topics including neighbourhood safety, municipal service delivery and general well-being in Saanich.
Every four years, when a new council begins its term, a large-scale citizen and business survey is conducted – the most recent took place in early 2019. Per the survey report presented to council that February, more than 1,000 residents and 403 business owners responded.
Overall, the responses were positive and indicated that residents were satisfied with life in Saanich. At the time, about half of respondents reported wanting to see roads and traffic control prioritized along with environmental protection, and others noted plumbing, sidewalks and parks and trails as high priorities.
Affordable housing was also raised as an important issue when survey participants were asked what they’d like to see over the next five years. Nearly 50 per cent of respondents said they were either “not very satisfied” (32 per cent) or “not all satisfied” (15 per cent) with policies on affordable housing at the time.
After receiving the results of the 2019 survey, the current council opted to conduct smaller online surveys annually, said Megan Catalano, communications manager for Saanich. An estimated $20,000 per survey was allocated through the 2019-2023 Financial Plan. The district had planned to conduct the first online survey in 2020 but with COVID-19, it was postponed to 2021.
The results of the current survey will be presented to Saanich council on June 21. The district is asking that those who receive an invite consider contributing as the results will be used to guide council decisions and inform key initiatives.
Anyone with questions about completing this survey is invited to email BC Stats at BCStats.SurveyMail6@gov.bc.ca or call 250-883-9056.
-With files from Wolfgang Depner.