Vancouver Municipal Government Gets Mixed Reviews

The government is praised on tourism, sanitation and environmental protection, but criticized on engagement, homelessness and transparency.

Vancouver, BC – The City of Vancouver gets good marks from residents on specific competencies, but is clearly not connecting well with the public on others, a new Insights West survey has found.

In the online survey of a representative city sample, residents were asked to rate the performance of the municipal government on 12 different issues.

The City of Vancouver had its best numbers on promoting tourism to Vancouver (79% deem its efforts “very good” or “good”), providing good sanitation services (75%), protecting the environment (70%) and fostering artistic and cultural activities (69%).

A majority of Vancouverites also think the city has done a good job dealing with crime (62%) and enhancing their overall quality of life (55%). Smaller proportions of residents are satisfied with the way Vancouver is managing development and growth (47%), handling the city’s finances (39%) and dealing with transportation (37%).

Only a third of residents believe the city is doing a “very good” or “good” job engaging with people like them (33%), and fewer are content with the way it is dealing with homelessness and poverty (31%) and making City Hall work in a transparent and unbiased fashion (25%).

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Housing (39%) remains the most important issue for residents, followed by transportation (16%), poverty (12%) and economic development (9%).

The approval rating for Mayor Gregor Robertson of Vision Vancouver stands at 46%, with 40% of Vancouverites disapproving of his performance. The groups that are satisfied the most with Robertson’s performance are women (52%) and residents aged 18-to-34 (55%).

“As we head into the municipal election, the age of would-be voters is a key factor for the governing party,” said Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs, at Insights West. “Almost half of residents aged 18-to-34 regard housing as the most pressing concern, and they voice the highest level of support for the re-election of the incumbent mayor.”

Across the city, 46% of residents have a positive opinion of Robertson, while 39% hold negative views. Non-Partisan Association (NPA) mayoral candidate Kirk LaPointe is seen positively by 24% of Vancouverites, and negatively by 9%. However, 41% of residents do not know who LaPointe is. Low name recognition also affects mayoral hopefuls Glen Chernen of the Cedar Party (64%) and independent Colin Shandler (66%).

A third of Vancouverites (34%) say they are “very likely” or “moderately likely” to vote for Robertson in the November election, while 35% say they are “not too likely” or “not likely at all” to support the incumbent. One-in-five residents (20%) say they are likely to vote for LaPointe, while 23% are unlikely to do so.

Two age groups react differently to the main contenders. Residents aged 18-to-34 are definitely more likely to support Robertson (34%) than LaPointe (8%). Conversely, most residents aged 55 and over (59%) say they are unlikely to vote for Robertson this year, and 38% of them would probably cast a ballot for LaPointe.

On the race for City Council, a third of Vancouverites (34%) say they are likely to give at least one of their votes to candidates from Vision Vancouver. The Non-Partisan Association (NPA) is next on this list with 30%, followed by the Green Party of Vancouver with 29%, and the Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE) with 18%.

Less than one-in-ten residents are currently considering voting for council candidates representing the Cedar Party (8%) and One City (7%).

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary and has seventeen employees.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from August 11 to August 14, 2014, among 443 City of Vancouver residents aged 18+ who are Your Insights panel members. YourInsights.ca is Insights West’s in-house access panel offering on-demand samples for both clients and research suppliers looking for Western Canadian populations. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for Vancouver for age, gender and region. Results have a margin of error of +/- 4.6 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Click here to view the detailed data tabulations for this study.

For further information, please contact:

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West
778-929-0490
mariocanseco@insightswest.com

 

Photograph: Trevor Leyenhorst