Each year the Columbia Institute does polling on the local issues that British Columbians consider most pressing. Below is a comparison of results from 2007 to 2011.* You will find a breakdown of responses on the following page.
Social Infrastructure includes: Homelessness, Healthcare, Poverty, Immigration/Integration, Education, Lack of social services/sense of community, Childcare.
Economic Bottom Line includes: Unemployment, The economy, The cost of living, Housing affordability/Housing, Gas prices, Taxes.
Environment/Quality of Life includes: Environmental problems/pollution, Lack of infrastructure, Growth/Overcrowding, Development, Water shortages.
*Results were not collected in 2010.
Below is the breakdown of issues as respondents identified them.
Note: All questions in this survey were fielded online using a proprietary panel from November 7th to 8th, 2011, yielding a sample of 810 completed surveys. The data was statistically weighted to ensure that the sample’s regional gender and age composition reflects that of the actual British Columbia population according to the 2006 census.
In addition to this priority polling, each year we ask specific questions relevant to the work of building inclusive and sustainable communities. One of those questions was about a municipal Living Wage bylaw. This is a local policy tool that has seen widespread adoption and success in the United States and England.
A living wage is calculated locally, and represents a level of pay which is high enough so that the recipient can afford the basic necessities of life (food, clothing, shelter, transportation, childcare, healthcare), and put aside something for emergencies.
The Living Wage for Families website (http://livingwageforfamilies.ca) has more information on how and where living wages have been calculated across British Columbia. If you are interested in moving your region forward on this issue, you can download our briefing note and find other resources by visiting our website (www.civicgovernance.ca) and searching for “Living Wage”.
Another specific question we asked was in reference to climate change. Our interest is in gauging what support there is for local leaders taking bold climate action, even within the current economic situation.
If you would like to use this data in advocating for particular action, we would be happy to help. A further breakdown of these numbers, by various age/income/education demographics, is available by emailing Christine Boyle, Strategic Communications Specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org.