Latest citizen survey finds the pandemic a secondary issue for residents

COVID not top local issue

Kelowna residents are more concerned about social issues and transportation than they are the global COVID-19 pandemic.

But, while only eight per cent of residents taking part in the 2020 Citizen Survey named the pandemic as their number one issue, 32 per cent did indicate COVID-19 has impacted their ability to meet financial obligations.

Results of the survey will be shared with city council Monday afternoon.

As was the case in 2018, social issues (46 per cent) and transportation (22 pr cent) topped the list of issues facing residents with growth and development and the economy (seven per cent each), rounding out the top five.

The survey was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, who sampled 300 adults, utilizing people with both cell phones (65 per cent) and landlines (35 per cent).

Ipsos says quotas were used in order to gain more representative data geographically and demographically, but establishing age, gender, and postal code.

Overall, the study shows 92 per cent of residents say their quality of life is good, however, perceptions of how quality of life has changed are more negative than positive, with 35 per cent saying their quality of life has worsened.

A large majority of residents are also satisfied with the level of city services (91 per cent) and value for taxes (79 per cent).

The survey did dig deep into the pandemic, asking residents about their personal habits and measures to reduce the virus.

Three-quarters of respondents say their use of outdoors spaces has increased over the past six months while 70 per cent stated their physical activity or exercise has decreased.

Nearly 20 per cent said mandatory use, or more enforcement of mask use is needed, nine per cent believe physical distancing should be better regulated or enforced while eight per cent believed stronger enforcement of safety protocols and penalties for non-compliance are needed.

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