People living in rural areas of the Central Okanagan are a happy bunch it seems.
A survey done by the Regional District Central Okanagan (RDCO) found that 94 per cent of residents asked reported a good quality of life. While perceptions of overall quality of life are high, many respondents felt this has worsened over the past two years.
Some of the reasons given were the rising cost of living, safety concerns, population growth, and COVID-19.
Also, 94 per cent of citizens said they are satisfied with the overall level of service they receive from the RDCO, while 79 per cent felt they get good value for their taxes.
High marks were given to regional parks, household garbage and yard waste collection, recycling, and fire protection services. Lower scores were seen for RDCO water systems, and regional planning and growth management. However, those items were still satisfactory to most residents.
The survey was conducted by Ipsos between Oct. 27 to Nov. 16, with 700 surveys completed. It was funded in part through a COVID Restart grant from the provincial government, and the total cost was $52,000.
Other findings from the survey include:
- Social issues top the public issue agenda, led by concerns around poverty/homelessness and housing/affordable housing;
- Transportation is also a key issue. There is strong interest in having a regional transportation function;
- Overall perceptions of safety are positive, however, most feel the Central Okanagan has become less safe over the past two years.
- Citizens prefer tax increases over service cuts.
- While overall satisfaction with communications is positive, one-quarter of citizens are dissatisfied with the Regional District’s performance in this area.