NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C., SEPT. 5, 2018 – With just six weeks to go until civic elections take place in communities across Metro Vancouver, almost half the region’s residents and over a third of its businesses say they have recently considered moving away from the region due to affordability concerns.
That is a key finding of the VoteLocal survey, a unique research project exploring the views of the public, businesses and politicians conducted by Mustel Group and FleishmanHillard HighRoad, in partnership with the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade. Findings of the survey were presented today at a briefing for current civic politicians and election candidates hosted by the Board of Trade, Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association and Chambers of Commerce from around the region.
The survey – conducted July 9-August 23 – shows that the October 20th elections will take place against a backdrop of significant concern and anxiety among voters, businesses and politicians in the region. A clear majority of residents (67%), businesses (75%), and political candidates (82%) believe quality of life and affordability in the region have declined in the last five years. The results are consistent in municipalities across the region. What’s more, residents and business owners expect things to get worse. Politicians are more optimistic than the general public, even though they do not feel municipal governments have much control over affordability.
With more than half of the region’s mayors retiring, this is shaping up to be the most interesting civic election in recent memory, with much at stake for the region.