Only 37 per cent of Calgarians satisfied with city council: survey

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WATCH: A new survey by the University of Calgary's School of Public Policy suggests Calgarians are less than 40 per cent satisfied with city council's performance as a whole. Lisa MacGregor reports. – Jan 14, 2019

Survey results released Monday by the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy suggest most Calgarians are not happy with city council as a whole.

The poll results indicate about 60 per cent of respondents are not satisfied with council’s performance, but when it comes to individual scores, the story is drastically different.

Just over 2,000 Calgarians were surveyed at the end of 2018, between Nov. 14 and Dec. 13.

Only 37 per cent said they were satisfied with Calgary City Council’s performance as a whole.

But the results for individual members are quite a bit higher. Mayor Naheed Nenshi scored an overall 56 per cent satisfaction rate citywide.  Over 55 per cent of respondents in some northeast and central wards said they were satisfied with Nenshi, while 40 per cent or less said they were satisfied with the mayor in central-east and southern wards.

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READ MORE: 2018 Year in Review: Mayor Nenshi on the economy, energy sector, jobs and cannabis

Nenshi indicated he wasn’t too phased by the results released Monday and said the only polls that matter are those done in October 2021.

“[This] shows why polls are very confusing,” he said. “Because you could probably ready that to be anything you want it to be.

“While there are challenges here, we’re not living at the end of the world.”

The survey found Peter Demong to be the top-ranked councillor by respondents. About 70 per cent said they were satisfied with his performance.

The councillors with the lowest satisfaction scores were Diane Colley-Urquhart (44 per cent), Ray Jones (48 per cent) and Druh Farrell (49 per cent).

“Of course I’m concerned,” Farrell said of the results. “But I live in a ward that’s going through a significant amount of change.

“The decisions that I make are often controversial, but they represent a changing city.”

Jack Lucas, the U of C political science professor who authored the report, said he was surprised by some of the scores.

“The overall satisfaction is still fairly healthy, given that Calgarians are also — at the moment — feeling pretty dissatisfied with the state of the local economy,” he said. “But I think there has been a lot of news of the past year about contentious council meetings and difficulties with decision-making with city council.”

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According to the report, the numbers are nearly identical to Calgarians’ low satisfaction with the provincial government.


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