January 15, 2019 9:45 pm
Updated: January 15, 2019 10:37 pm

Quality of life dropping in Kelowna: Citizen survey

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If you live in Kelowna, chances are you’re pretty happy with how things are going in the city.

However, the most recent Citizen Survey would suggest that the pendulum of satisfaction is swinging.

According to the survey results, 42 per cent said they’re quality of life has stayed the same in the past three years while 36 per cent said it’s getting worse. That’s one third of the population.

READ MORE: 86% rate quality of life in Calgary as ‘good’: 2018 Citizen Satisfaction Survey

Those who said it was getting worse cite a number of issues with the top three being:

  • Traffic congestion, 21 per cent
  • Increased poverty/homelessness, 16 per cent
  • Safety concerns, 14 per cent

On the issue of safety:

Global Okanagan did its own straw poll.

Do you feel safe in Kelowna?

“I do for the most part,” said one person. “I’ve had a number of female friends lately, either be approached by people at night, so I have started carrying spray, coyote spray, but for the most part I feel safe.”

“I personally feel safe walking downtown,” said another, “walking in my neighbourhood.”

“I’m downtown everyday with both of my kids and we’ve never had a problem,” added a third. “We always feel safe.”

READ MORE: Fiscal conservatives tended to vote against Calgary Olympics: survey

Regarding taxes, a majority of Kelowna residents prefer a tax increase over service reductions with:

  • 55 per cent prefer tax increase
  • 33 per cent prefer service reductions

Even mayor Colin Basran admits he’s surprised by the results on the taxation front.

“It was a little bit surprising to see that people want to see an increase in services and are willing to potentially pay for those,” said Basran. “So it was nice to hear, but it doesn’t mean that we’re just going to start writing cheques and start increasing services.”

Overall, the city says the survey results show that a majority of those polled have a positive view of the community, but admits that the positive results are lower than previous years and that there’s a growing negative momentum in terms of quality of life with the main drivers being traffic and public safety.

Basran says he takes the results seriously and that they will act as a guide into the next four years.

“So now that we’ve heard from the public through this survey,” he said, “it then helps us shape what those priorities will be moving forward and, as I mentioned, social issues and safety are going to be at the top of the list.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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