Satisfaction with the Quality of Life in Maple Ridge Continues to be High
April 16, 2012 / 3:00 PM
On Monday, April 16, 2012, Maple Ridge Mayor and Council were provided with the results of the 2012 Citizens Survey as part of the public Committee of the Whole meeting. The District surveys citizens every three years to obtain their views on the strategic direction our community is taking as well as their satisfaction with municipal services. 2012 survey data will be compared to information gathered in 2003, 2006 and 2008, allowing Council to assess service delivery and help them establish strategic priorities for their term.
Some of the high level results of the survey show that the majority of citizens, 80%, are satisfied with the quality of life in Maple Ridge, primarily attributing their satisfaction to the parks, access to the outdoors, small community feel, people, scenery and access to recreation activities/facilities.
The 2012 survey questions are consistent with prior citizen surveys to allow for meaningful comparisons; however, in 2012 the way the data was collected changed reflecting a change in citizen's lives. In the three prior surveys, data was collected using telephone surveys. In 2012, the reality is that many citizens have abandoned their land line telephones, and those that still have them have largely stopped answering them due to the high volume of telemarketing and surveying calls.
As a result, 2012 survey respondents were recruited by a letter from Mayor Ernie Daykin asking them to participate in the survey online, or by calling in and requesting a 'hard copy' to fill in. This allowed the District to obtain responses from nearly 1,400 area residents which survey professionals refer to as a 'statistically significant' sample base.
"When those letters went out in the mail, my phone started ringing off the hook. Clearly people were interested in the survey and I know that we would not have got this kind of engagement with a phone survey. I've been fortunate to be part of Council for all four of the surveys, and I enjoy the opportunity to look at how citizens view community issues and services," said Mayor Ernie Daykin. He continued, "Council members know that this is a valuable form of public input that compliments the many phone calls and emails that we get every day. This large sample allows us to look at general trends and see what themes we need to address during our term."
In the 2012 survey, the main issue that residents raised about the community is the lack of shopping opportunities - 51% of residents mention this on an unaided basis. Citizens also said that economic issues, such as attracting commercial development and local jobs and expanding shopping opportunities continue to be key priorities. Other important issues were identified in the survey were transit to other communities, crime, affordable housing and homelessness. Quoting from the survey report by Ipsos Reid: "When planning for the future, the issues that are accorded the highest priority by residents are:
- Attracting high value jobs (74% give this a high priority)
- Pursuing public transit improvements between Maple Ridge and other areas (67%)
- Promoting the development of the downtown core into a vibrant social, recreational and commercial area (66%)
- Encouraging commercial development (65%)
- Identifying and protecting environmental features and areas that require special recognition and management (61%)."
The summary report and full survey is available as part of the agenda package for the April 16, 2012, Committee of the Whole Meeting on the District website.
For more information on the survey, please contact:
Manager of Sustainability and Corporate Planning