OUR VIEW: These poll numbers tell an important story for politicians

Polls, polls and more polls. We’re constantly hearing the results of polls that have been conducted on any number of issues.

Well, we’ve got even more poll results for you.

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The NOW received special access to regional numbers that were part of a wide-ranging poll conducted by the Mustel Group for the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade. 

Part of those results can be found here about what Burnaby residents think about fighting the Trans Mountain pipeline. But there was much more to the questions being asked of Burnaby residents.

They covered a number of important issues, and this is what people said:

The majority of Burnaby and New Westminster residents think their municipal government has the most impact (42 per cent) on quality of life, or at least the same impact (35 per cent) as other levels of government. But when it comes to affordability in Metro Vancouver, they tend to think their municipal government has the same impact (32 per cent) or less (36 per cent) than other levels of government. Only 24 per cent think they have the most impact. 

As found region-wide, a clear majority of Burnaby residents (64 per cent) believe the quality of life and affordability in the region have declined in the last five years, and they expect the situation to worsen (53 per cent). Only nine per cent expect the situation to improve. Over half of Burnaby (and New West) residents, 56 per cent, have considered moving away from the region due to quality of life or affordability concerns, higher than the average across the region (46 per cent).

Three issues were identified as top priorities:

1. Local road maintenance and traffic management. 

2. City services such as waste collection, water and sewer. 

3. Social housing and poverty reduction.

With a civic election just weeks away, everyone running for office on Oct. 20 should take note of what local residents think.

Don’t ignore prop rep

Speaking of voting, the future of B.C. politics could potentially undergo a radical change, but unless voters wake up and pay attention, they might not notice until it’s too late.

That’s the concern with the campaign for the proportional representation referendum overlapping with elections for city councils and school trustees, although the actual prop rep mail-in vote doesn’t start until after the Oct. 20 civic elections.

That’s when voters will decide whether to stick with the existing first-past-the-post electoral system or move to proportional representation.

With this big issue at stake, it’s important for voters to educate themselves. Go online and you’ll find all sorts of events going on discussing the referendum. 

Municipal elections are important, and we all need to pay attention to who represents us at the local level.

But we should all also take the time to learn about the potential changes to how we vote provincially.

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