Mixed Reviews for Departing City Halls in Vancouver and Surrey

Most residents express disappointment with the current influence of developers on their municipal governments.

Vancouver, BC [October 19, 2018] – Residents of Vancouver and Surrey hold differing views about the pressing concerns affecting their municipalities and the performance of the current governments, a new Research Co. poll conducted for CTV Vancouver has found.

The online survey of representative samples shows that two thirds of Vancouver residents (67%) believe housing is the most important issue facing the city, followed by transportation (9%), poverty (also 9%) and economic development (5%).

In Surrey, 30% of residents believe housing is the most important issue, followed closely by crime (29%), transportation (20%) and poverty (7%).

“The views of Surrey residents vary greatly depending on where they live,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “In Newton, concerns about crime are higher than anywhere else in the city, while in Cloverdale residents are more worried about transportation.”

The survey also asked residents whether the current municipal government is doing a “good job” or a “bad job” handling various matters.

In Vancouver, the best rated government competencies are promoting tourism to the city (74%), providing good sanitation services (68%), fostering artistic and cultural activities (58%) and protecting the environment (55%).

The rating is significantly lower for managing economic development and growth (24%), dealing with homelessness and poverty (14%) and dealing with housing (10%).

Surrey gets its best marks on sanitation (68%) and arts and culture promotion (63%), but fewer than one-in-four residents are satisfied with how crime (22%), homelessness and poverty (also 22%) and housing (also 22%) have been dealt with.

Perceptions on housing affordability are especially dire in the two municipalities, with 90% of Vancouver residents and 87% of Surrey residents saying the situation is worse than it was four years ago.

A majority of City of Vancouver residents also believe quality of life (53%) and the influence of developers at City Hall (also 53%) is worse than it was in 2014. In addition, two thirds of Vancouverites (65%) say they do not like where Vancouver is going and think we need to change the course at City Hall.

In Surrey, more than half of residents (52%) say the influence of developers at City Hall is worse than it was four years ago, and a similarly high proportion (48%) feel the same way about public safety. Three-in-five residents of Surrey (60%) think it is time to change the course at City Hall.


Results are based on an online study conducted from September 30 to October 2, 2018, among 400 adults in the City of Vancouver and 400 adults in the City of Surrey. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in each city. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 4.9 percentage points for both samples, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full data sets for Vancouver and Surrey and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:
Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca