BC’s Three Biggest Cities Get Satisfactory Grades on Most Issues

Vancouver posts the highest score on dealing with transportation, while Burnaby is ahead on handling crime.

Vancouver, BC [January 29, 2020] – More than two thirds of residents of Vancouver, Surrey and Burnaby are pleased with the way their municipal governments have handled three specific issues, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of representative samples in the three cities, 79% of residents say their municipal administration has done a “very good” or “good” job in providing sanitation services.

In addition, 70% of residents are satisfied with how parks and recreation facilities are being managed, and 69% think their municipal government is enhancing their overall quality of life.

More than three-in-five residents of Vancouver, Surrey and Burnaby are also content with what their municipal governments are doing to protect the environment (66%), promote tourism (65%), foster artistic and cultural activities (also 65%) and manage development and growth (63%).

At least half of residents are satisfied with the way Vancouver, Surrey and Burnaby are dealing with transportation (57%), dealing with crime (54%), making City Hall work in a transparent and unbiased fashion (52%), handling the city’s finances (52%) and engaging with regular people (50%).

“There are some subtle differences between the three cities when it comes to public safety,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “While 60% of Burnaby residents endorse the performance of their administration, the proportion falls to 54% in Vancouver and 52% in Surrey.”

The lowest ranked issue across all three cities is dealing with homelessness and poverty (44%). Satisfaction with this file rises to 52% in Surrey, but is lower in Vancouver (42%) and Burnaby (39%).

The assessment of City of Vancouver residents on many services has increased markedly since a Research Co. survey conducted in October 2018, particularly on managing development and growth (from 24% to 62%), dealing with crime (from 44% to 54%) and protecting the environment (from 55% to 64%).

A similar situation is observed in Surrey, where the current administration has a higher ranking than the previous one on issues such as promoting tourism (from 39% to 64%), dealing with transportation (from 24% to 57%) and enhancing quality of life (from 36% to 68%).

The approval rating for the three mayors is very similar: 52% for Vancouver’s Kennedy Stewart, 51% for Burnaby’s Mike Hurley and 50% for Surrey’s Doug McCallum.


Results are based on an online study conducted from January 2 to January 6, 2020, among 1,200 adults in Vancouver, Surrey and Burnaby. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age and gender in each municipality. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is plus or minus 2.8 percentage points for each municipality, 19 times out of 20.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca