Saanich receives positive results from citizen and business surveys

February 21, 2019

Media release
For immediate release

Saanich, BC – Ninety-nineper cent of Saanich residents and 100 per cent of Saanich business owners rate the quality of life in the District as good or very good.

This data is derived from the recent citizen and business surveys conducted on behalf of the District of Saanich by Forum Research Inc. Saanich heard from 1,022 citizens, 403 businesses, and 503 online survey participants.

“Saanich strives to meet the needs of our residents by providing valuable service delivery,” said Chief Administrative Officer Paul Thorkelsson. “Overall, the survey results demonstrate that residents are pleased with how we’re doing. We also appreciate receiving feedback on areas where we can improve. We’ll aim to incorporate this feedback into Council’s upcoming financial and strategic planning sessions.”

Important issues and areas for improvement

Respondents from both the citizen and business surveys said housing, or the cost of housing, is the single most important issue currently facing Saanich. Subsequently, affordable housing was the highest proportional response from residents about their one hope for Saanich over the next five years. Other top issues identified by residents and business owners included the environment and green spaces, traffic or congestion, bike trails/lanes, road safety, and infrastructure.

The citizen survey helped identify important service areas within the District where there are opportunities for improvement. These service areas have a high impact on overall citizen satisfaction and although residents noted there is room for improvement, they are still rated well above the comparator communities. Examples include:

  • Land use planning;
  • Building inspections and permits;
  • Provision of cycling infrastructure; and
  • Design of streets, public spaces, and boulevard areas.

Road safety is another area where public perception has shifted. The proportion of residents who rated the safety of the roads as safe or very safe has decreased 5% in since 2015 survey. However, 86 per cent of residents said they feel safe or very safe using the roads in Saanich. 

Municipal norms

Saanich also conducted a statistically valid normative benchmarking telephone survey with 400 citizens in comparator communities. These residents were asked a subset of the questions asked to Saanich residents in the citizen survey. Overall, the survey results show that Saanich is rated higher in most areas than the comparator communities. Saanich exceeded comparator communities in every public engagement category, including transparency, listening, input, and citizen involvement. Saanich measured between nine and 17 percentage points higher than comparator communities in the public engagement categories.

Saanich has conducted citizen and business surveys following the start of each new Council term since 2003. The survey results guide Council’s decision making and help set targets for service delivery. The results are also taken into consideration during Council’s strategic planning for the four-year term. The 2019 surveys ran January 21 to February 1, 2019.

Quick facts:
  • 94% of businesses rate Saanich as a good or very good place to operate a business.
  • 88% of businesses and 81% of residents somewhat or strongly agree that they receive good value for their municipal taxes.
  • 89% of businesses and 78% of residents are pleased with the overall direction the District is taking.
  • 86% of residents and 81% of businesses agree that Saanich welcomes citizen involvement.
  • 38% of residents and 37% of businesses prefer to retain the same level of municipal services with a managed tax increase.
  • Services with the highest satisfaction rating in the business survey are fire services, fire safety inspections, reliability and quality of drinking water, and parking enforcement.
  • Services with the highest satisfaction rating in the resident survey are reliability and quality of drinking water, fire services, quality of recreation programs and services, and the school fire safety program.
Learn more:

The 2019 citizen and business survey report as well as past survey results are available at Forum Research will present the 2019 survey report at the February 25 Council meeting.


Media contact:
Megan Catalano, Communications Manager
250-475-5494 ext. 3444