Citizens believe that their city has a leading role to play on national issues such as housing, mobility and the environment, which mayors have put forward as their new horses battle.
“It gives them a bit of a reason,” says Christian Bourque, vice-president at Léger, referring to the strong position taken by several Quebec mayors in favor of better investments in housing, in the fight against climate change and in public transport and mobility, in recent months.
Mr. Bourque recalls that during the election campaign, these elected officials had deplored the fact that property taxes, which are the main source of revenue for cities, are no longer sufficient to meet all these responsibilities.
< p>“These figures are unequivocal. 88% think that their municipality has a role to play in the environment, 87% in housing and 80% in mobility”, illustrates Katherine Marcil, research director at Léger. In addition, a high proportion of people consider this role to be “leading”.
The two experts note that citizens' expectations are present and that their demands are high. These data come from the Léger municipal indicator, which measures the level of citizen satisfaction with municipal services. Here are more highlights from the 2022 edition of the indicator.
People want to walk more
Cities would benefit from investing in infrastructure for pedestrians, as there is a great desire to walk more among the population. In fact, the Léger indicator measured that 71% of citizens would like to travel more frequently on foot. But obstacles prevent them from doing so, such as poor snow removal from sidewalks and the poor quality of infrastructure. “During the pandemic, there is a taste that has been taken for walking. This taste has remained, it is no longer just a hobby, ”said Katherine Marcil. Cycling and public transit are also appealing to many people. “48% said that if there was infrastructure that was really improved, they would cycle to get around and 49% would use public transport.”
The environment yes, but no tax increase
The municipal indicator shows that citizens are very concerned about the environment and 84% believe that their city has a role to play in the fight against climate change. They are also numerous (81%) to be personally ready to make changes in their way of life. But the fervor diminishes when you touch the wallet. In total, 65% believe that everything should be done to do so, even if it means an increase in their tax bill. “People are afraid of what will increase in their life. They fear tax increases,” notes Christian Bourque.
Satisfaction with municipal services is declining
Overall, citizens are less satisfied than before with the quality of services they receive from their municipality. “General satisfaction with the quality of services registers a slight, but significant decline compared to 2020,” explains Léger. We went from 7.3 out of 10 to 7.1. And small municipalities no longer have a monopoly on the best municipal services, observes Christian Bourque. “The indicator has been around for 26 years. At the very beginning, the smaller the municipality, the more people were satisfied with their municipal administration. This is no longer necessarily the case. The best satisfaction rate is in medium-sized cities, most of the time in the suburbs.”
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Katrine Johns has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Gal Post, Katrine Johns worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my firstname.lastname@example.org 1-800-268-7128