July 29, 2013 - 1:16 PM
KELOWNA - Are you satisfied with the quality of life in the Central Okanagan?
If you're a resident in Peachland, West Kelowna, Kelowna and Lake Country you have until August 8th to express your thoughts and suggestions for anything from fair wages, water consumption, affordable housing and childcare.
Through a community feedback survey the 2013 Central Okanagan Vital Signs report generates unique reseach on quality of life issues - the findings of which are used by local government and help in guiding grant distribution.
Vital Signs coordinator Joanne Carey says unlike the random sampling used for Statistics Canada reports, the survey is based on voluntary participation and feedback.
"It's a way to get some perspective from the community on what are the priority issues - a bit of a snapshot of the Central Okanagan's priorites," she says.
In the last report released in 2011 participants graded their satisfaction with each issue. Affordable childcare, for example, was given a C grade, affordable and subsidized housing a C- and management of the environment a B-.
But the 2013 survey will be a little different. Instead of grading it asks people to pick three areas they would like to see prioritized for each issue.
The goal is to find the "top-identified issues" as seen by residents, Carey says.
"The interesting thing in doing any social research is what people come together on," she says.
And it's not often a district gets community-wide input from anyone and everyone willing to participate.
"It's a bit of a rare opportunity for people to reflect on these issues and give suggestions about what they would like to take up."
A final report released on October 1 will offer an analysis of the survey findings compared with the latest statistics on quality of life issues. Sometimes feedback from residents tells a different story than what the statistics would suggest, and that's something that gets people talking, Carey says.
So far the Vital Signs survey has been publicized in Orchard Park Mall, paper versions distributed at venues for seniors and through facebook, twitter and other social media.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013