Voters want candidates to be clear over Ajax
By Jennifer Stahn
Candidates speak at a forum hosted by the Council of Canadians earlier this month.
(JENNIFER STAHN / iNFOnews.ca)
October 27, 2014 - 2:39 PM
KAMLOOPS - The votes are in and of the 200 people who responded to a Kamloops Voters Society survey, 72 per cent want city council candidates to take a clear stance on the proposed Ajax Mine.
The Society has released the results of the online poll conducted earlier this month and on many questions there was a clear consensus among those surveyed.
When it comes to elections more than 85 per cent want to see a cap on financial contributions, more than 58 per cent want to see a limit of two terms on council for both mayor or councillors and 96 per cent want to see increased voter engagement and turnout for municipal elections.
The survey also tackled issue-specific items such as the proposed Ajax Mine, a tax increase to cover the costs of a performing arts centre, better pedestrian and bicycle networks and food security enhancements.
In total 144 of the 200 people who took the survey want to see candidates take a clear position on the proposed mine, 150 want to see enhancements to food security and more than 70 per cent want improvements to make Kamloops more pedestrian and bicycle friendly.
The only question to see a split down the middle was whether there should a tax increase of $25-50 per household to cover the costs of a performing arts centre — 88 people said no, 86 said yes and another 25 gave no opinion.
The survey grabbed a cross section of the population, with the number of men and women who took the survey evenly split and the largest age group to respond being those aged 50-69-years-old. Only 19 respondents were in the age range of 18-29. Respondents also came from all over the city, with just over 25 per cent living in the South Kamloops-Downtown area.
Questions born out of the survey will now be forwarded to council candidates and their responses will be made public on Nov. 3.
More than half of those surveyed also posed questions to candidates in an ‘open question’ at the end of the survey. Questions varied from public education and park space, to snow removal and policing. Many questions revolved around those already covered in the survey as well, mostly with term length and Ajax.
“Make a bloody decision on Ajax. I am so sick of hearing about it,” one respondent noted.
The society hopes to use the survey to work with the Kamloops Vote 50 campaign to increase voter turnout to 50 per cent.
In 2011 only 29 per cent of eligible voters took part in the municipal elections. Kamloops Vote 50 is also working with multiple groups to host candidate forums and mixers to help increase voter engagement prior to the Nov. 15 election.
To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email email@example.com or call 250-718-2724.
— This story was updated 5:53 p.m., Nov. 8. An earlier version incorrectly reported the number of responses to one question.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014