A Lethbridge community satisfaction survey found social issues to be the number one concern for residents. These include homelessness, which 23 per cent of respondents mentioned and affordable housing, mentioned by two per cent. Two per cent also mentioned poverty as a big issue facing the community and one per cent mentioned Indigenous issues.
“The emphasis placed on social issues has been steadily climbing over the past two years,” reads an Ipsos draft report on the survey. It said concerns over social issues are at an all time high in the city.
Social issues were more likely to be mentioned by women and people with a household income of $120,000, according to the report.
The second most important issue identified was transportation, followed by drugs and crime tied for third place. Transportation was mentioned by 22 per cent of respondents — these issue include transit, mentioned by nine per cent; roads, mentioned by six and traffic, mentioned by three per cent. The report said young residents were more likely to mention transportation.
Drugs and crime were each mentioned by 19 per cent of respondents. “While drugs/injection site was the number one issue in 2020, mentions are down 24 points this year. Conversely, crime-related mentions are up three points from 2020,” the report said.
COVID-19 dropped to the bottom of the public issue agenda, with one one per cent of resident identifying the pandemic as an important local issue.
The draft report will be presented to the city’s governance standing policy committee on June 23 and is intended to help inform city council’s decision making.