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Survey finds that crime, safety and homelessness are the most important issues facing Duncan

City as a place to retire got 8 out of 10
Crime, safety and homelessness are the most important issues facing Duncan, according to the latest citizen survey. (File photo)

Crime, safety and homelessness are the most important issues facing Duncan, the city’s 2021 Citizen Survey has found.

The recently released results of the survey found that, at 44 per cent of those polled, these are the main issues confronting city citizens, the same as the last survey in 2019.

The survey found that, at 23 per cent, air quality is the most important environmental concern facing the city, followed closely by too many cars, at 21 per cent.


The telephone survey was conducted with a random sample of 400 Duncan residents in October and November.

The average rating given by Duncan residents for the city as a place to retire is eight on a 10-point scale.

The average rating is 7.5 for the overall quality of life in Duncan, and 7.2 for the city as a place to raise children.

Residents were also asked to rate their satisfaction with the services provided by the City of Duncan.

The survey found that the vast majority of residents, 99 per cent, were satisfied with pandemic safety protocols in city facilities, and that city employees have provided excellent customer service, with a significant majority of respondents indicating that city staff are friendly, knowledgeable and treat customers fairly.

“Conducting citizen surveys at regular intervals allows us to hear from a spectrum of citizens about what is going well and where there is work to be done,” said Mayor Michelle Staples.


“The results in this latest survey are much the same as what council clearly heard from residents in 2019. This comes as no surprise as the majority of the communications we receive at the city from citizens and businesses are related to the cross jurisdictional challenges of crime, safety and homelessness.”

Staples said the city has taken steps to mitigate these concerns, such as implementing the Enhanced Security Initiative Program and Graffiti Removal Program, expanding the City-Wide Façade Improvement Program, increasing bylaw patrol service levels, and working with BC Housing to encourage investment to house and support people.

“We also know that many of these concerns must be solved with other levels of government who hold both the authority and funding to address them effectively,” she said.

“So we will continue to work closely with neighbouring jurisdictions, service providers, the RCMP, and provincial and federal ministers to advocate for the development of a range of safety measures, services and facilities required to meet the needs of not just our city, but for our region as well. We will not stop working to address these concerns.”

Staples said city officials are well aware of the challenges the city is facing, but also acknowledge that there is much to celebrate in Duncan as well.

“People love the quality of life here, we have a thriving business community, wonderful parks and playgrounds, and most importantly, we have each other, which makes our city, the place we call home, continue to grow and thrive,” she said.

The detailed report on the findings of the survey is posted on the city’s website at

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Robert Barron

About the Author: Robert Barron

Since 2016, I've had had the pleasure of working with our dedicated staff and community in the Cowichan Valley.
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