A letter writer argues a recent survey of Surrey residents may not present an accurate picture.

‘Report card’ in question

Questions that are too vague result in responses that cannot be accepted as fact.

Re: “Surrey brings home its report card,” The Leader, Oct. 9.

One cannot assess the results of a survey without knowing the questions; questions that are too vague result in responses that cannot be accepted as fact.

What was the precise wording of the questions? The report indicated 52 per cent were unemployed, but what was the question? Are you employed or not? A majority “no” response in Surrey most likely includes all retirees, single mothers with small children, homemakers and people looking after aged parents or handicapped children (with a median age of 37.5, most retirees were probably not included, but single mothers with small children, homemakers, etc. could have been included with honest answers depending on how the question was interpreted), so 52 per cent is not very useful as “fact.”

According to the figures, there were 571 respondents and 276 respondents (or 48 per cent) feel safe. This seems like a high number given the murders taking place on our streets almost every other day and the fact that a hockey mom was killed outside the Newton Arena not long ago leading to massive protests questioning the lack of sufficient policing and the need for more RCMP.

Getting Around is a pretty vague term and most of our streets are okay and one can get around pretty efficiently by car except during rush hours, and we have bicycle paths. But Surrey is not well served by public transportation, so once again, probably a poorly worded question led to a false result in that only 308 responded that they were not satisfied (54 per cent).

If the housing question is related to price or affordability, then the result is certainly understandable, but price/affordability across the whole of Metro Vancouver is very high. To record a dissatisfaction of 213 respondents (37 per cent) is pretty unbelievable in Surrey where there is a constant housing boom and houses and apartments are occupied as soon as they are built. It would appear that there is sufficient housing, but the price may be considered too high, especially for the “unemployed” (52 per cent) and those “living in poverty” (15 per cent).

Finally, if in fact 52 per cent of respondents were actually unemployed (i.e. receiving government assistance), this colours the entire Survey; therefore it does not represent the true response of the citizens of Surrey.


Mac Savage


Surrey North Delta Leader

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