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Nine in 10 Residents ‘Satisfied’ with City Services

September 28, 2009 – Thunder Bay residents expressed high satisfaction with their municipal government services, according to the results of the 2009 Citizen Satisfaction Survey conducted by Ipsos Reid Public Affairs in late June. Results presented at tonight’s Committee of the Whole meeting indicated that nine in 10 (86%) of residents are ‘satisfied’ with the overall level and quality of services provided by the City.

“We are very pleased that residents have expressed such a high satisfaction with their municipal services and also that a large majority (71%) feel they get good value for their tax dollars,” said Mayor Lynn Peterson. “As well, the top concern of residents – jobs and economy - appears to align with Council’s decision to invest in diversifying the economy as the City’s No. 1 strategic priority.”

More than half (56%) of residents offered the top issue facing the City of Thunder Bay is the economy and growth. Taxation/municipal government spending (19%), revitalization and waterfront development (17%) and transportation including roads, trails and transit (16%) also receive mentions.

The City of Thunder Bay has conducted a Citizen Survey every two years since 2005. The current report includes a technique called a “gap analysis” that compares resident satisfaction with services to the importance they place on those services. The gap analysis is designed to assist the City in prioritizing resources and benchmarking the 2009 results to be used to compare to future citizen satisfaction levels. Based on the gap analysis, priority areas for improvement include road and roadside maintenance, recycling and snow removal. Each of these areas are cited by residents as being important, yet receive relatively lower satisfaction ratings.

Nick Chancellor, Research Manager for Ipsos Reid, who presented the results to Council, noted “the citizens of Thunder Bay are generally very engaged with the important work being carried out by the City, as demonstrated by those who are actively seeking up-to-date information on the City’s website, newsletter publication and televised council meetings.”

Level of support for various major capital projects was also measured.  For each project, a majority of residents ‘agree’ that these should be major projects for City spending: roads (94%), sustainable energy projects (82%), recreational trails (72%), public library renewal (71%), recreational facilities (70%), major sportsplex/multi-purpose facility (57%) and waterfront development (51%).

“We want to thank the many residents who took the time to give us their views on City services,” said Councillor Linda Rydholm, Chair of Council’s Community Communications Committee.  The committee is working with Administration to enhance communication between the City and residents. Councillors Iain Angus, Aldo Ruberto and Robert Tuchenhagen are also members of the Committee.  

The survey provides quantitative data to assist the City in tracking its progress in implementing Council’s strategic plan. The survey also helps to inform Council’s budget decision-making by providing broad public input on residents’ expectations and views on City services and projects.

“This is a strategically important report because the citizen survey is the best way for Council to understand how satisfied residents of Thunder Bay are with City services and projects and what are the priority areas they want addressed over the next few years, ” said City Manager, Tim Commisso. “In future years, the 2009 gap analysis will be used as a benchmark to track priority areas as well as areas to maintain or enhance.

The survey involved 400 interviews conducted between June 25 and 30 2009 among a randomly selected, representative sample of Thunder Bay residents aged 18 years and older.  The overall survey results were weighted by age and gender to be representative of the population of Thunder Bay and are considered to be accurate to within +/- 4.9%, nineteen times out of twenty.

The report of the survey results will be posted to the City’s website at:

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Contact: Karen Lewis, Manager – Corporate Communications and Strategic Initiatives, 625-3859