Survey says: Count yourself in! CBT seeks to get West Coast data right

There have always been challenges in getting good regional data for West Coast

communities.

Our total population is less than 5,000 and we are scattered amongst seven communities, plus those living in Millstream, Port Albion and other parts of Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District-Area C. With the elimination of the long-form census, the data we can glean from other survey tools is limited. Too often West Coast information is combined with Port Alberni and we know that challenges in our communities are quite different.

Cost of living, including housing, for example, is higher on the West Coast and our region has a population that is young and increasing, just the opposite to the trends in Port Alberni.

When local governments and organizations plan their work, they rely on hard data to make the case. While we have anecdotal information on topics of concern, having some information to back up “gut feelings” and that can support work that moves the dial even just slightly, is imperative.

The Clayoquot Biosphere Trust (CBT) has partnered with the District of Ucluelet, the Yuulu il at government, the District of Tofino, and the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations to create a regional survey that gathers community input on

cost of living, housing, transportation, quality of life and other topics of importance to the West Coast region.

The CBT is committed to repeating the survey over subsequent years to provide consistent data over the long term and to avoid residents being “over surveyed.” As well, we will report findings back to communities and the public through their biennial indicators report, Vital Signs, which will be released October 7, 2014.

To develop a rigorous survey tool, we enlisted the help of the Social Planning Research Council (SPARC) of BC. They helped with the survey design, the methodology for delivery, and will be assisting with analysis as well.

We hope you will count yourself in and take a few

moments to complete the survey. It can be found on-line at https://www.research.net/s/community_survey_2014. Links to the survey can be found on our Facebook page and website (www.clayoquotbiosphere. org).

Or, you can contact the CBT office or the office of your community’s government or administration, to pick up a hard copy. Note that the survey is anonymous, so information is not linked to any particular person.

If you have any questions about the survey or how the information will be used, please contact Adrienne Mason at the CBT office, 250-725-2219.

Adrienne Mason is the Research Coordinator at the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust.