Critical infrastructure investment was identified by the vast majority of Metro Vancouver residents as the key to help the economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to recent public opinion research.
While public health and affordability were the most prominent public concerns, an overwhelming majority of residents felt that investment in critical infrastructure must be part of B.C.’s and Canada’s plans to build back better from COVID-19.
In late summer 2020, Mustel Group surveyed 1,500 Canadians (300 from each of the five Metro Vancouver sub-regions) to better understand public concerns and attitudes toward Metro Vancouver’s services and infrastructure.
Fully 81 per cent agreed that infrastructure investment is an effective way to stimulate the economy, and 85 per cent agreed that senior governments should provide additional funding for local infrastructure projects. Projects related to drinking water, wastewater treatment and housing garnered the most support.
“Infrastructure investment is a way to stimulate the economy that also improves quality of life, helps protect sensitive ecosystems and makes the region more resilient to climate change. Boosting the local economy through infrastructure investments will create thousands of well-paying, family supporting long-term jobs and help meet the service needs of a growing population,” said Sav Dhaliwal, chair of the Metro Vancouver board of directors.
Representing over half of the province’s population, GDP and jobs, the Metro Vancouver region is the economic engine of the province and is uniquely positioned to drive economic recovery through infrastructure investment.
Metro Vancouver is planning for more than $6 billion in infrastructure projects over the next five years including upgrades and replacement of infrastructure for drinking water and wastewater treatment, as well as renewable energy projects, park land enhancements and affordable housing developments.
“Infrastructure investment needs to be part of B.C.’s and Canada’s plans to build back better from COVID-19. Our communities depend on it,” said chair Dhaliwal, “Through its provision of services that underlie the livability of the region, Metro Vancouver is uniquely positioned to lead the long-term regional and provincial recovery once the worst of the pandemic is behind us.”