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Reducing poverty, building more affordable housing, and giving public library workers a decent pay increase top the list of Saskatoon residents’ priorities, according to a new poll conducted by Viewpoints Research for CUPE Saskatchewan.

The poll of Saskatoon residents found 72.5 per cent of those surveyed believe reducing poverty and homelessness is the top priority for the Wall government, while 81.9 per cent want the City of Saskatoon to invest more money in affordable housing.  

In keeping with the season, the poll shows there is a tremendous spirit of caring and generosity in Saskatoon,” says CUPE Saskatchewan President Tom Graham, adding it is the first time reducing poverty and homelessness topped the priority list in a CUPE poll.

The poll also reflects strong public support for Saskatoon public library workers in their contract dispute with the board. Of those surveyed, 68.6 per cent said they were sympathetic to CUPE library workers. Only 13.8 per cent expressed support for the board. In addition, 71.7 per cent support giving CUPE library workers a 15 per cent increase over three years – 41.5 per cent strongly support it. Only 17.4 per cent oppose the increase.

If the board wants to be accountable to taxpayers as they frequently claim, they need to listen to taxpayers,” says CUPE staff representative Rhonda Heisler, noting the board’s miserly wage offer of 7 per cent over three years is offside with public opinion. “Like Ebenezer Scrooge, the board needs to reflect on their actions and become more giving.”

The survey also found:

  • Considerable opposition to the use of public private partnerships (P3s), on city infrastructure projects. Only 29.2% support the use of P3s, while 58.8 per cent want the city to use traditional funding arrangements.
  • Opposition to charging a toll on the city’s new bridges

The Viewpoints poll surveyed 300 Saskatoon residents from November 16-28. The margin of error is +/- 5.6, 19 times out of 20.