THUNDER BAY -- A majority of Thunder Bay supports a new event centre but only 13 per cent see it as one of the city's most important issues according to a new survey.
Ipsos Reid found that around 61 per cent of people in the city were either strongly or somewhat in favour of the project. It's the same result the city found during its latest citizen's satisfaction survey done last year.
That number jumps to around 74 per cent including people who want a new centre but not as its currently proposed.
It was conducted using 1,000 people within city limits with a 3.1 per cent margin of error. Ipsos Reid research manager Lauren Hilderley told council Monday night that political polls are usually done using 800 people province-wide. She said around 91 per cent of people had heard of the project.
The event centre was number five on a list of the most important issues for people following roads, taxes, infrastructure renewal and jobs. The number one reason, 27 per cent, people were in favour of the project was that the city needs a new, bigger, better facility. At 34 per cent the top reason people opposed the project was that the city couldn't afford it.
Parking came in at 30 per cent as the number one concern. On taxes 64 per cent said a one per cent increase, an average of $24 a year, would be very or somewhat acceptable for the centre. That number dropped to 58 per cent for a 1.5 per cent increase.
By ward Westfort, 53 per cent strongly or somewhat, showed the lowest support for the project. Current River, McIntyre and McKellar were the highest at 68 per cent.
Demographically 52 per cent of respondents were female. Around 39 per cent were over 55, 73 per cent didn't have children under 18 and 83 per cent were homeowners. While 21 per cent refused to give household income, 20 per cent said $50,000 to less than $75,000.
Coun. Aldo Ruberto said the survey was done to prove to "naysayers" that there is support for an event centre in the city.
"The naysayers sometimes cost us money in the longrun," he said. "It's very frustrating sometimes.
The results and questions can be viewed here.