BY MAGGIE RIOPELLE
Although Sudbury commissioned the poll, Timmins topped the charts as a city with confidence in the economic future of the community in Northern Ontario.
The study was commissioned by the City of Greater Sudbury and completed in December by Oraclepoll Research Ltd.
?Timmins ranked the highest of any community with regards to people?s confidence levels in the economic future of their community,? said Timmins? Mayor Jamie Lim at that city?s first council meeting of 2003.
?This is a significant point. The citizens of this city answered a survey that beat out other northern communities.?
The survey, which polled citizens and businesses, provided benchmarking data and included Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, North Bay, Thunder Bay, Toronto and Timmins. The data was collected between Dec. 9 and Dec. 16.
The research was conducted to make statistical comparisons between the opinions of the citizens of Sudbury and the residents of the other communities. The poll was based on three areas including quality of life, satisfaction with the range of city services and confidence in the economic future of the community.
In the economic confidence rating, Timmins ranked highest followed by the North Bay, then Sudbury.
For the level of quality of life, Timmins followed closely behind North Bay, which had the highest rating. Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay, and Sudbury followed Timmins in the ratings.
For satisfaction with the range of city services, Sault Ste. Marie came first, followed by North Bay, Thunder Bay, Timmins and Sudbury.
The authors of the survey recommend people consider the big picture when looking at the results.
?What it does do is it provides the city with some data we believe are valuable and that they can use in order to address issues that are of concern to citizens of Sudbury,? said Oracle vice-president Robert Sinclair.
The pollster added while comparisons with other cities are interesting, they?re somewhat problematic.
He explained the differences between communities like Sudbury and North Bay may not reflect real differences between the two cities, but differences in the kind of people in one community versus another.
?One city may be more politically conservative?their outlook on life is more conservative,? said Sinclair.
?Another city may be more liberal and that might be what?s reflected in these ratings?they?re open to interpretation.?
This is the first time Oracle conducted a city to city comparison. A scale of one to five was used, one representing a very poor response and five reflecting a very good result.
When it came to quality of life Sudbury residents rated their situation as significantly lower than residents of North Bay, Timmins and ?other areas.? But when one looks at the graph reflecting the results, Sudbury was almost 3.6 on the chart, while North Bay was only a little higher at approximately 3.8.
?with files from Rick Pusiak