While the Yukon government did a good job in getting the word out about Renewal, predictions on whether or not it will make a difference are split. And some groups – most notably government employees – are less than enthusiastic overall.
In a recent poll of 300 Yukoners conducted by DataPath Systems, over three-quarters of Yukoners were aware of Renewal and the government reorganization. “This is quite high for a new government initiative” commented Donna Larsen, partner in DataPath Systems. The only group not really aware of the program was those under the age of 35, where only 46% had heard of the project.
Those aware of Renewal were then asked to rate whether they thought it would have a strong positive impact on government services, a moderate positive impact, no impact, a moderate negative impact or a strong negative impact. Results were fairly even, although they leaned towards the negative side. 38% of Yukoners aware of Renewal said it would have a moderate or strong Positive impact, while 41% said the opposite – moderate or strong negative impact. Within that however, 14% felt it would be a strong negative impact, while only 7% felt it would be a strong positive impact.
Optimism was higher in Whitehorse, among younger residents and among those in the private sector. In Whitehorse 40% rated the initiative positively compared to only 34% in the communities. Positive outlook decreased with age as 56% of those under 35 felt it would have moderate or strong impact, and that dropped to 37% among those 35-55, and to only 27% for those over 55 years old. Only 32% of government employees felt it was a positive project (48% rated it poorly), compared to 47% of private sector employees giving it the positive benefit of the doubt.
Among those who believe Renewal will have a positive impact, the main reasons were that unneeded jobs were being cut, the idea in general is good, and change was needed. On the flip side, those rating Renewal as having a negative impact indicated they felt that way because they believed it would cut government jobs and that it was not handled well.
The survey was conducted by DataPath Systems; an independent Yukon-based market research company. Telephone surveys were conducted with 150 Whitehorse residents and 150 non-Whitehorse residents between March 19-25. The data is weighted to accurately represent Yukoners based on the community they live in, their age and gender. Percentages are statistically valid to +/- 5.5%, 19 times out of 20 (95% confidence). This was a non-commissioned study, paid for by DataPath Systems.