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Wood Buffalo has big plans to improve the quality of life for all residents! That’s a fantastic community-wide goal, but where do we start and how do we do it? The first thing we need to do is find out how residents are doing right now. Where are they struggling? What areas are critical to Wood Buffalo’s quality of life?

A group of community leaders are working with the Canadian Index of Wellbeing (CIW) to conduct a community wellbeing survey. The survey, which officially launches on May 3rd, is a great way to check-in with residents on things that really matter to their quality of life. For example, it measures the overall accessibility of community services in Wood Buffalo, and how much time people spend on things like commuting and vacationing. While individual responses are completely anonymous, the combined responses will give us a snapshot of community wellbeing. It will also provide a starting point to track our progress towards improving the quality of life for all residents.

During the month of May, invitations to participate in the survey will have been mailed out to approximately 7,000 households (including households in the outlying communities). That’s about 25% of all households in Wood Buffalo. If your household is selected, please take the time to fill out the survey. We need a lot of responses to make sure we fully understand wellbeing in Wood Buffalo.

People who fill out the survey will be able to enter a draw for some great prizes and there is a report-back presentation planned so that everyone will be able to hear the results. Bryan Smale, director of the Canadian Index of Wellbeing, will present the results on Wednesday, October 1st at the Sawridge Inn and Conference Centre in Fort McMurray. Everyone is invited and a report will be available online as well.

The “Look into Wood Buffalo” Community Wellbeing Survey takes place from May 3rd to June 20th. A large group of organizations including the Oil Sands Community Alliance, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, United Way of Fort McMurray, Keyano College, FUSESocial, the Arts Council of Wood Buffalo, the Real Estate Board of Fort McMurray, ONE Regional Recreation Corporation of Wood Buffalo, and Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo are working together to conduct the survey and to share the results. We care about the wellbeing of our residents and we are working together to improve the quality of life for all. Thanks in advance to everyone who participates. Together, we can make it a big success!

Nancy Mattes is the Director of Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo. @ciwnetwork

For more information, please contact Ifeatu Efu by email:, or by cell: (587) 646-7238


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