It takes trust in one another to build a safe community where everyone feels comfortable to engage with others and to turn to neighbours and officials when help is needed. Trust is also required to participate in shared community activities and to share resources and ideas.

In 2003, nearly 6 out of 10 Canadians believed others could be trusted. The level of trust was slightly greater for men and for those aged 45-64. The level of trust ranged from 34.6% inQuebecto 68.1% inPrince Edward Islandand 59 % reported trusting others inOntario. Internationally,Japan(in 1999) andCanada(in 2000) were the most trusting nations, with 40% of the Canadian population maintaining that others could be trusted.

In a randomized Social Capital Survey conducted by telephone inFort Eriein 2003, 61.5% believed people in their town could be trusted; 52% trusted the people in their neighbourhood a lot; 29.9% trusted them some; 12.5% trusted them a little; and 2.3% didn’t trust them at all. 91.4% believed the people would cooperate in an emergency, and 58.8% would very likely or likely ask a neighbour for help if they were sick.

A region-wide Social Capital Survey (Cudmore, 2011) to measure the sense of belonging inclusion, reciprocity, trust, civic engagement, and social networks in Niagara could provide a good measure of life inNiagara. Trust measured on a 1 to 6  scale results were: 3.34 for trust level of regionally elected officials; 3.51 for town council; 4.46 for police services; 3.88 for the hospital; 4.18 for the school board; 4.99 for nurses in the region; 5.04 for neighbours; and 5.25 their doctor.

Trust level by city

Source:NiagaraSocial Capital survey (Cudmore, 2011)

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