The use of personal identification (PID) to access many of life’s essential services is easy for many to take for granted. However, not having PID can significantly impact and individual's health and well-being, excluding them from the most basic needs from health and shelter to income. The Community Council conducted a scoping review of academic and gray literature to explore existing research on how PID impacts health. Three main themes are clear in the research: the clear relationship between PID and personal health; the relationship between PID and the social determinants of health; and the disproportionate barriers faced by vulnerable populations.
This Trauma-Informed Resilience Oriented Research Resource (TIROR) including guidelines and principles are meant to inform how to undertake research with community co-researchers who have lived expertise with trauma and vulnerability, in a manner that supports their participation, health and wellness, and minimizes the risk of re-traumatization through participation in the research itself.
Join us this Saturday, September 2, at the Moss Street Farmers Market as we showcase our Common Ground Community Mapping Inclusion Project in partnership with Community Living BC.
Share your experiences on a large map of the CRD with sticky notes. Spin the wheel for fun prizes, take surveys on community inclusion, and record video responses at our ring-light station. Let's build an inclusive CRD together! See you there!
This project is in partnership with
In recent years, a quiet revolution has been taking place on the streets of cities worldwide. E-Bikes have been rapidly gaining popularity as a clean, efficient, and practical mode of transportation. As the province of British Columbia seeks sustainable solutions to address its transportation, climate, and equity challenges, its investment in e-mobility is finally coming online. With a relatively mild climate, there isn't a better place in Canada to start moving people out of their cars and onto bikes.
The province is following the Community Council’s E-bike Equity Model that was developed and piloted with the District of Saanich. This model includes a higher subsidy for lower income households. The pilot was part of the Community Council’s Climate Equity Program. The pilot has been hugely successful with the low-income targeted subsidy oversubscribed even before the higher income brackets. There was also unanimous approval to renew funding by the City Council where other jurisdictions have cancelled e-bike programs that were seen as inequitable. Transportation is the second highest cost driver for low-income households after housing meaning that and E-bike can be a game changer, not just for the climate and health but for poverty and low income.
Shifting how people move through cities by enabling micro-mobility has yielded positive environmental and health results. We can significantly reduce carbon emissions, air pollution, and noise pollution within our cities by adopting alternative modes of transportation like E-bikes and incorporating them into our transportation continuum.
As we see ourselves staring at a worsening healthcare crisis, promoting active transportation will be vital for improving public health. Although traditional bikes are a fantastic way of commuting actively, eBikes offer a unique solution as they enable individuals of varying fitness levels and abilities to enjoy cycling effortlessly. Encouraging cycling helps to promote physical activity, reduce sedentary lifestyles, and combat the growing concerns of obesity and other health issues associated with inactive lifestyles. Allowing both the province and the public to witness the significant health benefits that come with the adoption of eBikes as a fun and convenient means of transportation while fostering a strong cycling culture amongst younger riders and new immigrants.
E-bikes also open up more commute and trip options for longer distances or carrying loads. Preliminary studies have found that individuals use e-bikes for longer trips than conventional bicycles, with an average distance per trip of 6.1km. That distance is longer than the average bike trip distance and car trip length within the largest municipality in the CRD.
For those battling the Colwood crawl and bumper-to-bumper traffic along Douglas, it isn't surprising that British Columbia's urban centers face significant traffic congestion. This congestion has led to frustrating commutes and wasted hours on the road for all users. An investment into active transportation by the province sets the stage for encouraging more people to leave their cars behind, reducing the overall number of vehicles on the roads. This reduction in traffic congestion has the potential to improve traffic flow, and reduce both noise and physical pollution within our cities- both of which will be necessary if we are looking to equitably densify our arterials and bolster sustainable developments centred around transitways.
The E-bike Equity Model the province is following can relieve many financial burdens associated with car ownership, serving as a cost-effective alternative to the current status quo. Car ownership is often accompanied by substantial expenses, including fuel costs, maintenance, insurance, and parking fees. eBikes offer a cost-effective alternative- significantly reducing transportation expenses for individuals and families who don't necessarily want or need a car. As we look to improve affordability while enhancing the quality of life for British Columbians, getting more people moving more sustainably is an achievable goal. It is possible to dovetail social and climate equity. With no need for gasoline and significantly lower maintenance costs compared to automobiles, eBikes can help save money and increase disposable income. Furthermore, public investment in eBike infrastructure, such as more secure bike parking, better wayfinding, and trail widening projects, also benefits traditional acoustic riders.
The E-bike explosion not only benefits their acoustic cousins but also has the potential to take their other e-mobility devices along for the ride too. With the emergence of electrified scooters, skateboards, and even unicycles, we must provide adequate infrastructure for all forms of e-mobility. This includes an often-overlooked form- the mobility scooter. Mobility scooters and other forms of micro-mobility for people with disabilities should need accommodation by right of way on multi-use and AAA paths. We can rethink the car as a default mobility device for many people by bringing them in for the active transportation revolution.
If the province wants to add a more detailed equity lens to their rebates focused on e-mobility, it would be essential to address the gap for those who cannot ride traditional e-bikes. Pairing vital incentive programs alongside expanding active transportation infrastructure can lead to healthier, happier, and better-connected communities. We must plan for a future with fewer vehicles, less traffic, and more public and active transportation users. Unfortunately, the provincial VKT targets have been forgotten by many municipalities. The province's interest in meeting climate goals through VKT reductions opens the door to imagining a cleaner, more sustainable future for our transportation networks- but attracting and maintaining the ridership will require a coordinated approach from multiple levels of government.
The province's investment in eBikes presents many potential benefits, such as reducing environmental impacts through transportation, improving public health, alleviating traffic congestion, and boosting economic opportunities. E-bikes offer a compelling solution supporting us towards a cleaner, healthier, and more vibrant future. Let's help preserve the beauty of this place by embracing the electric revolution. We can pave the way for a greener British Columbia- albeit using less asphalt than we've used in the past.
This is the second blog in a series on transportation equity in the region.
Published May 31, 2023
Khadoni Pitt Chambers, Research Coordinator
Whether it be climate equity, community innovation, housing affordability, or economic justice, be a part of the conversation when you sign up for our monthly newsletter!
The Community Social Planning Council (CSPC) of Greater Victoria has been actively engaging with regional and international partners on just transitions. Within this initiative the CSPC has launched the Transportation Access, Climate and Economic Security (ACES) project to design a regionally focused climate equity framework for transportation decision-making. The CSPC is using this framework to maximize co-benefits in program planning decisions that lead to best climate, accessibility, and affordability outcomes.
CSPC has collaborated with the District of Saanich and UBC REACT Lab to help design and implement the Saanich E-Bike Incentive Pilot Program. This program works to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions regionally by empowering low-income community members and equity-seeking groups to shift to e-bikes for transportation. It is the first municipal e-bike incentive program in BC to embed an equity lens with stepped income-qualified rebates. Read the full report below!
As summer temperatures rise and the climate crisis accelerates, many are looking to build resiliency and move away from fossil fuels where possible. The heat dome in 2021 was one of many extreme weather events yet to come, claiming more than 700 lives across the province. Despite the desire to shift habits, improve personal well-being and comfort, and build a more sustainable foundation - not everyone is offered the same opportunities. Read the full report below.
As Canadian cities roll out climate action plans to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in line with Canada’s objective of reaching net zero carbon by 2050, it is crucial that equity is embedded in each step in developing these plans. Embedding equity considerations in climate action plans can help disadvantaged communities that disproportionately bear the adverse effects of climate change to have the opportunities to participate in and benefit from climate action initiatives. Climate equity is a win-win for the wellbeing of the planet and for all communities, including low income, Indigenous, immigrant, LGBTQ2S+, visible minorities and people with disabilities. Read the full report below.
This event focuses on lessons from Finland in utilizing the Housing First Model.
This model has been successfully implemented in other cities and countries globally. In Finland this model is credited with helping to virtually eliminate experiences of homelessness. While more hidden forms of homelessness remain, such as staying with friends informally, this model has been successful at providing housing with dignity to thousands of Finnish residents.
Joining us at this event is Saija Turunen, who will share their experience with this model’s application in Finland. Also, Housing First Expert, Dr. Deborah K. Padgett, will be sharing her expertise related to this model. Additionally, this event will feature a community response, where local experts, including Nicole Chaland, will speak to this model’s applicability to our region. See below for a full list of panelists at the event.
- Saija Turunen - Head of Research, Y-Foundation, Finland
- Deborah K. Padgett - Professor; McSilver Faculty Fellow; Affiliated Faculty, Department of Anthropology and College of Global Public Health, NYU
- Nicole Chaland - Co-Lead: The Housing Justice Project, University of Victoria
The CSPC acknowledges the Songhees, Esquimalt, Tsartlip/W̱JOȽEȽP, Tseycum/WSIḴEM, Tsawout/SȾÁUTW, Pauquachin/BOḰEĆEN, T’Sou-ke, Scia’new and Pacheedaht Nations who have a historical and ongoing relationship to the land where our offices and work are based.
We also respect the wide diversity of nations and languages across the province. British Columbia is home to over 200 First Nations communities and approximately 50% of the First Peoples’ languages of Canada. For more information visit: https://maps.fpcc.ca/
The critical role of social planning in creating sustainable and vibrant communities cannot be overstated. As such, I am pleased to share important updates from the Community Social Planning Council (CSPC) regarding our efforts towards achieving more just and equitable communities in Greater Victoria. Our recent activities include addressing issues related to homelessness, gender equity, and housing affordability across the region.
We recently conducted a bi-annual Point-in-Time Homeless Count and Survey in partnership with the Capital Regional District (CRD) and the Alliance to End Homelessness in the Capital Region. We'd like to say a special thank you to the participants who came forward to share their stories and for their patience with the surveyors. We are thrilled to have had over 200 volunteers working in the HQ and on route throughout the region. Thank you to all of those who sponsored and funded this years count and survey, your dedication to the community is admirable! The survey findings in July will inform plans for both short and long-term solutions to homelessness.
On International Women's Day, we reflected on the ongoing gender pay gap in the CRD, which is not only important for gender equity (SDG 5), but also for promoting economic growth and reducing inequality (SDG 8). To raise awareness and encourage action, CSPC shared a fact sheet on the gender pay gap in the CRD that highlights key strategies and policies that can help achieve gender equity in the workplace.
On March 6, 2023, the CSPC and City of Colwood hosted Councillor Learning Session: Municipal Levers for Housing Affordability with Brent Toderian as a keynote speaker to emphasize the importance of building complete neighborhoods that support affordability. The event is part of the Regional Housing Affordability Project which supported the creation of a community of practice to share local learning and best practices, compiling local policies and practices, and engaging with municipal, business, and community partners. In phase two, the City of Colwood plans to expand the project's toolkit, update housing needs reports, and continue offering regional workshops. The Regional Housing Affordability Project aims to create more just and equitable communities, contributing to larger efforts to create a better city for everyone across municipal boundaries.
Although these are positive steps, there is still much to do. Looking ahead, we have several upcoming events that focus on important issues related to social planning and equity. On April 18, we are hosting a webinar titled "Revitalizing Downtown Spaces in a Hybrid Work Environment." This event will bring together experts, community members, and decision-makers to discuss the future of downtown spaces in light of changing work patterns.
On April 25, we are hosting a workshop titled "Family By Design: Designing Cities for Families". The workshop will focus on strategies for building better family environments throughout the region.
Finally, on May 2, we are hosting a lunch and learn titled "Homelessness, Housing, and Human Rights: A look at Housing First Approach”. We will highlight data from cities such as Helsinki where they have utilized a housing first approach to effectively reduce homelessness and build thriving communities for their residents.
It is important to align our efforts towards creating more just and equitable communities with the global goals for sustainable development. Proper social planning is crucial in achieving our community goals and ensuring a better future for everyone. As we work towards these goals locally, we must remember that they are interconnected with larger provincial, federal, and global efforts to create a better world for all. Let's continue to promote social inclusion, advocate for fair pay practices, and support affordable housing to create sustainable and vibrant communities that contribute to a larger global effort. Stay updated on our efforts and upcoming events by following the CSPC's social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Join us in spreading awareness about the importance of these issues by sharing this with your friends and family.
Published: March 10, 2023
Diana Gibson, Executive Director