Let’s Talk Urban Living With Uytae Lee

Let's Talk Urban Living With Uytae Lee

Join us for an exciting evening as we host our Annual General Meeting and then dive into the world of urban living and civic storytelling with Uytae Lee of popular urbanist YouTube channel About Here. He'll kick off with some Victoria area trivia before exploring topics ranging from housing to transit and beyond, promising an engaging dialogue on the facets that shape our urban experience.

Timing

5:00-5:30pm: AGM, all welcome — if you'd like to sign up as a member to the CSPC, click here.

5:30-6:00pm: Mingling, food and beverages available for purchase — we're pleased to have Maiiz Nixtamal on-site selling fresh tamales, street corn, and chips and salsa!

6:00-7:00pm: Uytae Lee

Venue: Victoria Event Centre, 1415 Broad St, Victoria, BC V8W 2B2

Grab your friends and come join us for a fun-filled evening of captivating stories, great food, and exciting discussions.

About Uytae Lee

Uytae Lee is a columnist and filmmaker whose work covers the complex issues surrounding our cities. He’s the creator of the CBC series ‘Stories About Here’, where he explores topics such as underground streams, zoning reform, public washrooms, street-food, and much much more. In addition to his CBC series, Uytae also produces urban planning documentaries for his own YouTube channel About Here.

Welcome Dr. Shelley Cook!

We are delighted to introduce the new Executive Director of the Community Social Planning Council – Dr. Shelley Cook!

Shelley brings over 25 years of experience in the non-profit sector and a deep commitment to social justice. With a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies from UBC Okanagan and a strong background in housing policy, research, and community development, she is a fantastic fit for our mission.

Shelley’s passion for community-based research, her local connections, and her unwavering commitment to equity and inclusion will be instrumental in our continued efforts to create positive change in the region.

Diana Gibson will remain a driving force within our organization during this transition. Her steadfast dedication and invaluable guidance will be pivotal in facilitating a seamless shift in leadership as she embarks on her next inspiring endeavour as a community leader.

Join us in welcoming Shelley and expressing our gratitude to Diana for her remarkable contributions to the Council.

Thriving Victoria: Living Wage & Affordability Summit

Join us on November 8th from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM for the official launch of the Living Wage across BC. This gathering is a convergence of impassioned stakeholders committed to advocating for a fair living wage. We invite employers and employees dedicated to this cause, policymakers including MLAs, MPPs, councillors, and their teams, as well as representatives from unions, businesses, and community organizations. The event will feature a panel response and living wage presentation.

Let's come together to delve into critical conversations, drive change, and collectively work towards fostering a society where a fair living wage is not just a vision but a reality. Your presence and insights are vital as we unite for a brighter, equitable future. Food and refreshments will be available. Mark your calendars for this significant event!

This event is part of the CSPC's Happiness and Wellbeing Lab in partnership with the United Way.

CEA Energy & Climate Action Award

We are thrilled and deeply honored to receive the Climate and Energy Action award from the Community Energy Association (CEA) for our groundbreaking E-Bike Incentive Pilot Program. This recognition would not have been possible without the unwavering support and collaboration of our outstanding partners and funders: the District of Saanich, The University of British Columbia, and the Vancouver Foundation.

A Collective Vision for a Greener and More Equitable Future 

At the core of our success lies a shared vision and a strong commitment to sustainable, eco-friendly transportation while ensuring equity and accessibility for all. We recognize that sustainable solutions must be inclusive and address the specific needs of all families, especially those in low-income. The support of our partners has been instrumental in driving this vision forward and turning it into a reality that benefits our community and beyond. We stand united in our dedication to reducing carbon emissions and promoting accessible, sustainable mobility solutions.

Paving the Way for a Provincial Program

One of the most gratifying outcomes of our pilot program is the influence it has had on policy at a provincial level, with a strong equity lens. This initiative, which focuses on providing rebates based on income qualifications, has acted as a model for a wider provincial program emphasizing equity, with the goal of empowering families and individuals.

We extend our heartfelt thanks to the Community Energy Association (CEA) for recognizing our dedication and honoring us and our partners with this award. The accolade is not just a testament to our efforts but also a celebration of the remarkable collaboration that has propelled our initiative to success. We remain steadfast in our commitment to a sustainable and equitable future and look forward to continued collaboration with our partners and funders in achieving greater milestones. Together, we will continue to make a positive impact and inspire change.

DSCF7276-t2

Author(s):

CSPC Team

thumbnail cspc

The climate crisis effects everyone, but it does not impact everyone equally. That's where we come in. Click below to learn more about the E-bike program and our work in the Climate Equity space!

Executive Director Transition

It is with mixed emotions that we announce a planned change in our leadership team. After five years of dedicated service, Diana Gibson, our Executive Director, will be moving on to new opportunities for serving the community. Please join us in thanking her for her tremendous contribution.

This decision comes after extensive planning and consultation. Diana will remain actively involved to ensure a seamless handover of responsibilities, maintaining the high standards of work that you’ve come to expect from the CSPC. The board is already in the advanced stages of a comprehensive search for a qualified successor who will uphold and advance our mission. We will be accepting applications until mid-October and encourage you to share the job posting with qualified individuals. 

We are immensely grateful for Diana’s contributions, vision, and commitment to our mission. During her tenure the CSPC was renewed, with the staff team growing from 2 to 16. Under Diana’s leadership the CSPC launched new programs the Greater Victoria Rent Bank, ID Bank, Housing Policy and Climate Equity Programs- and strengthened the role of the Council in advising and supporting cities and non-profit partners. Together with Diana and our Director of Finance/Operations, Barry Hutchinson, we have built a devoted staff and board team that will enable us to navigate the transition smoothly.  

In closing, please join us in expressing our deepest gratitude to Diana for her exceptional leadership. She has set a high bar, and while she will be greatly missed, we are excited to see where she will make an impact next. Thank you for your continued support. We are looking forward to stepping into the next chapter of CSPC’s journey with all of you. 

Please view the job posting here

Executive Director Update

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

Author(s):

Diana Gibson, Executive Director

Diana

Living Wage Report 2022 Event

The Living Wage is the hourly wage that two working parents with two young children must each earn to meet their basic expenses (including rent, child-care, medical needs, food, and transportation), once government taxes, credits, deductions and subsidies have been taken into account. The Living Wage for our region is calculated annually by the Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria (CSPC).

As those in the region can attest, the cost of living continues to soar.

Join us on November 17, 2022, from 12-1pm to discuss the living wage, and ways in which we can make life more affordable in our region.

Guest speakers at the event will consist of a panel of Living Wage advocates, community members, and local business owners.

This event is part of the CSPC's continuing dialogue on affordability and is in partnership with the United Way.

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 commit to active listening and humility in working with Indigenous Peoples.

New personal ID service helps people move out of homelessness

The Community Social Planning Council announces a new service for people in need and those supporting them. The Greater Victoria Coordinated ID Services offer assistance applying for ID, coverage of application fees, and safe ID storage. More details are available at communitycouncil.ca/Id-service and in the full release below.

Launch Press Release