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 and in the full release below.

Launch Press Release

Women’s Day 2022 – the gender wage gap in the CRD

Women in the Capital Regional District continue to earn less than men. The gap is larger for visible minority women and women with diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Women annually earn between 30 and 75 cents for each dollar a white man earns.

Where does this gap come from?

Various intersecting factors feed into these income gaps—wage inequity, gender and culture specific norms, lack of childcare and caregiving responsibilities are just some examples. Women, and particularly visible minority women:

  • Are more likely to be part-time, temporary and contract workers.
  • Are more likely to do lower paying work, and conversely, compensation is traditionally lower for sectors in which the workers are mostly women.
  • Earn less per hour on average for similar work to men.

COVID-19 has widened the gap. The lack of adequate childcare, school aged children at home, and the high impacts on tourism, retail, food and hospitality and other sectors where women and particularly visible minority women were hit hardest.

In response, the Canadian Human Right Commission states:

“If we are to restore momentum in our efforts to bring about gender equality in Canada, social and economic recovery efforts must take a feminist approach. Closing the gender pay gap and improving social services for women in vulnerable circumstances are a must.”

How can we narrow the gaps in the Capital Region?

Conduct pay audits in your organization. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business provides exercises to conduct an internal audit. While it’s specific to the Pay Equity Act in Quebec, the questions can be adapted to other jurisdictions.

Support flexible work requirements. Women are often forced to choose between work, childcare, and other family commitments. A flexible schedule that eases in-office requirements can help.

Publish wage/salary information in job postings. Providing salaries up front keeps unintentional bias from creeping into the hiring process. Publishing a range allows room to negotiate based on education and experience while ensuring candidates have equal starting places.

Write your MLA and encourage them to pass provincial legislation that outline protections, processes, and remedies that require all BC employers to provide equal pay and to make the minimum wage a living wage (See the CSPC’s annual calculation for the living wage).

About the data

Note: Gender earnings gaps were calculated from median annual incomes.

Data Tables: CPP-5a: Aboriginal identity (7), Age groups (6), Sex (3), Income status in 2015 – CPP (7) and Selected labour force, work activity and income characteristics (35) for the population 15 years and over with income in private households, 2016 Census

CPP-5b: Visible minority status (14), Age groups (6), Sex (3), Income status in 2015 – CPP (7) and Selected labour force, work activity and income characteristics (35) for the population 15 years and over with income in private households, 2016 Census

Definitions for various demographic groups are included in the Stats Canada data tables listed.


Family Day Fact Sheet: No Family Left Behind 2022

Pandemic, housing crisis, economic pressures — how are different families in Victoria experiencing this challenging moment, and how can we support their overall social, economic, and mental well-being and resilience in the region? The facts presented in this info sheet reveal where challenges continue to present themselves and point us in the direction of solutions.

Download a PDF of the No Family Left Behind Fact Sheet.




Family Day 2021 Fact Sheet: No Family Left Behind

Family Day Fact Sheet: No Family Left Behind 

BC Family Day is a day that allows us to be together, celebrate one another and embrace all that is good about those who enrich our lives and to feel connected.

Did you know that 1 in 11 families living in the Greater Victoria Region are living in low-income?  The purpose of this fact sheet is to bring awareness that even though we may all be in the same storm, we are not all in the same boat. As we celebrate this BC Family Day, lets make sure that No Family Gets Left Behind.

Letter to council regarding occupancy bylaw

February 21, 2020
Mayor and Council
District of Saanich
770 Vernon Ave,
Victoria BC,
V8X 2W7

Sent via email to

Dear Mayor and Council,

Re: Unrelated occupants and Zoning Bylaw, 2003, Amendment Bylaw, 2020, No. 9608.
We write in regard to the proposal to amend the unrelated occupants provisions of Zoning Bylaw, 2003.
The Community Social Planning Council (CSPC) is an independent, non-partisan, and organization that
represents thousands of citizens across the region. Many Saanich organizations and individuals are
members. We are an informed voice on social issues in BC’s capital region. By fostering social innovation
and integrated action on social, cultural, economic and environmental conditions the Council supports
the creation of sustainable communities. Two of our four priority work areas are housing affordability
and sustainability.

There is strong evidence that increasing housing density creates more affordable housing, and reduces
climate and other environmental impacts. We support the proposed change in the number of unrelated
occupants permitted in section 5.20 and the definition of “family” in the Zoning Bylaw, 2003, from four
to six. As noted in the staff report of 1/24/2020 entitled “Zoning Bylaw- Unrelated Occupants:”
“Small scale communal living arrangements have existed in neighbourhoods throughout Saanich
for many decades. Given the current availability and cost of rental housing in the Region, a
measured increase in the number of unrelated tenants allowed in a single family dwelling may
be warranted.”

We agree that strategies for additional density should be pursued, over and above the density levels
afforded by single family dwellings. There is clearly a housing gap in Saanich for low- and middle-income
individuals, seniors and students; we are in the middle of a regional housing crisis. The Community
Social Planning Council (CSPC) has released a report on the challenges of the tight rental market for
renters and how it is forcing individuals into unsafe, substandard or unaffordable situations that are
impacting on health ( Beyond that, the
CSPC conducts the Point in Time count for the region and has been concerned about students that are

We understand the concerns that some residents hold in relation to parking, noise and property upkeep,
as well as concerns about landlords carrying out unpermitted construction to add profitable sleeping
2 quarters to their properties. We respectfully suggest that the appropriate way to address those issues is
directly, by enforcing rules related to those matters.

We understand that resources are required in order to enforce those rules, and the suggestion that
placing a limit on the number of occupants in a home can indirectly address some of the concerns.
However, as acknowledged in the staff report of 1/24/2020, increasing the number of allowable
unrelated persons would reduce the number of instances of non-compliance with occupancy rules,
thereby offsetting resource demands. Moreover, as noted in the report, there is no statistical data that
enforcement of occupancy rules serves to successfully address nuisance or parking concerns.

Further, the bylaw is unfairly discriminating as it does not place any limits on occupancy for related
persons meaning that those issues of parking, noise, etc. This rule discriminates on the basis of marital
and family status. While a legal review of the bylaw is beyond the scope of this submission, we note that
the BC Human Rights Code (s.8) prohibits discrimination on the basis of marital status and family status,
and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (s.15) prohibits discrimination on both enumarated
and analogous grounds, one of which is marital status. Whether or not the bylaw itself is unlawful, the
fact that it is discriminatory should give Council cause for significant concern.
Saanich previously had a limit of six unrelated occupants and this motion merely returns the limit to the
previous level.

In light of all of the above, we recommend that Council:
● Adopt the amendment to return the number of unrelated occupants permitted to six;
● Instruct staff to enforce relevant rules related to nuisance, parking, etc., (subject to the existing
policy of prioritizing resourcing complaints related to health, safety, environment and
infrastructure over nuisance concerns between neighbours);
● Instruct staff to monitor the demands on resources over at least a two-year period following the
amendment, and report back to Council; and,
● If needed after the two year review, allocate additional budget to hire bylaw enforcement

We thank you again for the opportunity and for your consideration of this submission.

Yours truly,
Diana Gibson
Executive Director