Participate In B.C.’s Carbon Pricing Review

The Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria is supporting B.C.’s Carbon Pricing Review with community sessions for equity-seeking groups.

These sessions will provide:

  • An update on the federal government’s minimum carbon price for all provinces and territories and BC’s plans to meet or exceed that.
  • Information on provincial carbon pricing, and
  • An opportunity to explore:
    • The different impacts of the carbon tax for diverse community members, especially those with low incomes
    • How carbon tax programs can be designed to help address fairness and affordability
    • What are some of the challenges that need to be looked at and how can we make carbon tax programs more accessible?

Feedback from engagement sessions will inform the provincial government’s review of the carbon tax, which aims to understand impacts of carbon pricing on affordability for households and businesses.

Capacity Funding of $21 per hour will be provided to low-income individuals; time commitment is 1.5 hours. Participants can opt-in to capacity funding upon registration.

There are four different engagement themes offered to organization representatives and community members. Please register for the one that most reflects your perspective. The session schedule and registration links are located below.

For organization representatives

For community members

The Regional Food System Indicator Framework

The Regional Food System Indicator Framework

For the 2020 Good Food Summit that took place at the beginning of December, the CSPC  developed the Regional Food System Indicator Framework. This framework explains how we track our progress towards building a robust community food strategy and reaching the outcomes and targets of the Good Food 2025 Strategy, a regional collective impact initiative.


Download the Framework

For more information on our work developing metrics for a social and sustainable food system, please visit our Food Metrics page.

We are a finalist!

What is your project?

From a young woman developing a cup share to immigrant women upcycling clothing, the success of the green recovery hinges on opening doors for a diversity of entrepreneurs. There are inequalities in income and earnings for newcomer entrepreneurs while being a green entrepreneur comes with its own challenges. As we build the COVID 19 recovery, this project aims to ensure that we do not carry over those inequalities. Newcomers bring excellent experience that could contribute innovation and energy to our recovery. Newcomers are also disproportionately impacted by climate change. We cannot afford to allow barriers to impede newcomers from contributing to and benefiting from our green recovery.

We will engage a diversity of newcomer entrepreneurs, community partners, financial institutions, and governments to identify strengths and challenges of existing finance and business programs. We will identify and test ways to improve access and success for newcomers in the green economy in Victoria. We will profile success stories to raise awareness of newcomer businesses in Victoria’s green and just recovery and amplify factors in their success. Finally, we will link this initiative to other green and just recovery initiatives to broaden dialogues about inclusion.

How does your project benefit newcomers in Victoria? 

Our project, Active Inclusion in the Green Recovery (AIGR) benefits newcomers by centering the lived experience of newcomer entrepreneurs in the green economy to inform and test solutions to already established barriers and enable greater access and success. The project will also benefit newcomers by creating an employment position with mentorship. It will build more connections for newcomer entrepreneurs to service providers and support agencies as well as bringing together newcomer entrepreneurs to build community through shared experience. Finally, by sharing empowering stories of hope through the digital campaign, the project will increase the visibility of newcomers participating in the green economy, countering stereotypes and offering more sustainable entrepreneurship role models to the newcomer community.


Thank you for your support in this years vote!

Transportation Access, Climate, Economic Security (ACES)

The Community Social Planning Council has been actively engaging with regional and international partners on just transitions. Within this initiative we have launched the Transportation ACES project to design a regionally focused climate equity framework for transportation decision making. We are interested in using this framework to maximize co-benefits in program planning decisions that lead to the best climate, accessibility and affordability outcomes.

If you are interested in participating in this project please contact Mikaila Montgomery at

Project Summary:

The Community Social Planning Council will work to create a framework and set of metrics for climate-friendly transportation equity decision making processes. Working with local experts and drawing from existing research, the CSPC will gather data sets and metrics to identify priorities and design a regionally focused climate equity framework for transportation. Existing climate and equity programs will be surveyed and potential program options will be explored. A decision making model will be designed to test our co-benefits assumptions using the climate and equity framework. Feasibility and affordability will be prioritized. The outcomes and program suggestions will be further tested for impact through an online survey and a public engagement event in Saanich.

Funders & Partners


Financial Inclusion for the Green Economy

Financial Inclusion for the Green Economy is an ongoing project that will lead to a full report released by the CSPC.

F.I.G.E. creates a safe space and participatory action research engaging women from a host of diverse communities in order to identify current and future barriers to financial inclusion in the green economy. Working in partnership with Victoria Community Micro- Lending, the Inclusion Project, Sewlutions and Synergy Enterprises, our goal is to advance gender equality through participatory action research. The final report will include levers for change, enabling the project to shift economic, political, and social power, towards increased equality. The project report will begin a local process for ensuring the inclusion of the green economy as we build it. For the priority of Planet, FIGE strengthens participation of disadvantaged women in the green future.

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