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.
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.
- Impacts on Immigrants and People Designated as Visible Minorities.
- Canada’s social and economic recovery efforts must take a feminist approach.
- Measuring and Analyzing the Gender Pay Gap: A Conceptual and Methodological Overview.
- Gender differences in employment one year into the COVID-19 pandemic: An analysis by industrial sector and firm size.
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.
Join us to learn about European and American non-market housing models and envision a future of affordable housing across British Columbia.
This event is hosted by the Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria in collaboration with Island Social Planners Connect. If you have the means, your donation helps support this event, which is running without funding.
It’s hard to admit that without changing the status quo, a healthy housing market may never come back to communities on Vancouver Island. As evidence of market failure becomes more and more apparent, do we need to look to a broader set of solutions?
This workshop will explore options for non-market housing solutions locally by first investigating examples from elsewhere—including Vienna, where over 60 per cent of residents live in city-built, sponsored or managed housing—and then imagining what role such models could play here at home to solve our affordability crisis.
8:00-9:00: International Speaker Panel and Q&A
9:00-10:00: Local Panelist Discussion
10:00-10:30: Optional breakout room discussions, led by Island Social Planners Connect
Glyn Robbins, London
Shane Phillips, Los Angeles
Gabu Heindl, Vienna
Penny Gurstein, UBC
Steven Pomeroy, Carleton
Marc Lee, CCPA
This event will be hosted virtually from our work spaces on the traditional territories of the Lkwungen (Songhees) peoples, who have a historical and ongoing relationship to this land.
British Columbia’s annual minimum wage increase went into effect last week with a 60 cent increase to $15.20/hour. Despite this increase, the minimum wage still falls almost $5 short of Victoria’s living wage for families. The 2019 living wage for the City of Victoria is $19.39/hour for families and even higher for individuals meaning the new minimum wage still leaves a large number of families and individuals living below the poverty line.
Increasing the minimum wage always creates tension at both ends of the spectrum– with people worrying about the clear fact that the minimum wage is still not sufficient while others worry about the price paid by local small businesses. There are win-win solutions.
The minimum wage places the burden of cost of living challenges on either individuals who are living in poverty or businesses. The government can spread that burden across taxpayers more fairly by addressing drivers of the costs of living. The recent changes to child care costs is a great example of this – the living wage went down for families when the government invested in affordable childcare.
A major driver of the high cost of living and high poverty rates within Greater Victoria, is housing. According to the 2016 census, 16,720 people within the City of Victoria are spending more than 30% of their income on housing and one in five are spending more than 50%. There is a dire need for an increase in affordable housing and this could significantly help close the gap between the minimum wage and living wage. The development of direct purpose built public or non-profit owned and operated housing is crucial.
In the shorter term, there are concerns by businesses hard hit by the pandemic now facing increases in wages. However, minimum wage workers are disproportionately concentrated in larger corporations that weathered the pandemic well and are profitable. These larger profitable businesses, such as multinational firms should, and are able to, pay the higher minimum wage. It is in the interests of our local economy to capture the profits being made locally by large multinationals through higher minimum wages that will be spent locally on goods and services.
Concern regarding the wage increase and its effect on small businesses is increasingly relevant in the current economic climate of COVID-19. For those small independent local businesses, wage subsidies and other supports will be crucial throughout the COVID-19 recovery period. Further, strengthening our social programs such as employment insurance would help to protect any workers negatively impacted.
One thing to remember is that with increased wages comes a stimulated economy- as people have more to spend, there is more spent in local businesses. This is particularly the case for lower income workers who have the highest likelihood of spending their money locally on goods and services instead of a condo in Hawaii. This is why studies are showing that minimum wage increases can have an overall positive impact on the local economy. These same studies are showing that there is room to move to higher minimums, even potentially setting a floor at 80% of average salaries.
The path to a living wage is twofold – Firstly, it requires public solutions to address the high cost of living, particularly housing and secondly, it requires making the minimum wage a living wage. Not only is this doable, but frankly, we can’t afford not to.
- Living Wage for Families Campaign. (2019). 2019 Living Wages Released: BC’s Childcare Investments Have Major Impacts. http://www.livingwageforfamilies.ca/2019_living_wages
- Statistics Canada. (2016). Census of Population, Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 98-400-X2016229.
- National Employment Law Project, Data Brief July 2012. https://www.nelp.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/NELP-Big-Business-Corporate-Profits-Minimum-Wage.pdf
Check out the CSPCs most recent living wage report: https://communitycouncil.ca/
Can doughnut economics help us build a just recovery that is within our ecological limits?
Are you a municipal leader or planner? A local business owner? A community leader? An interested community member? Are you working to merge social and environmental values in your work?
Join us to hear from Andrew Fanning of the Doughnut Economics Action Lab in Oxford, Julia Lipton, Head of Innovation for C40 Cities in Copenhagen, Councillor Ben Geselbracht from Nanaimo and other municipal and community leaders in regions that are implementing a Doughnut Economics approach.
Kate Raworth’s idea of Doughnut Economics, is arousing a great deal of interest. The idea is simple. The economy has to be large enough to provide a decent standard of living for everyone (food, shelter, sanitation, education etc.), but small enough to stay within our ’ecological ceiling.’
Amsterdam has pioneered it, other European and North American cities are following their lead and here in Canada, the City of Nanaimo recently agreed to adopt it. Greater Victoria is coming together to talk about it.
More information on Doughnut Economics:
– See this series of 7 very short videos from 2017, starting here
– or this longer TED Talk version
– or this webpage – About Doughnut Economics
– Information on Businesses and Doughnut Economics
– The Doughnut Economics Action Lab (DEAL)
– DEAL is turning the ideas of Doughnut Economics into practice, and we are engaging in
some pioneering initiatives and pilot projects with cities, communities, educators,
businesses and governments to do so. Here’s an overview of our work to date.
– Three Times Colonist columns on this issue by Trevor Hancock 31 January 2021 – True prosperity is doughnut-shaped
-7 March 2021 – Circles and Doughnuts – The local economy we need (Published as ‘Circular
economy doesn’t go far enough’)
– 14 March 2021 – A Doughnut economy for Victoria (Published as ‘Doughnut economy means
not spending $100M on interchange’)
The Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria and BC Rent Bank are launching a Rent Bank which will provide short term financial help for low-to-moderate income households at risk of losing their housing due to a temporary financial crisis. In conjunction with this the Community Council is also launching the Greater Victoria Housing Relief Security Fund, a one-time housing grant program between February and the end of April to provide eligible applicants with support for rent, essential utilities, and basic needs.
For more information on this program and to view eligibility requirements, please visit: https://communitycouncil.ca/rentbank/
Gender Balance in Entrepreneurship – What does that mean?
Gender balance in entrepreneurship means moving from ‘hero-preneurship’ to collaboration and away from hierarchy to scaling through adaptation or replication by others.
As we start to re-build into a green, diverse, and inclusive economy, limiting the barriers women and newcomer entrepreneurs face will be essential. Did you know that 15.7% of small and medium enterprises are owned by women, which makes up the bulk of Canada’s companies? Canada has made progress towards narrowing the gender gap but still sits at 19th place for developed economies and fell in 2019 (from 16th place in 2017). Did you also know that when male entrepreneurs make a pitch for funding, they receive funding 68% of the time? The same pitch, made by a woman – same words, same pitch – is only funded 32% of the time.
Our report: Financial Inclusion in the Green Economy (FIGE) sets sights on addressing inequalities between genders by identifying current and future barriers to financial inclusion for women in the green economy. This report was launched in response to local anecdotes from women entrepreneurs struggling to break into the green economy.
As quoted by Mikaila Montgomery in the Times Colonist– co-coordinator of the program:
“Victoria is in some ways a leader in gender equality — but there is always room for improvement. We still hear of stories of women entrepreneurs making a pitch for funding to start a business being declined — and advised to come back with a man.”
This project is just the beginning of the conversation. The council is working on phase 2 of the project and we are always looking to hear from individuals who have been challenged with these barriers. If you would like to get in touch, please reach out to Alisha Evans at email@example.com