Living Wage Report 2021
(Greater Victoria) Household expenses, particularly housing and food costs, are driving up the cost of raising a family, says the Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria, in its 2021 Living Wage report, released today. Greater Victoria is a close second for the highest living wage in the province ( following Vancouver).
Gender Balance in Entrepreneurship – What does that mean?
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
More focus on BC youth transitioning out of care needed
The Community Social Planning Council welcomes the new report from BC’s Representative for Children and Youth that puts a spotlight on youth transitioning out of care. In the 2020 Point in Time Homeless Count for the Capital Region, 1 in 3 of the people experiencing homelessness had been in foster care or government care. This number jumps to 55% for youth aged 16 to 24.
The importance of that transition as youth age out of care is clear – for the individuals we surveyed who had been in care, 30% experienced homelessness within one month of leaving care. Only 15% of those we surveyed felt that Child Protective Services were helpful with the transitioning to independence after leaving foster care.
Youth experiencing homelessness we surveyed asked for life skills and mental health supports. It is great to see the report focus on these areas, particularly since 70% of the youth we surveyed identified as living with mental health issues and homelessness. There is a dangerous convergence of gaps in the system for youth in care and gaps in our mental health and addictions services. The report outlines initial steps to address this but more is needed in both areas.
The higher risk for Indigenous youth is another key area needing focus as they are disproportionately represented in the foster care system and experience homelessness at higher rates. The report acknowledges the impacts of colonialism and importance of cultural connection but falls short of recommending action. Prevention is key. As the well-known Canadian Indigenous expert, Cindy Blackstock says, poverty underlies many of the health and wellness disparities affecting Indigenous children, youth and families – if it goes unaddressed very little progress will be made in closing the gap.
We applaud the report’s focus on filling the gaps for children aging out of care. However, there needs to be bigger focus on the broader economic disparities that put children and youth at risk: inequality, poverty, economic and job insecurity and lack of adequate, affordable housing. COVID has exposed those fault lines in our society and opened new opportunities to do better.
Diana Gibson, Executive Director of the council was approached by Chek News to provide a comment on the recent published report. Watch the full interview here.
📣 Shout-out: Thank-you BC Transit
The CSPC is giving a big SHOUT-OUT and THANK-YOU to BC Transit for donating reusable masks for the Community Council’s Low-Income Transit Assistance program.
On Thursday, November 19th, the BC government announced further restrictions as COVID-19 cases continue to surge and the concern of community spread grows. Masks are now mandatory for public indoor places and thanks to BC Transit, we have a limited supply of reusable masks available for those agencies that have placed Low-Income Transit orders. Please contact our office if you would like to include this in your order or connect with Barry Hutchinson about masks when you come in to pick up your order.
We are always looking and accepting donations of disposable masks if anyone is able to help. If you have any extras, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Be Kind. Be Calm. Be Safe
– Dr. Bonnie Henry
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?
Thank you for your support in this years vote!
Point-in-Time Homeless Count Report 2020
2020 Greater Victoria Point-in-Time Count: The Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria (CSPC) coordinated its third one-day Point-in-Time Count of homeless people in the region on March 12, 2020, a count and survey of homeless individuals in sheltered and unsheltered locations that provides a snapshot of where people slept on the night of March 11, 2020. The Count was sponsored by the CRD, as the administrator of the Reaching Home Program, and funded by the Government of Canada’s Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy.
Over 50 shelters, transitional facilities, and healthcare facilities participated, providing data on the number of people experiencing homelessness spending the night at their facilities. The following day, approximately 175 volunteers and homelessness facility employees completed over 850 surveys of people experiencing homelessness at various indoor and outdoor locations across the region.
Point-in-Time Report Infographic
Transportation ACES (Access, Climate, Economic Security)
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 email@example.com
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.