British Columbia is one of the most prosperous provinces in Canada, yet poverty remains a serious issue in many communities. Key indicators of poverty remain startlingly high in the Lower Columbia Region (LCR) of BC’s West Kootenay. For example, the four local foodbanks support approximately 5,000 visits per year. Additionally 1,600 households – 1 in 5 in the region – are in housing need, and in 2013, the last year for which there is reliable data, 990 children were living in poverty.
Created by the Skills Centre and the Lower Columbia Poverty Reduction Design Team, Thriving For All: Lower Columbia Poverty Reduction Plan is a potential roadmap to working to alleviate the struggle of some of our neighbours here in the West Kootenay, many of whom we may not even realize are struggling.
Written by Janet Morton, the retiring Executive Director of the Skills Centre, the plan is the culmination of a 5 year process involving conducting baseline research, workshops, and consulting with local governments, health, education, and social service providers, other provincial working groups, and local stakeholders (those who have experienced living in poverty). The report builds upon a number of other crucial collaborative projects conducted over the period including gender-based studies, regional living wage studies, and workshops exploring poverty reduction strategies from around the province of BC.
You can download the full PDF version of Thriving For All: Lower Columbia Poverty Reduction Plan by clicking here.
In 2016, the Skills Centre, was awarded the Tech Serv Applied Research Internship, to undertake an applied research project examining and documenting the level of poverty in the Lower Columbia Region. The research internship is generously supported by Teck Trail Operations and administered by the Applied Research and Innovation Centre at Selkirk College. The Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute (RDI) partnered with the Skills Centre with strong alignment to their Poverty Reduction Indicators Project.
The purpose of this project is to support the development of a poverty reduction strategy for the Lower Columbia Region (LCR). The baseline indicators of poverty and information in this report provide insight into conditions of poverty and will serve to guide an upcoming poverty reduction planning process. The report provides an overview of indicators that are useful for informing planning processes, and can be used to track impact of poverty reduction initiatives over time. Data has been sourced from federal, provincial, and regional agencies, as well as through direct communications with local organizations.
Please click on the link to read the full report here.
The poverty reduction game changer series highlights eight priority areas and strategies, as identified by Vibrant Communities Canada and our Cities Reducing Poverty members, that elicit an array of positive, significant, and cascading outcomes towards reducing poverty.
Read more about this initiative here.
Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a method for studying and changing social systems (groups, organizations, communities) that advocates collective inquiry into the best of what is in order to imagine what could be.
Read more on this model of social change here.
The Government of Canada is committed to developing a Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy to reduce poverty and improve the economic well-being of all Canadian families so that they can have a real and fair chance to succeed.
Poverty is a complex issue that affects more than 3 million Canadians. That means that 1.9 million families struggle to make ends meet.
To ensure that the Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy reflects the diversity of needs and approaches throughout the country, we are:
- consulting with Canadians across Canada on poverty reduction;
- establishing a Ministerial Advisory Committee on Poverty through an open call for nominations to select leaders, practitioners and experts with experience in poverty and poverty reduction as well as a separate targeted call for nominations to select people who have experienced poverty; and
- conducting the Tackling Poverty Together research project – an in-depth case study in six communities across Canada.
You can read the one-page summary of the Government of Canada Poverty Reduction Strategy here.
For more information on the Federal Government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy and access the Poverty Reduction Toolkit to help start the conversation in your community please visit the Government of Canada Poverty Reduction page here.