Social agencies in Victoria unite to put a CAP on poverty

Groups work together to create plan for reducing financial barriers

More than a dozen community organizations have launched a campaign to take action against poverty.

“The lessons from … communities across Canada are quite clear,” said Rupert Downing, executive director of the Community Social Planning Council. “Collaborative action on poverty reduction is a critical factor in the success, well being and advancement of communities and regions.”

In creating the Community Action Plan on Poverty, participating organizations have jointly crafted and endorsed a list of 10 shared values, backed by actions to achieve them. They include affordable housing, accessible child care and living-wage incomes.

“The CAP document represents hundreds of people and hundreds of hours, learning how to work together and how to disagree respectfully,” said Claire Rettie, executive director of the Victoria READ Society.  “We’ve also learned that amongst each other, there is a way to harness energy and create hope.”

Progress demands leadership more than it requires money, said Victoria city Coun. Marianne Alto. As one example, she pointed to a program which distributes bus passes to people in poverty.

“The Social Planning Council came to the transit commission and made a very compelling presentation … about why this program needed to be expanded,” Alto said.

The commission agreed and increased the number of passes by 25 per cent.

On Thursday, city council will consider whether to endorse the Community Action Plan.

“While the city can’t act in and of itself to reduce poverty, one of the key things the city can do is to create an enabling environment,” said Lisa Helps, who attended the campaign launch as a city councillor and executive director of Community Micro Lending. “The city has a real role to play.”

Business leaders will also be asked to partner in the plan.

“We’re going to work with employers in the region to certify them as living-wage employers if they step up to the plate,” Downing said.

The wage required to maintain an adequate quality of life in the Capital Region has been calculated to be $18.07 per hour.

Another plan in the works is to launch a community investment fund early in 2013, Downing added. “That will be a vehicle for people to put their savings and their investments in a community-managed fund to help build social housing and (to) finance (other socially-responsible programs.).”

A Community Action Plan on Poverty website went live last week at www.CAPonPoverty.ca.

rholmen@vicnews.com

Just Posted

MISSING: Victoria police seek 42-year-old Craig Hughes

Hughes was last seen on May 20 at 5:45 a.m.

Increased rental construction boosts housing starts across Greater Victoria

Rest of Vancouver Island experiencing spillover effect from Greater Victoria

Peninsula crews extinguish early morning boat fire in Central Saanich

Firefighters saved nearby home from further damage

Sidney’s library opens new chapter after $2M refit

Library reopens after 8 months boasting improved systems and accessibility

VIDEO: Fun without sun: Hundreds enjoy Family Fest on Victoria Day

Families enjoy activities in Veterans Memorial Park

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Federal government funds millions to help B.C. police spot drugged driving

Many police departments have expressed wariness about using the only government-approved roadside test

Judge: Mississippi 6-week abortion ban ‘smacks of defiance’

The new law would prohibit most abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected

Oil companies, 24-cent gap between B.C., Alberta to be focus of gas price probe

Premier John Horgan called the spike in gas prices ‘alarming’

Motorcycle deaths spike 50% since 2017

Riders were most likely fatally crash on the weekends compared with the rest of the week

Mother of accused charged in death of Surrey teen girl found in torched SUV

Manjit Kaur Deo charged with ‘accessory after the fact’ in 2017 death of Surrey teen

Family of B.C. pilot killed in Honduras trying to ‘piece together’ tragedy

Patrick Forseth has a number of friends in the area and was loved by everyone

Most Read