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

Nearly a dozen coonhound puppies and their mother to reunite at Saanich park

Dogs’ former foster family initiated one-year reunion plans

Trio brings roller skating fever to Greater Victoria

Roller Skate Victoria offers workshops, summer camps and more

Motorcylist ticketed for excessive speed, bike impounded by Saanich Police

The 22-year-old was issued two tickets – one for a bent licence plate

Concrete beams for McKenzie interchange set for installation this weekend

No lane closures expected during weekend work, says ministry

Government Street to be transformed into ‘people-priority’ zone

Victoria city council voted to limit traffic in the area by 2022

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

POLL: Do you carry reusable shopping bags?

While a court ruling determined the City of Victoria’s plastic bag ban… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of July 16

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

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

UPDATE: West Kelowna fawn euthanized, not claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer has been euthanized after a suitable home was not found in time

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Port Hardy RCMP cleared in arrest that left man with broken ribs, punctured lung: IIO

The IIO noted the matter will not be referred to crown counsel for consideration of charges.

Most Read