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Sustainable and inclusive communities creating their own social, economic and environmental futures.

Community Social Planning Council

Research | Insights | Solutions

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February 5, 2015



We are facing a critical year of decisions, change and challenge in our region that affect all of our communities and residents. The Regional District, and its constituent municipalities with many newly elected representatives, has to resolve two big issues: A regional sustainability strategy that provides local government and all of us with tools and options to improve the resilience of our communities; and a sewage treatment strategy that is acceptable to residents and effective at protecting our environment. The Community Council urges all of our members and supporters to provide feedback to the public consultation process at the CRD. It is vital that we protect and sustain our natural environment, and also promote community health and well being. For too long social planning and social development has been a side issue for local government in our region. But reducing poverty and inequality, enhancing neighbourhood resilience, building sustainable local economies are vital components of the livability of our region.

The Community Council will continue to address these issues, but we need local government to do their part in partnership with their citizens.

Rupert Downing Executive Director
Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria
Direct line: 250-383-6166 x 107


Tuesday, February 10, 2015, 1:30pm-3:30pm
at Child Care Resource and Referral, 2001A Douglas Street

We're calling on interested, engaged community members to help us reach out to the region's major employers to start the Living Wage Employer transformation. Vancity, the Community Social Planning Council, and the Canadian Cancer Society BC/Yukon Division are certified Living Wage Employers in our region. Who will be next?

At this meeting, Susan Low will provide a quick tour of the Living Wage calculation method and go over the Living Wage Employer Campaign's benefits to employers. Next, we will collaboratively identify a six-month action plan to influence employers to come on board and adopt Living Wage Employer Policies. Our goal is to have six Living Wage Employers committed by the end of 2015. Everyone has a part to play in this effort - we need your networks, your skills and your passion!

Please sign up if you plan to attend - and commit to being there! 
Register now

MAKING SENSE OF TALKING CENTS - Youth Financial Literacy Toolkit
Agency Front-Line Workers professional development workshop series
Thursday, February 12, 2015, 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Island Health - Seniors Health Centre, 1454 Hillside Ave 

FERN introduces a new toolkit for youth service providers who have been working on how to include financial skills into their programming. This toolkit includes curriculum and activities for five two-hour sessions, but you can use it any way you like! Come and hear about the development of this toolkit, hear from youth service providers and youth, and ask questions about facilitating financial well-being for your youth participants.

Register now

FROM CHARITY TO SOCIAL JUSTICE - Policies Which Aid and Abet Child and Family Poverty, the conversation continues
Sunday, February 15, 2015, 1:30pm to 4:30pm
University of Victoria, Clearihue Building, Room A217

According to the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition, BC has the highest poverty rate in Canada and no plan to tackle it directly. First Call BC reports in their 2014 Report Card that one out of 5 children in BC are poor. This is higher than the national average. 

In October 2014 members of various communities came together in a conference entitled From Charity to Social Justice: Addressing Child and Family Poverty which was held at Christ Church Cathedral in Victoria. This event was sponsored by Christ Church Cathedral, the Community Social Planning Council, Together Against Poverty Society, Umbrella Society for Addictions and Mental Health, and University of Victoria Social Justice Studies.

We would now like to invite you to join us on February 15th, 2015 For the next step at the University of Victoria from 1:30 to 4:30 at the Clearihue Building room A217. Trish Garner of the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition will be our keynote speaker.

We will continue the conversation we began in October and explore some of the policies and practices that aid and abet poverty or what is often referred to as legislated poverty or the relationship between poverty and legislation. We hope to formulate some concrete plans of where we as a group or as individuals alone or in cooperation with other ongoing initiatives can begin to move forward on this issue. 

Register now

Wednesday, February 25, 2015, 7:00pm-9:00pm
Old English Inn, 429 Lampson Street

Live in Esquimalt? Want to learn more about creative ways you can engage your neighbours on your street or in your building to work together on fun and hands on projects that will build resilience, improve your block and strengthen relationships?

Interested to learn about how you can access a micro-grant and other support to start your project today? Esquimalt Resilient Streets will help you and your neighbours get to know each other and work together on a project.  This event will introduce the menu of street activities, resources available to support you, and connect you with others who share your interest in building more resilient streets or buildings where you live.

Register now

Saturday, March 7, 2015, 10:00am-4:00pm
at Esquimalt Recreation Centre, 527 Fraser Street

Learn about money and personal finance for the family or individual living on a low to moderate income.

Esquimalt Money Fair features displays by local organizations and financial service providers, focusing on navigating the financial system, getting by on a low income, managing debt, and raising financially fit kids.Earn prizes by exploring displays and taking part in short seminars. Child care will be available, and kid-friendly activities to explore money learning.

This event is made possible by the Township of Esquimalt, with help from the Vancouver Foundation, Community Social Planning Council and Esquimalt Neighbourhood House.

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Two-day course 
Tuesday, April 14 and 21, 2015, 1:00pm-4:00pm 
Island Health - Seniors Health Centre, 1454 Hillside Ave 
This two-session course will guide you through identifying your program participants needs, finding appropriate activities or learning resources, and putting it all together within your program or service model. Please contact for more information and to register. This is a free program but you have to commit to both sessions!

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Since 1997, Community Social Planning Council has been coordinating the BC transit ticket assistance program and supporting the urgent transportation needs of low income population in Greater Victoria. Tickets and passes received through this program are used for taking care of children and family’s needs, going to doctor, counselling, and employment related activities. There is a greater need of this program in the community as highlighted by some of the testimonials we have received. 

“We see many families at the Centre who do not own vehicles and would not normally be able to cover the costs of weekly travel to and from the agency due to their restricted budgets. Thankfully the BCTTAP program enables clients and their families to come to our Centre for the services they so desperately need."  Victoria Child Abuse Prevention & Counselling Centre

“Without the bus ticket program, my clients could not go to job interview, hospital appointment, income assistant interview, counselling and run from domestic abuse. The bus ticket program not only provides new comers with opportunities to access community services but also learn about BC transit systems.  Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society

“Thanks to the bus ticket program, we have monthly bus passes that we allow our new residents to use. Taking the bus during the initial days of his release was difficult and caused panic attacks for him, but he needed to take the bus to get to his appointments. JS explained that his experience being in a crowded bus allowed him to work through certain aspects of his social anxiety, and he feels more confident now in crowds."  John Howard Society

We would like to take this opportunity to thank BC Transit, the Victoria Regional Transit Commission, and local non-profit agencies for continuously supporting this program in making the public transit system accessible and available to the low income population of Greater Victoria. For more information about the program please visit :  or contact the Program coordinator, Dibya Shrestha at, phone # 250-383-6166 ext.102. 



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