Poverty flagged in Vital Signs report

NANAIMO – Report collected survey results from community and statistics from city, province and Island Health.

Nanaimo’s first Vital Signs annual checkup was released Tuesday and according to the report, poverty is an issue that concerns residents.

Compiled in partnership with the Nanaimo Foundation, United Way, City of Nanaimo and Island Savings, Vital Signs identifies trends and measures the health of Nanaimo.

Between July and August, more than 900 respondents took part in a survey providing letter grades to a number of Nanaimo areas. The study also included the most current statistics from such organizations as Statistics Canada, the province, the city and Island Health.

The study showed that 38.2 per cent of residents were not earning a living wage as of 2010, and 17.3 per cent of Nanaimoites had incomes below the after-tax poverty rate as of 2012.

Additionally, the gap between rich and poor received one of the lowest grades with a C-.

Tim Mawdsley, chairman of Nanaimo Vital Signs, said despite the low grade, the aim of the report is to raise awareness.

“If that starts discussions around Nanaimo on what’s going on and how we can effect positive change, that’s exactly what Vital Signs is for from a foundation perspective and the foundation also uses it to guide us on our giving in the community and where can we effect the greatest change with the limited number of dollars that we have,” Mawdsley said.

Signy Madden, executive director of the Nanaimo-area United Way, said poverty problems can’t be addressed overnight.

“From the United Way’s side, what we’ve got to look at is the vulnerable kids, the [newborn] to five years old,” said Madden. “You can’t give people money and that’s not our job, but I think our job is we have to make sure we fund programs that are helping the kids who are the most vulnerable.”

The full report can be viewed at www.nanaimo


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Frankenstein’ to be adapted as silent film made in real time at Port Theatre

Production merges stories of author Mary Shelley and character Victor Frankenstein

City of Nanaimo mulling sponsorship policy

Finance and audit committee recommends approving plan to create policy around facility naming rights

Nanaimo Art Gallery requesting $200,000 to upgrade its downtown space

Councillors supportive of NAG’s plans, but no decision made on increasing financial assistance

No credible threat found during high school lockdown, say Nanaimo RCMP

Police won’t say if lockdown at Dover Bay Secondary was related to one at the school last fall

UPDATE: Nanaimo’s Dover Bay Secondary no longer under lockdown

Nanaimo RCMP say McGirr Elementary no longer under hold-and-secure procedures.

No credible threat found during high school lockdown, say Nanaimo RCMP

Police won’t say if lockdown at Dover Bay Secondary was related to one at the school last fall

‘Nothing surprises us anymore:’ U.S. border officials find brain in package

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the brain packed in a glass mason jar in a Canada Post shipment

Council approves two retail cannabis stores for Ladysmith

Their applications are now in the hands of the provincial government

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Eyes on police after Trudeau orders blockades torn down, injunctions enforced

The RCMP in B.C. have sent a letter to the traditional leaders of the Wet’suwet’en Nation

B.C. massage therapist suspended following allegations of sexual misconduct

While suspended, Leonard Krekic is not entitled to practice as an RMT in B.C.

Cheapest in B.C.: Penticton gas prices dip below $1 per litre

Two stores in Penticton have gas below a dollar.

Loans or gifts? Judge rules woman must pay B.C. man back $7K

B.C. judge rules that woman must pay back more than $7,000 in advanced funds to man

VIDEO: Outpouring of worldwide support for bullied Australian boy

Australian actor Hugh Jackman said ‘you are stronger than you know, mate’

Most Read