The Regional District of Nanaimo has received a $125,000 grant from the province to go to creation of a poverty reduction strategy. (News Bulletin file photo)

Provincial funding will help Regional District of Nanaimo create poverty reduction strategy

RDN partnering with member municipalities and Islands Trust on regional study

The Regional District of Nanaimo has been approved for a grant to help with the development of a poverty reduction strategy for the region.

The B.C. Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction announced this week that the RDN and partner local governments are receiving $125,000 through the province’s Together B.C. poverty reduction strategy.

The RDN – working with its member municipalities as well as Islands Trust – is one of 29 B.C. communities sharing $1.4 million. The money is to be used to compile data, create an engagement strategy and draft a regional poverty reduction strategy.

The RDN board made the decision this past winter to pursue the grant, specifying at the time that it wished to focus its strategy around families, youth and children, and social supports.

Some directors, including Bob Rogers from Nanoose Bay and Adam Fras from Parksville, expressed reservations that the initiative could lead the region toward funding social programs outside its jurisdiction. Nanaimo director Erin Hemmens, however, said the RDN wasn’t being asked to do anything beyond gaining a better understanding of its communities, and directors including Vanessa Craig of Gabriola Island agreed.

“I don’t look at this as locking us into providing, necessarily, social services down the road, but I think it would give us a much better picture of some of the needs and diversity of the area,” Craig said.

RDN general manager of strategic and community development Geoff Garbutt told directors at the time that if the region’s grant is approved, the next steps would be to seek guidance from agencies in the social sector and then come back to the board with terms of reference for a study.

“We are funding a made-in-Nanaimo response plan, so that people and families can get the help they need,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Nanaimo MLA, in a press release, adding that provincial rates of poverty are on the decline.

Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley said there is no “one-size-fits-all plan when it come to tackling poverty,” which is why the province is working with local governments and community organizations.

Shane Simpson, minister of social development and poverty reduction, had a similar take, suggesting that the funding allows local governments to create “on-the-ground solutions for poverty that are tailored to the needs of their communities.”

READ ALSO: B.C. introduces poverty reduction plan to cut child poverty by 50 per cent

READ ALSO: Vital Signs report confirms poverty worsening in some ways in Nanaimo

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Nanaimo Regional DistrictPoverty reduction

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

Just Posted

More than 100 apartments for seniors approved in Nanaimo’s hospital area

Development permit issued for 1125 Seafield Cres.

Outreach team making connections with young people experiencing homelessness in Nanaimo

Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre youth advisory council initiative offers ‘no-barrier’ help downtown

Alzheimer’s society offering online support for caregivers in Nanaimo

Webinars explore ‘mindfulness’ in caring for dementia patients

Shopping resumes aboard Nanaimo ferry sailings

B.C. Ferries reopens gift shops on Queen of Cowichan and Queen of Oak Bay

City of Nanaimo reports on its salaries, expenses and payments

Municipality files statement of financial information with B.C. government

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

Nanaimo RCMP want speeding motorists to ‘slow the blazes down’

Police raise alarm after seeing 400-per cent rise in excessive speeding tickets last month

City of Nanaimo takes inventory of its land for official community plan review

Report recommends high-density residential development, identifies shortage of industrial land

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

VIU faculty members looking at COVID-19 impacts on communities

Vancouver Island University’s research award committee funds nine projects

Comox Valley RCMP looking for missing woman

Ami Guthrie was last seen in Courtenay in early July

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

Vancouver Island business ad unintentionally features OK gesture linked to white supremacy

Innocuous ‘OK’ gesture in cleaning franchise advertisement gets flak on social media for ‘supposedly’ promoting white supremacy

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Most Read