Cost of living weighs heavily on Greater Victoria residents

Housing, homelessness and health care also remain as strong concerns, suggests Vital Signs report

The Capital Region’s annual check-up shows residents are most worried about the cost of living, while the great outdoors tops the best part of living on southern Vancouver Island.

The eighth annual Vital Signs, produced by the Victoria Foundation, is a comprehensive research and survey report on 12 key areas and emerging needs in Greater Victoria.

Nearly half of the 1,200 residents who completed this year’s online survey ranked the cost of living as the most pressing issue, while 20 per cent of respondents believe mental illness is a growing challenge.

Housing, homelessness and health care also remain strong concerns.

“We’re noticing with the grant applications that are coming in, mental illness is a big concern,” said Sandra Richardson, Victoria Foundation chief executive officer.

“When we first started Vital Signs, the issue of the day was homelessness. And that became an indication for us that if you’re going to produce a report like this, you have to be engaged with the community to do something about with proactive grants.”

The foundation distributed $10 million in grants last year to non-profit organizations locally and across Canada, while many other non-profits use Vital Signs to direct their own spending, Richardson said.

The Capital Region economy once again ranked poorly at C+, yet only 11 per cent of survey respondents said the economy is one of the most important challenges facing the region.

The Victoria Foundation has also produced the region’s first food strategy road map for Vancouver Island, a result of input from 43 non-profit organizations, Richardson said.

“This report has really become a catalyst for collaboration and change for the community,” she said. “We’re better together.”

Negative trends include a significant loss of urban tree cover, rising childcare costs and single-parent households rising to more than 15 per cent in Greater Victoria.

To view Vital Signs, visit victoriafoundation.bc.ca.

•••

Fun Facts:

• There are over 100 festivals every year in Greater Victoria, accounting for an estimated $177 million in spending in 2013

• Nearly half (47 per cent) of the region’s 78 municipal councillors are female

• Over 13 per cent of Capital Region residents are entrepreneurs

• There are 36 independent bookstores in Greater Victoria, including seven in Sidney

 

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

Just Posted

Andrew Swanson was arrested Wednesday after he was wanted for an alleged choking assault and for obstructing police. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Victoria police arrest Andrew Swanson on warrants for alleged choking assault, obstruction

A member of the public spotted Swanson and called 911 before police came and made the arrest

(Black Press Media file photo)
Youth sustains minor injuries in stabbing at Saanich Plaza

Suspect under age of 16 taken into custody, no risk to the public, police say

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
West Shore proud owners of B.C.’s first electric school bus

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 25-May 1. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 case counts continue to trend down

Fewer than 200 active cases on the Island, down from highs of 500-plus earlier this spring

Sue Hodgson returns as publisher of the Peninsula News Review starting June 1. (Courtesy Sue Hodgson)
Peninsula News Review welcomes back Sue Hodgson as publisher

Dale Naftel takes helm of Oak Bay News as publisher

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of May 4

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

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you plan to travel on the Victoria Day long weekend?

It’s the unofficial start to the summer season. A time of barbecues,… Continue reading

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

People line up for COVID-19 vaccination at a drop-in clinic at Cloverdale Recreation Centre on Wednesday, April 27, 2021. Public health officials have focused efforts on the Fraser Health region. (Aaron Hinks/Peace Arch News)
B.C. reports 1st vaccine-induced blood clot; 684 new COVID cases Thursday

Two million vaccine doses reached, hospital cases down

More than 6,000 camping reservations in British Columbia were cancelled as a result of a provincial order limiting travel between health regions. (Unsplash)
1 in 4 camping reservations cancelled in B.C. amid COVID-19 travel restrictions

More than 6,500 BC Parks campsite reservations for between April 19 and May 25 have been revoked

Most Read