Recent Publications

Greater Saint John Poverty Reduction Strategy

Saint John is a caring community that demonstrates great commitment from individuals,
community agencies, churches, businesses and governments to improve the quality of life for all
citizens. We have a level of poverty that is unacceptable in our community and sustained effort
and resources are required to truly reduce poverty. Vibrant Communities Saint John1 was
created in 2004 to support the development and implementation of a poverty reduction plan in
Saint John. The global objective to reduce poverty in Saint John to the National average (15%)
from 28%, at the time by 2015. A second objective to reduce the child poverty rate to single
digits from 28% by 2020 was set in 2009. The Vibrant Communities Saint John’s Leadership Roundtable is the mechanism through which
the Greater Saint John Poverty Reduction Strategy is stewarded. The Leadership Roundtable (see
Appendix A for list of Leadership Roundtable members) has representatives from each of the
five priority neighbourhoods, community organizations, the business community, and
government. VCSJ does not provide direct services but has the mandate to weave together the
numerous community and government efforts aimed at poverty reduction and community
revitalization. Vibrant Communities Saint John: brings together community leaders to share, strategize, and champion a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy; provides knowledge and data about poverty to inform community planning; is a voice to government, business, and the community about poverty in Saint John; and encourages coordination and collaboration among individuals living in poverty, community organizations, business and government. A poverty reduction plan was drafted in 2005 with the objective of reaching 2000 families by
2008. This objective was surpassed by 50%; 3000 lives were affected. The plan was revised in
late 2008. Four strategy elements - neighbourhood revitalization, single parents, children and youth, and
workforce participation - provide an opportunity for investment and action. While the elements
are presented separately they are interconnected, demonstrating the need for a comprehensive
and holistic approach. Descriptions of each element of the strategy are presented below.

Saskatoon Community Roundtable Conversation

The Saskatoon Poverty Reduction Partnership (SPRP) is a group of partners organizing to develop and implement a community plan to reduce poverty in Saskatoon. You may have seen our September newsletter with background to our initiative and who is involved. Our partnership was initiated as part of a gathering November 24th, 2009 in response to the recent report on health disparities in Saskatoon. We include organizations that have been creating action in this area for years and also individuals, groups, organizations, and businesses new to the conversation. The SPRP held a Community Roundtable on November 24 2010 – one year following the meeting that
spurred on our community action plan and 21 years following the national all-party declaration to reduce child poverty. The afternoon was filled with sharing the good work happening in our community, talking about where we’re all going and the progress we’re making towards a community action plan, and how we can influence decisions being made in our community. This newsletter is a summary of the Community Roundtable discussions.

What is a Living Wage

Resource Type: Publication | Author: Vibrant Calgary
A description of what a living wage is, the campaign and its partners in Calgary Alberta.

Vibrant Abbotsford Harm Reduction Report

As many of you know, the City of Abbotsford has assumed a stance directly opposed to many aspects of harm reduction practices, including: Methadone treatment clinics Methadone dispensing facilities (except where administered by a registered pharmacist) Needle exchanges Mobile dispensing vans, and Safe injection sites Zoning bylaw No. 1378-2004 explicitly prohibits all of the above practices within Abbotsford. This bylaw has been in effect since 2005, and continues to be the subject of extensive criticism by a number of organizations, including the Fraser Health Authority. Access the report by Vibrant Abbotsford here.

The Truth about Poverty in Abbotsford

Abbotsford has experienced tremendous growth in recent years. The population expanded by 7.2% between 2001 and 2006, higher than the provincial average. During the same period, median incomes
in Abbotsford increased by $6,623, although income still remains below the BC average. Unemployment currently sits at about 5.5%, lower than both the provincial and national rates.
Figures like these can easily mask the ongoing problem of poverty in Abbotsford. Despite recent
growth, many people continue to struggle to make ends meet. The increase in low paying (often part time) service sector jobs, and the rising cost of living – for fuel, food, and housing – are acute
concerns. This booklet explores common myths about the standard of living in Abbotsford. What follows is a brief overview intended to shed some light on the poverty in our midst.

Abbotsford Living Wage

Access a report about the living wage campaign in Abbotsford British Columbia here.

Kingston Mayor's Task Force on Poverty Report 2007

Author: Kingston Mayor's Poverty Task Force (2007)
The Task Force’s summary finding is simple: Poverty is the price the Kingston community pays for its economic, geographic, ideological, and organizational divides. The cost to the community is in human life and potential, tens of millions of dollars annually, and untold lost opportunity. Poverty alleviation alone is not good enough; we must pursue poverty reduction. The success of a community-wide poverty reduction initiative is almost entirely dependent on the community’s willingness to learn to work better together. The report title, “Ready To Do Better,” reflects our certainty that the community is anxious to move past its traditional patterns of behaviour in the shared interest of reducing poverty, and is eager for leadership in doing so.

Report: A Living Wage for Kingston, 2011

Kingston Community Roundtable for Poverty Reduction
This report has compiled the basic expenses required to allow a family of four in Kingston to provide the necessities of what we consider a decent, minimal life for themselves and their children. The standard of living envisioned in this report is not luxurious by any means. It would require constant tight budgeting and expense management for the family to live on the budgeted amounts. And the level of consumption provided for, in our judgment, reflects only the minimum levels consistent with a healthy, active, engaged life. Then, on the basis of those expenses and the parameters of Canada’s tax and transfer system, we have calculated the hourly wage that would have to be earned by both parents in order to generate the level of after-tax-and-transfer income required to meet that basic standard of living. That hourly wage, given living expenses in Kingston in 2011, is $16.29 per hour. Find other resources related to income security here.

Resilience

Resource Type: Publication | Author: Tim Brodhead
As this publication sets out to explain, for the Foundation, enhancing resilience means investing in the capacity of Canadians to handle challenges at multiple levels. Our concept of resilience links social and ecological systems, people and nature, and can be addressed locally at the level of the individual, family, or community, and nationally or even globally. Individual resilience grows by acquiring skills, assets, confidence, leadership abilities, and access to knowledge and social networks. Communities are stronger when there is abundant social capital, a dynamic civil society, supportive informal networks, and a culture of active citizenship.  Find the resource here.

Emergence and Scale

Meg Wheatley
A great article by Meg Wheatley that allows us to consider emergence as a great friend. What it does require is that we learn to enter the change we want to see.