Port Hardy British Columbia
Government of British Columbia, Ministry of Children and Family Development
Port Hardy, BC, Canada
About My City: Port Hardy
Port Hardy is located in the Regional District of Mount Waddington, British Columbia, approximately 250 kms from the nearest city centre. Port Hardy is the largest of the communities in the District of Mount Waddington with a population of approximately 4000 people, 27% of whom identify as First Nations. The disctrict provides services to an additional 1,050 area residents who reside one of the three Frist Nations Reserves: the Kwakiutl, Quatsino and Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw Nations.
Historically, Port Hardy’s economy was centered on fishing, logging and mining. The copper mine was once the third largest in Canada and it provided a steady income base for the district to grow and expand its services and infrastructure. With the closure of the copper mine in 1996 the local economy was adversely impacted. Employment in commercial fishing is not as viable as in past years; therefore seasonal forestry jobs continue to be vital to the region. Port Hardy’s rural location poses challenges on many fronts and the Mayor and Council are actively working towards improving supports and services for residents of Port Hardy. There are joint initiatives between government, non-profit and Aboriginal agencies in the community to support vulnerable populations.
About My Organization: Government of British Columbia, Ministry of Children and Family Development
The Community Poverty Reduction Strategies Initiative was initiated by a conversation of the Union of BC Municipalities' (UBCM) Healthy Communities Committee and the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD)in the summer of 2011. Recognizing the impacts of poverty, including poorer health outcomes and decreased opportunities for children and youth, MCFD and UBCM shared an interest in working together to innovatively address the issue of poverty. The Community Poverty Reduction Strategies Initiative was launched in 2010 as a join initiative between UBCM and MCFD, based on the premise that no one party can effectively address a complex issue such as poverty. MCFD hired Family Consultants in seven BC communities; Cranbrook, Kamloops, New Westminster, Port Hardy , Prince George, Stewart and Surrey. With participating communities moving beyond the pilot project stage in 2015, UBCM stepped down as an active partner and MCFD continues to support local efforts. Family Consultants remain in participating communities to connect with low-income families with services and to work collaboratively with community partners and participate on the poverty-reduction planning committees.
My Collaborative: Port Hardy Poverty Reduction Initiative
The Family Consultant works collaboratively with community partners to build a local teams, with the goals of identifying the key barriers families face, connecting families to the services they need and creating and implementing community plans that innovatively work towards addressing the barriers. Port Hardy does not yet have a formal poverty reduction strategy, however; the community has a range of municipal/provincial government and non-government services to support low-income families.