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Welcome to Tapping the Groundswell (TTG), a project of the Powell River Diversity Initiative. TTG was a seven-month project launched to create a proposed Community Social Plan, intended to pave the way for those developing and implementing social policy in this region. Thus, this document is a set of recommendations—based on community-wide consultation, engagement processes, and extensive research—which may guide policy-makers as they set to work establishing concrete targets and actions.

Community Social PlanClick here to download the proposed Community Social Plan [4MB PDF].

 

The Team

Lyn Adamson is the Executive Director of the Powell River Diversity Initiative and the Powell River Employment Program. Lyn is a tireless advocate and community leader who brings many years of experience and dedication to the non-profit world, where she and the organizations she leads strive to serve the citizens of Powell River in a wide variety of ways every day.

The research team for this project included Julia Adam, Lyn Adamson, Mark Brown, Mike Brown, Jessica Colasanto, Lisa MacDougall, Janet Newbury, Laura Wilson, Drewen Young and John Young.

Key Issues

Over the last twenty+ years, communities across Canada have been left to deal with the consequences of provincial and federal governments stepping away from a range of long held responsibilities. Things like social housing and support for people facing mental health and addiction issues. Cities and towns have seen the impact of the shift away from a more comprehensive social safety net to one that has become badly frayed. And while local governments do not have the official responsibility, legislative range or financial resources to fully address these challenges, they nonetheless find themselves on the front lines of caring for the most vulnerable in our society.

Social planning and social development strategies span many issues and areas. Everything from poverty and addictions to food security, housing, transportation, reconciliation with First Nations and many other vital aspects of life in our modern society.

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We will focus our efforts on a few key areas where a new social plan for Powell River might concentrate, including the following:

Child Poverty

Here in British Columbia, we have had one of the highest rates of child poverty in the country for a number of years. And the child poverty rate in Powell River is higher than in almost any other part of the province. Our work will look squarely at how we got here and how we can care better for the most vulnerable among us, the children in our community.

Housing

As our community changes, there are many aspects of housing that we will be looking at: affordable housing, social housing and suitable housing – to name a few. We know that current rental housing stock is insufficient to meet the needs of our community. And we know that affordability is a growing problem for many.

Reconciliation with First Nations

As Tapping the Groundswell digs into social planning, our neighbours – Tla’amin Nation – are beginning the process of self government after the conclusion of treaty negotiations. Any work on social planning anywhere in Canada should look closely at reconciliation with First Nations. How do we spend time together understanding one another in the wake of cultural genocide and the legacy of residential schools? Whether it is by every Canadian taking part in the profoundly moving Blanket Exercise or whether it is through all levels of government, including local governments like Powell River City Council, endorsing and implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People – as Canadians the work of reconciliation is a present day opportunity and responsibility.

The Conference

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The Tapping the Groundswell Conference took place at Powell River's Recreation Complex on April 1/2, 2016. Please click here to read the short conference discussion paper.

The conference brought together friends and neighbours, families, newcomers, old timers, elected officials, social planning experts – all together looking at what is happening in our community and what we need to do to ensure we preserve what is best about life here while doing a better job for and with those who are most vulnerable in our society.

Featured conference speakers included Tla'amin Nation elder Elsie Paul and FirstCall BC's Adrienne Montani.

Learn More

There are literally thousands of excellent sources of information and resources on a wide array of social planning issues. We’ve provided a few links and signposts that we have found in the hope that some might be useful to you as you learn more about the wide world of social planning. We’ll add more resources here as the project proceeds and as we hear from the community about what is most helpful.

And – please click here to read the short discussion paper prepared for the April 1/2 conference at the Recreation Complex.

Getting Involved

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This project is now completed.

Contact Us

moonFor inquiries please contact PRDI Society at 604 485 2004 or laura@prdisociety.org

Our mailing address is:

Powell River Diversity Initiative
103 – 4511 Marine Avenue
Powell River, B.C.
V8A 2K5