Our View: Regional residents’ concerns shifting

The annual Vital Signs report announced this week that the cost of living is the No. 1 concern for residents of the Capital Region, ahead of the previous top issue, homelessness.

The annual Vital Signs report announced this week that the cost of living is the No. 1 concern for residents of the Capital Region, ahead of the previous top issue, homelessness.

The results leave us asking a couple of questions: Is homelessness second on the list because residents perceive the region’s homelessness strategy to be working? Or, in the wake of the economic turmoil gripping the world — it continues to trickle down to the Capital Region — have people chosen to focus more on their own situation rather than first considering the well-being of those less fortunate than themselves?

It’s likely a little of both. When the region’s homelessness strategy was first put forward, Greater Victoria was still enjoying the fruits of economic progress and people no doubt felt able to put their thoughts and dollars toward the poorest of the poor in our communities.

Now, however, with news of the latest market crash or soft tourism numbers regularly found in the media, people have begun to fear for their economic future.

Proponents of the minimum wage hike this year from $8 an hour, an absolute necessity, hoped the effect would be to indirectly boost the wages of other workers making nearly as modest a rate. For some businesses, however, it has only had the effect of adding payroll and thus prevented other workers from gaining much-needed cost-of-living increases.

With the exception of certain union positions, wages in general are not keeping pace with inflation. With the still-harsh economic realities dictating a holding of the line on expenses for business and government, many are choosing to avoid giving raises as a way to allow employees to keep their jobs.

The disparity in income between the wealthy, and the middle class plus working poor continues to grow. It’s up to our governments to look at ways, through taxation policy, of allowing the majority of workers, in the middle- and lower-income range, to at least keep pace with the gains being accrued by the wealthiest in our society.


Just Posted

Mary Winspear offers out-of-this-world evening with Chris Hadfield

Tickets on sale March 22 for Colonel Chris Hadfield visit May 7

Metchosin driver striking a deer heralds a need for caution

Vehicle incident likely not the last of its kind in Greater Victoria

Victoria HarbourCats give away funeral to lucky fan

Just in case you die of excitment, all the bases are covered

U.S. college bribery scandal shines light on serious problem in Canada

Looking at the bigger picture of marginalization in universities

Five highlights in the 2019 federal budget

Latest budget includes a sprinkling of money for voters across a wide spectrum

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

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

View Royal council to discuss proposed 3.5% tax increase tonight

Budget open house to directly precede the council meeting

‘That’s a load of crap’: Dog poop conspiracy spreads in White Rock

Allegation picked up steam through a Facebook page run by a city councillor

Explosives unit brought in after suspicious boxes left at B.C. RCMP detachment

Nanaimo RCMP issues all clear after packages were found on lawn earlier in the day

2019 BUDGET: As deficit grows, feds spend on job retraining, home incentives

Stronger economy last year delivered unexpected revenue bump of an extra $27.8 billion over six years

Newfoundland man caught after posting photo of himself drinking and driving

The 19-year-old took a photo of himself holding a beer bottle and cigarette while at the wheel

Carfentanil found in 15% of overdose deaths in January: B.C. coroner

Carfentanil is 100 times more powerful than illicit fentanyl and used to tranquilize elephants

Most Read