Powell River and surrounding areas are getting $50,000 in provincial funding.

It’s earmarked for poverty reduction plans and projects in the City of Powell River, qathet Regional District, and Tla’amin Nation.

The poverty reduction work is built on the 2019 Regional Poverty Reduction Report, with the key principles of affordability, opportunity, reconciliation, and social inclusion.

The report involved key sectors of the community, including the three regional governments, people with lived experience, Vancouver Coastal Health, Lift Community Services and First Credit Union.

Local initiatives include developing poverty reduction strategies, improving food security, developing affordable housing, increasing access to public transportation, and highlighting available resources and related initiatives.

“The conversation around poverty is not new to this region, but a longstanding one,” said regional social planner, Kai Okazaki. 

“This program will help fund our first-ever regional poverty reduction plan. Taking this exciting step marks an important milestone for the City, qRD, and Tla’amin Nation. This plan will bring a shared regional vision for poverty reduction, how we collectively plan to address this work, and develop actions to support the work needed here today and moving forward.”

The initiatives are expected to be completed within one year.

The province’s first ever poverty reduction strategy has set goals to reduce overall poverty in BC by 25 per cent and child poverty by 50 per cent by 2024.

The regional poverty reduction plan is one of 29 projects across 54 local governments in BC receiving funding ranging from $16,000 to $150,000 through the Union of BC Municipalities. 

With grants from the Poverty Reduction Planning and Action Program, these communities are receiving a total of $1.4 million, which is from a $5-million provincial grant to the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM).