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Our North Coast Innovation Lab (NCIL) in Prince Rupert is bringing people together to try out new ways of creating lasting, positive change for both the economic and social systems of the community. The NCIL is focusing its first year on a small number of projects that already have some support or momentum in the community, but would benefit from new networks, additional human capacity, research, coordination and/or business thinking.

Project Co-ordinator Kara Herbert is a student in the Masters of Public Policy program at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, doing an internship for the summer of 2018. Here she shares her work as part of the NCIL team, focusing on ways to enhance co-working, information sharing, and resource sharing in Prince Rupert.

Different groups have different needs

Our community engagement efforts highlighted that supporting entrepreneurs, which include home-based businesses and micro businesses, can be a powerful tool for economic resiliency and community well-being.

We’ve seen that there are many existing and thriving entrepreneurial training and educational programs in Prince Rupert, hinting at an emerging entrepreneurial spirit. However, it is also clear that there is a need for additional support, networks, and resources for individuals who complete these programs, so they don’t have to overcome the common challenges of starting a business by themselves.

The needs differ across different groups. The artistic community has expressed the need for professional development – workshops, business planning, online marketing, and connections to existing programs in order to grow. Some have also been interested in sharing resources such as studio space or certain tools.

The professional and online services community identified similar professional development needs, but also want a physical space to work from to bring about collaboration and networking opportunities. Many have used co-working spaces or incubators in other areas in BC and are seeing the need for one in Prince Rupert.

Solution-building with the community

Now that I have a base understanding of some of the needs here, I’m looking to the Project Advisory Committee and other community members to help craft what kind of initiative makes sense and may best benefit all kinds of entrepreneurs.

Building on this, we want to undertake a small pilot before the summer ends, and then have some more detailed aspects of a potential shared working space ironed out with concrete recommendations at the end of the summer.

It’s been amazing to approach this issue from the bottom up and co-create solutions with the community. And in working to build the foundation of this social innovation lab, I’ve found it so important to really embrace the uncertainty that comes along with an approach such as this. I think there will be many important lessons learned and knowledge shared as a result.

A welcoming place

Even though I’m only living in Prince Rupert for the summer, I’ve really been welcomed with open arms – there is a great sense of community here. I was born and raised in BC, and this is the first time I’ve gotten to explore the North. So, on weekends, we’ve been adventuring to surrounding glaciers, lava beds, towns, and islands – and spending weeknights playing baseball or paddling in the outrigger. It’s been a great experience living here, and I would encourage other young people to try it out too.

 

Photo Credit: Devlin Fernandes

 

BC wild fisheries provide a bounty of values to coastal communities and Canadians. Our Pacific fisheries are a critical source of local healthy food, a key contributor to our economy, a provider of jobs, a connector to nature, and a foundation of our identity itself.

But coastal communities have seen a significant decline in their ability to fish along their local shores and sustain their way of life. Not because of a lack of fish, but due to many attempts at industry reform that have disenfranchised these communities, including First Nations who have relied on this resource since time immemorial.

Currently, the increasing privatization and value of this public resource mirrors the Vancouver housing market, as speculative investors are attaining profits from owning and renting fishing licenses and quota, and taking this value out of the hands of local communities.

Tasha Sutcliffe, Ecotrust Canada’s VP, is optimistic though that current fisheries policies can be changed to better support independent fishermen, First Nations and coastal communities.

 

What’s the current state of the fishing industry on the Pacific Coast?

We’ve observed through our working relationships, research, and analysis, that the absence of social, economic, and cultural considerations in policy development have resulted in a current fisheries policy framework that does not work for coastal communities and fish harvesters in British Columbia.

Currently, one of the greatest threats to healthy fisheries and coastal communities in BC is the increasing large scale privatization of this critical public resource. This is the result of policies that enable private speculative investors and large companies, whether Canadian or offshore, to purchase, own and lease local fishing rights with no obligation to actually be on board a boat and harvest fish.

In BC, the resulting high cost of licenses and quota and low share of value going to crew on the boat, is leaving no room for independent fishermen, small scale community and family-owned fishing businesses to exist. It has led to loss of jobs, declining incomes, negative environmental impacts, safety concerns, and less sustainable seafood available locally. It has also meant the loss of the many broader benefits communities have had from their deeply rooted connection to the sea such as multigenerational transfer of knowledge, access to food, and local environmental stewardship.


What’s the opportunity for change?

In addition to restoring lost protection to fish and fish habitat, the federal government is looking to enshrine social, economic and cultural objectives into the Fisheries Act and enable policy change in the Pacific region. Both the current Federal and BC Provincial governments are concerned with the wellbeing of coastal communities and understand the huge impact fisheries policy can have on that.

There is now, for the first time in decades, the possibility of correcting current public policy in BC so that independent fish harvesters and their communities are better supported.

As a result, in February this year, Ecotrust Canada facilitated the Fisheries for Communities Gathering on behalf of those who reached out to us expressing the need for such an event. Among the over 120 participants were young and old fish harvesters, coastal community mayors, First Nations leaders and fish harvesters, academics, and environmental organizations.

Despite the diverse perspectives and interests in the room, the Gathering came to a consensus on the need for fisheries policy reform in the Pacific region, and a core request to be made to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to start the process to address this through a licensing policy review. The gathering also identified key principles for reform, including protecting the independence of active fish harvesters, prioritizing reconciliation with First Nations, and more local, decentralized and inclusive governance. We compiled and released a Proceedings Report of the day so that the information and outcomes can support the efforts of fish harvesters and organizations to affect change.

Right now, Parliament’s Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans is reviewing the proposed changes to the Fisheries Act, and I felt honoured to be invited as a witness to share the research and experiences that Ecotrust Canada has gained through working with coastal communities and fisheries over the years.


Is fishing still a viable career for current and future fishermen?

We know that sustainable, small-scale fisheries and viable, independent fish harvesters can provide multiple benefits to their communities. Active harvesters are small businesses who are running operations, employing crew, buying local supplies, giving back to the community, ensuring that their family, community, and country members have healthy and high quality food, and they are risking their lives to do so.

But we need to work together to ensure the right policy framework is enacted to support them.

Young, passionate and already well-experienced fish harvesters such as Cailyn Siider, James Lawson, Chelsey Ellis (shown below) and Duncan Cameron, all stood as witnesses to the Standing Committee to have their voices heard. This future generation of fish harvesters are already working to create the change they want to see, for a career they want to continue in, and for coastal communities they want to live in.

Photo Credits: Cailyn Siider

And, Ecotrust Canada will continue to offer our expertise, research, and analysis in supporting fish harvesters such as these four, community partners, and governments, in working toward the common goal of creating a fair, prosperous, and sustainable Canadian fishery from coast to coast to coast.

Ecotrust Canada is dedicated to developing innovative economic solutions that promote environmental sustainability and social equity.

We’re on a mission to scale our impact.

For more than twenty years, we’ve been developing viable economic innovations based on our belief that healthy economies and resilient communities are built on the connection between human, environmental and economic well-being. And we’re going to keep doing that because our results are extraordinarily compelling.

Through our work in partnership with communities, we’re proving beyond doubt that healthy economies and resilient communities are built hand in hand, based on economic models that embrace the connection between human, environmental and economic well-being.

2017 has been a year of reflection and refinement. Like others around the world, we have witnessed how easily progress can be unraveled when viable alternatives to broken economic models aren’t readily available.

So now we are committing to scaling our impact to achieve systems change. Our work moving forward is to develop, pilot and replicate innovative economic solutions that enable the emergence of sustainable communities.

And since we’re scaling impact, we need to scale our donor base too!

So over the month of December, we’re going to be sharing stories of impact from our community, stories that prove the possibility of building sustainable, resilient economies that work for community, and stories that we hope will inspire you to become an Ecotrust Canada Monthly Donor.

And since we’re scaling things, we will also scale the impact of your donation!  Until December 31st, a generous match donor will double your gift.

There are unique and momentously important opportunities to scale impact through policy reform and community engagement in 2018. We are committed to pouring our energy into maximizing this moment. So please, help us scale our donor base too by making a one time or monthly donation today.

British Columbia communities are reeling from the worst wildfire season in recorded history. Are the secrets to confronting a difficult future hidden in the distant past?

British Columbia has been grappling with the worst wildfire season on record—and it’s not over yet. Fall looms, but temperatures in the province’s interior remain stubbornly high.

In July and early August, urbanites in Vancouver and Victoria were inconvenienced by weeks of heavy smoke that cloaked their usual mountain vistas. But those in Kamloops lived under the worst air quality residents had ever known—fine particulate levels many times higher than than those that have choked China’s cities in recent years. Costs and economic impacts will be brutal.

Satnam Manhas, Ecotrust Canada’s Forest & Ecosystem Services program manager, has been considering the conflagration from the perspective of indigenous history, climate change, and forest management practices. We caught up with him for his take.

What factors have come into play to make summer 2017 the worst wildfire season on record?

A big factor is the way that the provincial government has suppressed fire for last 80 years or so—any small fires were snuffed out, and as a result we have an unnatural accumulation of fuel out there. Then we have the Mountain pine beetle epidemic, which peaked in the 2000s. More than half of all the lodgepole pine trees in British Columbia are standing dead wood. Dead wood is not a bad thing—it is actually natural—but not in this quantity. Meanwhile, we have gradually expanded our settlement patterns into fire-adapted ecosystems. More of us are living out there in the woods.

And climate change?

Climate change is creating a perfect storm situation, with hotter drier summers. We have ecosystems that used to have fires return in intervals once every 100 years—we now might see three such fires in a decade. That’s the direct result of climate change, caused by increasing greenhouse gas pollution from human causes, overwhelmingly the burning of fossil fuels.

How did Indigenous people in British Columbia live with wildfire before colonization?

One of the things we’ve learned through our relationships with First Nations is that indigenous people simply didn’t live in places whether the fire risk was high and if they did, they managed that risk. For example, in the Okanagan, Sylix indigenous communities would never have survived if they did not actively manage their territories for fire. The Okanagan is a fire ecosystem that has more trees today than historically, because we have been suppressing fire there.

How can sustainable forest management practices mitigate the risk of catastrophic wildfire?

Sustainable forest management can start being part of the solution as it can allow foresters to make interventions based on understanding, or at as best as we know to date, of the natural disturbances that would have happened in a given forest in the past. For example, Whistler is using forest management to reduce fire risk as the area gets warmer and drier. They are reducing the number of trees, or reducing tree limbs, so fires don’t candle or spread towards the community. Or they might be planting or expanding deciduous species to provide an effective fire break—in general, they don’t burn as quickly or as intensely as evergreens.

Will lighter and more selective harvesting, such as what we see in community managed forests, reduce risk?

Unfortunately, British Columbia’s community forests are generally too small and not given enough tools to have an impact on fire risk; the province should really give communities that have community forests—such as those in Revelstoke and Burns Lake—control over larger areas adjacent to their communities. A lot of these towns are managing their forest for fire because they live at the edge of the community fire interface, and they need more tools to be able to do that effectively.

How have this season’s fires affected the province’s indigenous communities?

The majority of the province’s indigenous communities are in or adjacent to forest, so they are directly affected, but also traditionally they made their livelihoods through the forests. We need to support self determination and work with them to experiment and learn from their traditional knowledge.

How did indigenous people use fire to their benefit?

Many indigenous people used to manage their forests by using fire as tool. Some of it was natural and some of it was managed by indigenous people, to reduce the risk of having catastrophic burns. They did it for protection of their community, for propagating wildlife plants, forage for animals and humans, medicines, and stimulate underground reproductive seeds and plants like potatoes—many species need fire to germinate, establish and reproduce.

If you could offer one piece of advice to provincial leaders, as we head into a new era of progressively hotter and drier summers, what would it be?

To confront this difficult future, really we need to look to the past. We have significantly lost the indigenous knowledge in this province with respect to fire; we need to figure out how to use fire as an effective tool as we look to the future. Accessing traditional indigenous knowledge—so long as we don’t abuse it—and supporting indigenous communities to lead should be a big part of that.

Photo credit: Province of British Columbia Flickr

Today, November 29, is Giving Tuesday—a global day of generosity intended as an altruistic antidote to the shopping circus of Black Friday.

Millions of Canadians will spend a portion of today volunteering their time, or donating to an organization they believe in.

If you’re one of them, then bravo! Donors like you really do make our world go round. To underscore the point, we’ve made the short video, above, to express our gratitude to all of our past, present, and future supporters.

We’re proud to be making a real difference—in rural resource communities like Prince Rupert, in the streets of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, in the economically depressed regions of Nova Scotia, and elsewhere.

If you are participating in Giving Tuesday, we do hope you choose to send a little love our way. If you do, please be sure to tag our twitter account @ecotrustcanada and #GivingTuesdayCA — or let us know by tagging our Facebook page!

Click below to donate, and thank you in advance for helping us write our next chapter!

 

 

Very few residents in and around Clayoquot Sound give their communities a good rating when it comes to sustainability. That's the finding of a survey of local residents conducted by McAllister Opinion Research and commissioned by Ecotrust Canada.



Clayoquot Community Survey
Ecotrust Canada commissioned McAllister Opinion Research to conduct a survey of Clayoquot Sound-Pacific Rim residents in late 2008/early 2009. The main purpose of the research is to gain a richer understanding of local communities to better inform our efforts and outreach in the region. The random sample survey of 303  residents has a margin of error of ±5.1%, 19 times out of 20.  Click here to read about the survey’s methodology.


Clayoquot Communities Map
Click to enlarge map.


 


Multimedia
Click to enlarge graphs.





Survey Contents
Click the links to read other details and results.


About 68 percent of Clayoquot Sound residents claim they are familiar, to some degree, with the concept of sustainability. When asked to rate the sustainability of their own community after first being given the description of sustainability as "…development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs," responses were overwhelmingly poor.

Across the region, only three percent of residents think that the level of sustainability in their communities is excellent and only 14 percent rate it as good. Respondents are most likely (40 percent) to rate their own communities as having “OK” levels of sustainability, but nearly 40 percent rate it negatively.

Ucluelet residents are the most likely to say that the sustainability of their community is either excellent or good (21 percent). In First Nations communities, including Ahousat, Itatsoo, Hot Springs Cove, Esowista and Opitsat, less than one in ten view it as excellent or good.

The random sample survey of 303 residents has a margin of error of 5.1 percent, 19 times out of 20. Interviews were conducted with residents in Tofino, Ucluelet, Ahousat, Itatsoo, Hot Springs Cove, Esowista and Opitsat. The survey was conducted between December 2008 and March 2009.

Ecotrust Canada is releasing results of the survey, which focuses on the region's sustainability and liveability, in a ten-part series of articles and blog postings over the next several weeks. Ecotrust Canada's purpose is to build the conservation economy in BC's coastal bioregion. The organization has offices in Tofino and Vancouver, and has been working in Clayoquot Sound for more than a decade.

In the survey, Clayoquot residents were also asked to rate the importance of three different aspects of sustainability. Environmental health (61 percent) is rated as the most important, followed by social and cultural well-being (43 percent) and economic security (38 percent).  Overall, a majority think that each aspect of sustainability is very important.

When it comes to performance on the three core elements of sustainability – environmental, social and economic – a minority believe their community is doing a good job.  Communities are most likely to be seen as doing a good job on social and cultural well-being (29 percent rate it as very good or good), followed by environmental health (26 percent). Communities, however, are least likely to be rated as doing a good job in terms of long-term economic security (17 percent).

Tofino is most likely to be rated by its residents as doing a good job socially and culturally: 31 percent of residents rate this aspect of sustainability as good or very good. Ucluelet is most likely to be rated by its residents as doing a good job on environmental health (32 percent rate it as very good or good).

In Ahousat, social and cultural well-being (34 percent very good/good) is rated highest, followed by environmental health (21 percent) and economic security (11 percent).

The majority of residents of Clayoquot Sound appear to connect the dots between environmental sustainability and a healthy local economy. Sixty-one percent believe that environmentally sustainable companies are likely to be profitable over the long run. A further 58 percent believe that stricter protection of natural ecosystems will benefit the local economy. Only 14 percent disagree with these statements.

Nearly half (49 percent) of Clayoquot residents disagree that most large resource companies in the region are environmentally and socially responsible.  Tofino residents (57 percent) are the most likely to rate large companies in the region poor in terms of environmental and social responsibility followed by Ucluelet residents (53 percent), Ahousat (34 percent) and other First Nations (27 percent). Across all communities, those residents with more education are significantly more likely to link environmental protection with local economic benefit, and sustainability with profit potential.

Ecotrust Canada commissioned the Clayoquot Community Survey to gain a richer understanding of the concerns and issues of local communities regarding the region's sustainable development. Next week, Ecotrust Canada will be releasing results about how local residents rate the importance and sustainability of ocean resources in and around Clayoquot Sound.

Please comment on the survey findings. See the comment box below.

 

Despite the natural beauty and resource abundance of Clayoquot Sound, concerns about environmental degradation are rife among local residents, according to a survey conducted by McAllister Opinion Research and commissioned by Ecotrust Canada.



Clayoquot Community Survey
Ecotrust Canada commissioned McAllister Opinion Research to conduct a survey of Clayoquot Sound-Pacific Rim residents in late 2008/early 2009. The main purpose of the research is to gain a richer understanding of local communities to better inform our efforts and outreach in the region. The random sample survey of 303  residents has a margin of error of ±5.1%, 19 times out of 20.  Click here to read about the survey’s methodology.


Clayoquot Communities Map
Click to enlarge map.


 


Multimedia
Click to enlarge graphs.



Survey Contents
Click the links to read other details and results.


When it comes to the environment, residents of Clayoquot Sound and surrounding communities worry most about the resources on which they depend to make a living. Residents say they are the most concerned about the depletion of ocean fish stocks (88 percent are very concerned), followed by loss or extinction of terrestrial wildlife (78 percent) as well as clear-cutting of forests (78 percent).

The majority are also very concerned about natural resource depletion (76 percent), water pollution (74 percent), overconsumption and waste (71 percent), toxic chemicals (66 percent), salmon farming (65 percent), global warming (65 percent) and air pollution (57 percent).

The random sample survey of 303 residents has a margin of error of 5.1 percent, 19 times out of 20. Interviews were conducted with residents in Tofino, Ucluelet, Ahousat, Itatsoo, Hot Springs Cove, Esowista and Opitsat. The survey was conducted between December 2008 and March 2009.

Ecotrust Canada is releasing results of the survey, which focuses on the region's sustainability and liveability, in a ten-part series of articles and blog postings over the next several weeks. Ecotrust Canada's purpose is to build the conservation economy in BC's coastal bioregion. The organization has offices in Tofino and Vancouver, and has been working in Clayoquot Sound for more than a decade.

According to the Ecotrust/McAllister survey, First Nations on average are more concerned than Tofino/Ucluelet residents about specific issues like wildlife, clear-cutting of forests, natural resource depletion, global warming, water pollution, air pollution and salmon farming. Tofino/Ucluelet residents tended to express greater concern about toxic chemicals, over consumption and waste. However, all residents express equally high levels of concern about depletion of ocean fish stocks, a resource on which many in the region base their livelihood.

Although residents with university or college education tend to express greater concern than those with high school or less education, interestingly First Nation residents express significantly more concern than other residents across all educational groups, especially when it comes to loss of wildlife, global warming, clear-cutting and salmon farming.

Young adults under age 35 are the most concerned of all age groups about the clear-cutting of forests. They are also just as concerned as those aged 35-54 about depletion of ocean fish stocks, global warming and water pollution. Interestingly, residents aged 55 and up expressed the least concern about a variety of environmental issues with the exception of depletion of ocean fish stocks and global warming. When it comes to these issues they are just as concerned as younger generations.

Clayoquot residents did not identify global warming as a major concern. That is, perhaps, because there is some confusion about the causes of climate change. When asked if they could identify the primary cause of global warming from a list of factors, only 35 percent of residents of Clayoquot Sound and surrounding communities correctly identified carbon dioxide emissions. Other answers included deforestation (2 percent), humans in general (6 percent) and a combination of these two (13 percent). Eleven percent of respondents admitted to not knowing the cause of global warming.

Those living in Tofino are the most likely to get this question correct (43 percent), closely followed by Ucluelet residents (40 percent). Only sixteen percent of all First Nations communities correctly say carbon dioxide emissions are the primary cause of global warming and Ahousat residents (20 percent) are the most likely to admit to not knowing.

Ecotrust Canada commissioned the Clayoquot Community Survey to gain a richer understanding of the concerns and issues of local communities regarding the region's sustainable development. Next week, Ecotrust Canada will be releasing results how local residents rate the sustainability of their respective communities in and around Clayoquot Sound.

Please comment on the survey findings. See the comment box below.

 

A community survey of Clayoquot Sound conducted by McAllister Opinion Research and commissioned by Ecotrust Canada found that concerns about over-development, housing, affordability and the environment were top of mind for residents. Local communities are beset by challenges typical of rural areas, but also unique to resort-municipalities facing rapid and wide-scale development.



Clayoquot Community Survey
Ecotrust Canada commissioned McAllister Opinion Research to conduct a survey of Clayoquot Sound-Pacific Rim residents in late 2008/early 2009. The main purpose of the research is to gain a richer understanding of local communities to better inform our efforts and outreach in the region. The random sample survey of 303  residents has a margin of error of ±5.1%, 19 times out of 20.  Click here to read about the survey’s methodology.


Clayoquot Communities Map
Click to enlarge map.


 


Multimedia
Click to enlarge graphs.



Survey Contents
Click the links to read other details and results.


When asked to name what concerns them most about the future of the Clayoquot Sound-Pacific Rim region 42 percent of residents mention issues related to over-development, including the number of tourists. Thirty-two percent identified social issues, affordability, and housing as their biggest concerns. Some 29 percent of the population mentioned environmental degradation and natural resource depletion as a top concern.

The random sample survey of 303 residents has a margin of error of 5.1 percent, 19 times out of 20. Interviews were conducted with residents in Tofino, Ucluelet, Ahousat and other First Nations communities including Itatsoo, Hot Springs Cove, Esowista and Opitsat. The survey was conducted between December 2008 and March 2009.

Ecotrust Canada is releasing results of the survey, which focuses on the region's sustainability and liveability, in a ten-part series of articles and blog postings over the next several weeks. Ecotrust Canada's purpose is to build the conservation economy in BC's coastal bioregion. The organization has offices in Tofino and Vancouver, and has been working in Clayoquot Sound for more than a decade.

According to the Clayoquot Community Survey, residents of Ucluelet (56 percent) are more likely than those in other communities to mention over-development and too many people as their top concern. Thirty-nine percent of those from Tofino mention development as the biggest issue, whereas 22 percent of Ahousat residents and 31 percent of residents in other First Nations communities also share this opinion.

Ucluelet residents (24 percent) are also more likely than those in all other communities to mention lack of amenities or infrastructure. This is a concern for 14 percent of those from Tofino, 18 percent of residents in other First Nations (Hot Springs Cove, Opitsat, Esowista and Itatsoo), and only one percent of Ahousat residents. Ucluelet residents also mention lack of jobs or unemployment (22 percent) more than other communities.

Ahousat residents (44 percent) are by far the most concerned about specific environmental issues such as problems with salmon farming, the depletion of salmon and other fish stocks, as well as ocean habitat loss. Ahousat residents (34 percent) are also far more likely to mention deforestation than other First Nations (19 percent), Tofino (18 percent), or Ucluelet (8 percent) residents.  

The environmental consequences of mining are another top-of-mind concern that are far more salient in Ahousat (21 percent) than in Tofino (14 percent) and Ucluelet (4 percent).  Tofino residents, on the other hand, are most concerned about general environmental issues (36 percent) compared to residents in other Clayoquot communities.

When asked to rate a list of nine specific community concerns, majorities in all communities are very concerned about affordable housing (72 percent), closely followed by protecting the environment (71 percent) and the cost of living (67 percent).

Across the region, 56 percent of citizens are very concerned about alcohol and drug abuse.  However, among Ahousat residents, drug and alcohol abuse is a top issue, with significantly more people (72 percent) saying they are very concerned about it than in Ucluelet (57 percent), Tofino (52 percent) and other First Nations communities (51 percent). Ahousat residents  (69 percent) were also more than twice as likely to identify crime as a top concern compared to the regional average (28 percent).

Ecotrust Canada commissioned the Clayoquot Community Survey to gain a richer understanding of the concerns and issues of local communities regarding the region's sustainable development. Next week, Ecotrust Canada will be releasing results on attitudes toward the environment and global warming among residents of Clayoquot Sound.

Please comment on the survey findings. See the comment box below.

 

Most residents of Clayoquot Sound love the area's natural beauty and small-town atmosphere and see themselves living here for the long-term. However, quality of life varies significantly between Aboriginal communities and Ucluelet/Tofino and all residents generally rate economic and educational opportunities poorly.



Clayoquot Community Survey
Ecotrust Canada commissioned McAllister Opinion Research to conduct a survey of Clayoquot Sound-Pacific Rim residents in late 2008/early 2009. The main purpose of the research is to gain a richer understanding of local communities to better inform our efforts and outreach in the region. The random sample survey of 303  residents has a margin of error of ±5.1%, 19 times out of 20.  Click here to read about the survey’s methodology.


Clayoquot Communities Map
Click to enlarge map.


 


Multimedia
Click to enlarge graphs.



Survey Contents
Click the links to read other details and results.


That is the finding of a new study conducted by McAllister Opinion Research and commissioned by Ecotrust Canada, an organization working to build the conservation economy in BC's coastal bioregion. The organization has an office in Tofino and Vancouver, and has been working in Clayoquot Sound for more than a decade.

The Clayoquot Community Survey asked residents to rate specific aspects of their communities as excellent, good, average, not great or poor. Overall, three out of four residents reported that their quality of life is excellent (30 percent) or good (46 percent).

Tofino residents scored the highest (88 percent) followed by Ucluelet (80 percent). In contrast, First Nations were remarkably less satisfied with their overall quality of life. Only 47 percent of Ahousat residents and 49 percent of other First Nation communities, including Hot Springs Cove, Esowista, Opitsat and Itatsoo gave their quality of life a positive rating.  

The random sample survey of 303 residents has a margin of error of 5.1 percent, 19 times out of 20. Interviews were conducted with residents in Tofino, Ucluelet, Ahousat, Itatsoo, Hot Springs Cove, Esowista and Opitsat. The survey was conducted between December 2008 and March 2009.

Ecotrust Canada is releasing results of the survey, which focuses on the region's sustainability and liveability, in a ten-part series of articles and blog postings over the next several weeks. Ecotrust Canada's purpose is to build the conservation economy in BC's coastal bioregion. The organization has offices in Tofino and Vancouver, and has been working in Clayoquot Sound for more than a decade.

According to the Ecotrust/McAllister survey, First Nations women are far more likely to rate their quality of life as good or excellent (61 percent) than are First Nations men (42 percent) and having a college or university education and/or being retired is also highly correlated with a positive rating for quality of life.

Many residents (68 percent) rate their social lives within the region as positive (that is, good or excellent). Ahousat (75 percent) and Tofino (76 percent) residents are the most likely to rate social life positively compared to other First Nations communities outside of Ahousat (59 percent) and those residents of Ucluelet (58 percent). Throughout Clayoquot, adults under 25 and women 55 years and up, represent the two most likely groups to rate their social lives in positive terms.

The majority of residents (60 percent) report that they feel connected to their community, which along with quality of life, can be taken as a proxy for overall happiness.  

When it comes to economic opportunities, local government and social services, however, many residents of Clayoquot Sound are not so satisfied.

Only one in four residents rate jobs and economic opportunities positively. Tofino residents (42 percent) rated their economic prospects significantly better than Ucluelet and Ahousat (both 13 percent) and other First Nations (14 percent).

Twenty-four percent of all residents rate their local community government positively. Residents of Ucluelet (40 percent) are most likely to rate local government as excellent or good, whereas fewer than half of that number share this view in Tofino (19 percent), Ahousat (14 percent) or other First Nation communities (9 percent).  

Health care services are rated as excellent or good by only 22 percent of all residents.  Ahousat residents gave the best rating of local health care services, with 38 percent rating them positively, followed by Tofino with 25 percent.

Only one in five residents rate the quality of local schools positively, with parents of children aged 12 or younger giving the worst ratings. Twenty-eight percent of Ahousat, 30 percent of other First Nations, and 23 percent of Ucluelet residents rate schools as good or excellent compared to only 12 percent of those living in Tofino.

Approximately one third (36 percent) of all residents believe that 10 years from now, quality of life will be better in their community than it is today. Another one third (33 percent) believe that quality of life is better in their community today than it was 10 years ago. This is particularly true of those living in Ahousat: 33 percent believe that the quality of life is better today and 42 percent believe that it will be even better in a decade.  

Ecotrust Canada commissioned the Clayoquot Community Survey to gain a richer understanding of the concerns and issues of local communities regarding the region's sustainable development. Next week, Ecotrust Canada will be releasing results on the most important concerns of local communities. The organization will be releasing the results of its survey over the next several weeks.

Please comment on the survey findings. See the comment box below.

 

A new study of Clayoquot Sound-Pacific Rim communities reveals that First Nations are the most rooted residents within the region although the majority of people, regardless of native status, intend to reside here for the long term.



Clayoquot Community Survey
Ecotrust Canada commissioned McAllister Opinion Research to conduct a survey of Clayoquot Sound-Pacific Rim residents in late 2008/early 2009. The main purpose of the research is to gain a richer understanding of local communities to better inform our efforts and outreach in the region. The random sample survey of 303  residents has a margin of error of ±5.1%, 19 times out of 20.  Click here to read about the survey’s methodology.


Clayoquot Communities Map
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Survey Contents
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According to a survey conducted by McAllister Opinion Research and commissioned by Ecotrust Canada, 71 percent of Ahousat and 62 percent of residents in other First Nation communities have lived in the region their entire lives. That contrasts with only 13 percent in Tofino and 14 percent in Ucluelet.

The random sample survey of 303 residents has a margin of error of 5.1 percent, 19 times out of 20. Interviews were conducted with residents in Tofino, Ucluelet, Ahousat and other First Nation communities including Itatsoo, Hot Springs Cove, Esowista and Opitsat. The survey was conducted between December 2008 and March 2009.

Ecotrust Canada will be releasing results of the survey, which focuses on the region's sustainability and liveability, in a ten-part series of articles and blog postings over the next several weeks. Ecotrust Canada's purpose is to build the conservation economy in BC's coastal bioregion. The organization has offices in Tofino and Vancouver, and has been working in Clayoquot Sound for more than a decade.

The first part in the series focuses on the demographics and roots of the communities on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. The survey found that, overall, 42 percent of Clayoquot Sound residents have lived in the area their entire lives—or for at least 20 years. Thirty-two percent have lived in the region between six and 20 years, and 25 percent of residents have lived in the region for no more than five years.

The survey also found that a substantial number of both native and non-native residents intend to remain in the area for the long term (86 and 72 percent, respectively). However, those First Nations who did not attend university indicated a greater likelihood to remain living in the area in the next ten years compared to non-First Nations with similar educational levels.

Women are far more likely to move away from the West Coast of Vancouver Island. According to the survey, 29 percent of women expect to live outside of the Clayoquot region within 10 years time, compared to 16 percent of men. Similarly, 31 percent of young people under 34 years of age in the region as a whole and 35 percent of older adults (55+) in Ucluelet—more than in any other community—say they plan to move out of the region in 10 years time.  

Of those residents who say that they will move from the area, 39 percent do not provide a reason. Of those who do give a reason, 12 percent mention family as the primary motivating factor, followed by 11 percent who say education, another 11 percent who mention employment, and 10 percent who are concerned about the affordability of living within Clayoquot Sound. Among First Nations—especially women—the top reason for leaving is the pursuit of better education opportunities.

Top Ten List

When asked to name what they like best about living in the Clayoquot Sound-Pacific Rim area, 65 percent of residents mention the outdoors and the natural beauty of the region. Forty-six percent say the people and the small-town atmosphere, whereas 17 percent say they enjoy the peace and quiet.

Residents of Tofino (85 percent) are more likely than those in other communities to mention the outdoors as the main reason they like living in Clayoquot Sound. They are also more likely to mention people, community, or small town living (64 percent).

Ahousat residents are the most likely to mention family and friends (33 percent), fishing, hunting, or seafood (20 percent), as well as the local wildlife (10 percent).

Interestingly, 49 percent of Ucluelet respondents did not say what they like best about living in the Clayoquot-Pacific Rim region and seventeen percent of non-Ahousat First Nations did not answer this question either. This is compared with only three percent of Tofino respondents and only one percent of all Ahousat respondents.

Ecotrust Canada commissioned the Clayoquot Community Survey to gain a richer understanding of the concerns and issues of local communities regarding the region's sustainable development. Next week, Ecotrust Canada will be releasing results on quality of life within the communities of Clayoquot Sound.

Please comment on the survey findings. See the comment box below.