Top 10 Recapping 2022

Food security, affordable housing, allyship and incomes were the focus in advancing the Enough for All strategy

20 December 2022

What a year it has been! With affordability and inflation top of mind for many, Vibrant Communities Calgary continued advocacy, education and mobilization efforts to advance the Enough for All strategy. We've compiled the Top 10 highlights of the past year.

1. Calgary’s new living wage

VCC in collaboration with the Alberta Living Wage Network published a new living wage for Calgary in November. $22.40 per hour is now what it takes to have a modest standard of living in our city. The increase to the living wage has presented a number of opportunities with media and local businesses to discuss why a living wage is an important measure that impacts the lives of Calgarians.

2. The State of Calgary's Emergency Food Assistance System

VCC has been examining the emergency food assistance system since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 when Calgary saw heightened demand for food assistance and an influx of new providers working to fill the need. We released the State of Calgary’s Emergency Food Assistance System, exploring the progress of Calgary’s emergency food assistance system and new challenges in 2022. We also published Perspectives on food security from experts studying and supporting those experiencing food insecurity.

3. Connecting to the land, to community, and to our learning journeys in Truth and Reconciliation

In August 2022, VCC together with the Enough for All Indigenous Advisory Committee and the Starlight Family at Brown Bear Woman Cultural Centre facilitated a full day of conversations about Tsuut’ina history, truth, and what progress toward reconciliation looks like. Dozens of attendees committed to building better relationships. Participants were asked to reflect on three questions about Goal 3 of the Enough for All strategy. Read the key themes.

4. Conversations with the community

On October 17 – the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty – eight community conversations were hosted by Poverty Talks! alongside the City of Calgary’s community social work team and VCC staff. The discussions on topics like inflation’s impacts and food security were attended by more than 150 people.

5. Indigenous Women’s Circle

Vibrant Communities Calgary convened five local Indigenous women to reflect on what a future Calgary would look like if Indigenous People are co-creators of Calgary's future without poverty. The women represented different generations and experiences from nations across Canada.

6. Allyship tools and resources

VCC continued our commitment to advance the knowledge and practice of Allyship. In 2022, we compiled tools and resources to help our Champions, staff, leadership and the community to advance the work of anti-oppression and anti-racism.

7. Social Policy Collaborative

Vibrant Communities Calgary co-chairs the Social Policy Collaborative (SPC), a group of community organizations committed to working together to inform the development and implementation of public policy that improves the economic and social wellbeing of Albertans. In 2022, the SPC advocated for policy change for affordable housing and penned an op-ed asking why we penalize people who work while on income support.

8. A snapshot of poverty in Calgary

In January VCC released its 2021 Poverty Snapshot to understand how people experience poverty and what policy makers can do to help. However, we grappled with the Canadian Income Survey being two years behind and the need to reflect the context of the pandemic. We broadened the research to give us a clearer picture of where we are, where we’re headed, and how we can help build a just recovery.

9. Exploring options for a basic income

In June, policy and research specialist Lee Stevens co-authored a study saying that Canada is closer than ever to a workable guaranteed basic income. Here are the top 5 things to know about the study. Lee also had a chance to speak out about how enforcement wasn’t the only solution to spikes in social disorder and how we need to examine the opioid crisis, affordable housing and holes in support systems. Read Lee Steven’s July op-ed discussing the issues at play

10. Getting the word out

Working to educate, advocate and mobilize continued to be a focus for VCC and our partners in 2022. VCC released 11 podcast episodes with topics ranging from the role of business in society to social innovation. We also ran awareness campaigns during End Poverty Month to share facts about how poverty affects our communities.

Working to ensure those in our city that live in poverty are supported and represented is a collective effort which involves many organizations, collaboratives and Champions. We thank everyone for your continued support and we’re excited to continue this work in 2023.