Rising Economy Podcast Explores Why Childcare Needs to Be an Economic Priority

“For every dollar spent on early childhood education programs, the economy gets about $6 worth of economic benefits down the line,” according to a 2017 Conference Board of Canada report.

What such huge economic benefits, why are there still extreme shortages for parents trying to find accessible, affordable and well-funded childcare in Greater Victoria and across Canada?

In our newest Rising Economy Podcast, we talk to childcare providers and experts about the socio-economic importance of early childcare education, why childcare providers remain underpaid, how $10-a-day childcare has impacted the system and what changes are vital to ensure access to quality, affordable childcare in Greater Victoria.

Hosted by Kerry Slavens of South Island Prosperity Partnership, our panel includes:

  • Meagan Brame | Director | Saxe Point Daycare
  • Wendy Lowe | Executive Director | James Bay Child Care Society
  • Eric Swanson | Principal | Third Space Planning

W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council and B.C. Explore New Paths for Reconciliation

In a landmark move towards reconciliation, the W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council and the Province are signing a letter of understanding (LOU) to work together on critical issues identified by the W̱SÁNEĆ communities.

The LOU focuses on various priority areas, including Douglas Treaty Rights recognition, land acquisition, education, wildlife harvesting and revenue sharing. As well as fostering relations with local entities such as BC Ferries and the Royal BC Museum, the agreement also provides scope for discussions with the federal government, exploring the possibility of a tripartite reconciliation agreement.

The W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council, representing the interests of Tsartlip and Tseycum First Nations, is hopeful this milestone will further enhance respect for and recognition of their rights and title.

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Province Funds Youth in Manufacturing Initiative

Secondary school students and recent graduates in B.C. will soon have access to short-term, paid work placements at local manufacturers through a new program designed to help build a future workforce.

As part of the Future Ready Action Plan, the Province is providing $3 million to the Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium (EMC) to deliver the new Youth in Manufacturing Initiative. Starting in fall 2023, this initiative will provide placements for as many as 500 B.C. youth aged 16 to 21.

In addition to paid work experience and industry-recognized training, youth will be able to receive credits toward secondary-school graduation and apprenticeship certification.

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Housing Starts Up Marginally in Greater Victoria for First Quarter

The first quarter of 2023 saw a slight increase in housing starts in Greater Victoria compared to the same period last year, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

This year, 1,179 homes were started, up from 1,150 in the first four months of 2022. However, April experienced a significant dip, with only 91 starts compared to 330 in April 2022.

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What are we reading?

How Young Voices Transform City Planning

The 2023 article How listening to kids leads to better urban design on HappyCities.com, by Charles Montgomery and Emma Avery, chronicles how the cities of Rotterdam and New Westminster are reshaping their urban landscapes by tapping into the ideas of their youngest residents. These two cities are not only discovering innovative urban solutions but also nurturing community trust and engagement.

According to the article, the City of Rotterdam studied how to increase the community's walking rates to improve overall health. After engaging the community and younger residents through a photography workshop, they learned that youth desired indoor spaces for socializing rather than new parks. Instead of imposing parklets as initially planned, the City responded to the community's needs by securing an indoor space.

Similarly, a young student from New Westminster took a lead role in improving their school's street safety. Recognizing that the street was unsafe for kids biking to school, she engaged her local government. Her advocacy sparked discussions between students, parents, teachers and City staff, leading to a student art competition to design new painted curb bump-outs to slow traffic.

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Canada's April Consumer Price Index Marks a Yearly Jump

The cost of living in Canada took a notable leap in April, as the Consumer Price Index (CPI) registered a year-over-year increase of 4.4%, according to the BC Real Estate Association, resulting in a 6% annualized rate.

Reasons for the rise include a:

  • 6.3% surge in gasoline prices
  • 4.9% hike in shelter costs, fueled by soaring mortgage interest costs and higher rents
  • 9.1% increase in grocery prices.

Market analysts predict the Bank of Canada will maintain its overnight rate at 4.5% during the June 7 meeting. However, with signs of a robust labour market and early indications of a housing market rebound, the Bank of Canada continues to grapple with inflationary pressures.

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SIPP's Prosperity Pulse: Tourism

Each week we showcase the economic markers most relevant to Greater Victoria Region.

Tourism Statistics - Greater Victoria




Average Occupancy




BC Ferries Passengers




Victoria International Airport




Source: Chemistry Consulting Group

Did You Know?

  • Victoria has the oldest Chinatown in Canada. Celebrate this historic community during Asian Heritage Month at Celebrating Chinatown on May 28. This exciting event promises something for everyone including kung-fu demonstrations, dance, music, arts and crafts. - Victoria Chinatown Museum

News from the SIPP Ecosystem


Provincial Funding Supports a More Competitive, Modernized Marine Sector in B.C.

The B.C. Maritime Industries Strategy, announced today as part of the StrongerBC Economic Action Plan, will chart the course for a more competitive, modernized marine sector with reduced carbon emissions and more highly skilled jobs. As much as $25M will be invested in new, modernized infrastructure and assets to support shipyards to meet growing market demand and attract more investment to B.C.

The Province provided the funding to the Association of British Columbia Marine Industries (ABCMI) to deliver the new B.C. Maritime Industries Infrastructure Modernization and Expansion Grant Program. B.C. companies can apply for grant funding on the ABCMI website. 

“The B.C. Maritime Industries Strategy will provide opportunities to make B.C.’s ocean and marine sector more climate-focused and globally competitive,” says Emilie de Rosenroll, Group CEO of South Island Prosperity Partnership which leads COAST, Pacific Canada’s hub for the sustainable blue economy. “This is a made-in-B.C. strategy to amplify our talent, technology and sustainability for the next-generation maritime industry.”

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At a Glance

📈 Join governments, industry, Indigenous businesses, economic development corporations and all those creating value in the emerging $100B Indigenous economy at the Indigenomics conference. - Indigenomics

🍽️ VIATEC Food Bank Challenge Launches Early in Response to Devastating Fire that Wipes Out Food Bank's Stockpile - VIATEC

🙂 Saanich tops Island communities on list of happiest cities - Saanich News

🎟️ Participate in Discover Tectoria, an exposition of more than 75 Greater Victoria tech companies, research projects, interactive displays and community partners. Don't forget to visit the COAST booth and check out the ocean tech companies! VIATEC

🌱 How Victoria, B.C. Became a Sustainable Travel Hotspot - VOGUE

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