Summerland near top of B.C. study

A comparison of B.C. communities puts Summerland near the top in terms of several socio-economic factors.

A comparison of B.C. communities puts Summerland near the top in terms of several socio-economic factors.

The study of 77 communities, prepared by B.C. Stats, places Summerland’s overall socio-economic index ranking second in the province, just behind West Vancouver-Bowen Island.

In several of the individual categories, Summerland was ahead of all communities.

The Regional Socio-Economic Index place Summerland in second place.

The indicators in the study were the Index of Human Economic Hardship, the Index of Crime, the Index of Health Problems and the Index of Education Concerns. Two other indicators, Children at Risk and Youth at Risk, were also included.

The economic hardship category examined the number of those receiving economic assistance.

The crime index examined property crimes, violent crimes and other criminal activity.

The health index looked at numerous physical and mental health factors including infant mortality, life expectancy at birth and teen pregnancy rates, as well as suicide and homicide statistics.

The education figures examined graduation rates and post-secondary education, as well as achievement of those within the school system.

“When viewed together, these indices provide a summary measure of the relative successes and challenges across all regions of the province,” the study stated. “The indices are intended only to flag regions that may be experiencing higher levels of socio-economic stress relative to neighbouring areas. By themselves they don’t tell us why a particular community or region is doing poorly or well, but rather form a necessary first step in determining the causal factors underlying the observed conditions.”

Arlene Fenrich, president of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce, said the report can help to promote the community.

“We hope investors and business owners will take note of these facts about our community,” she said. “We recognize how important measurements of this kind are when business owners are considering opening a new establishment or relocating a business and employees to a new community.”

Christine Petkau, manager of the chamber, said the report and Summerland’s standing can be used to help promote the community.

“These are the kinds of things that attract people to the community,” she said.

Despite the positive report, the downtown businesses have been struggling in recent years and there are still vacant buildings along Main Street and Victoria Road.

“The fact that we have some gaps on Main Street is problematic,” Petkau said.

She added that the quality of life factors in the report and the idyllic setting will help to bring people to the community.

“We are the town authors in the last 100 years have created,” she said.

While the study paints a positive picture of Summerland, Mayor Janice Perrino said it does not show all aspects of the community.

“It does not tell our true economic state,” she said. “Our downtown has struggled over the years. We are still lacking horribly in affordable housing.”

In addition, she said it is a struggle for the municipality to take on various infrastructure projects because of the costs involved.

She  added that report should serve as an encouragement to the community, since it identifies some of Summerland’s strengths.

“We can take a look at what we’re doing well and how to maintain it,” she said. “We have to make sure we are on the path of securing a good, healthy long-term future.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Penticton man who rescued family from fire says it’s him who needed rescuing

Months after saving Linda Pakfec and her family from a burning building, Gord Portman says he’s clean

‘We have your grandson’ – Princeton seniors scammed out of thousands of dollars

Two elderly Princeton men are saying they were robbed of thousands of… Continue reading

VIDEO: Active graduate receives Summerland Secondary School’s top honour

Devyn Slade was presented with the Verrier Award and Matsu Memorial Scholarship

Four people rescued after floating past Penticton’s Skaha Bridge

Elevated water levels prompts safety message from local fire department

Bags of dog feces donated to Princeton charity thrift store

A Princeton Crisis Assistance Centre volunteer was made almost physically ill after… Continue reading

All community COVID-19 outbreaks declared over in B.C.

Abbotsford manufacturer cleared by Dr. Bonnie Henry

B.C. First Nations vow to keep fighting after Trans Mountain pipeline appeal denied

Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Coldwater Indian Band made the application

Noose graffiti not tolerated by Vernon resident

Woman, son paint over hateful image painted on neighbourhood fence

‘Queue jumpers’ not welcome in B.C. as COVID-19 U.S. cases rise: Horgan

Premier Horgan said he’s heard concerns that Americans have stopped at Vancouver hotels instead of heading to their destination

HERGOTT: The right to resist unlawful arrest

Paul Hergott is a personal injury lawyer based in West Kelowna

Finale of seven-week food drive arrives at FreshCo Kelowna

The new grocery store has partnered with the organization for a food drive

US officer resigns after photos, connected to death of black man in 2019, surface

Elijah McClain died, last summer, after police placed him in a chokehold

‘We need to re-think our systems’: Kelowna mayor on RCMP Southeast Division statement

The RCMP held a news conference on Thursday, July 2 to address concerns in the force

Most Read