Over 30 years of research in response to community needs.
Below is a timeline of VIPIRG's work since 1988. We use the power of research to draw attention to a community-identified need. We do our research with the hope of changing public policy in order to make life better for UVic students and residents of Victoria.
We also connect groups that don’t have research capacity with student researchers and VIPIRG staff who can help get the work done. VIPIRG hires 7 UVic students every year.
VIPIRG hosted two successful workshops on student housing.
To help students take charge of their finances, VIPIRG hosted a workshop on financial literacy with speakers from RBC Shelbourne, and a talk on investing in Bitcoin.
Our research report showed that Retail, food service, and hospitality workers face precarious working conditions: They face job instability and insecurity; earn low wages; often don’t receive benefits like paid sick days, vacation, or health benefits; are typically not unionized; have minimal control over their work conditions; and face poor treatment by their employers.
We organized a conference featuring NY Times best selling author, Janet Mock.
The research in this report showed that Victoria does not have a low-income housing market. This research was conducted to understand the low-income end of the market housing spectrum in Victoria.
The low end of the market housing spectrum in Victoria is poorly understood. Unlike in Vancouver, where the Carnegie Community Action Project has been producing an annual report on the housing crisis, no similar report exists in Victoria. The data presented here attempts to respond to this need and to help community-based organizing efforts around housing issues.
This study set out to explore the social costs of policing poverty by documenting the experiences and perspectives of members of the Victoria street community with regards to policing in Victoria, BC. Click to read the executive summary and full report.
Cuts to health services and income supports for people living in poverty, including those with disabilities involving mental health and illicit drug use, have contributed to a situation where police now act as de facto “first responders” to health-related issues on city streets. The costs of policing poverty are high, and are not limited to the financial costs of spending more on approaches that do not work. Research from Toronto and Vancouver.
VIPIRG released a report on poverty on the 900-block of Pandora Avenue. The block serves as a gathering place for many street-involved residents of Victoria. It is also one of the most controversial areas within the City. The idea for the Peoples’ Plan for Pandora emerged from community concerns that many of the city’s most vulnerable residents, who spend much of their time in an under-serviced area, were completely excluded from decisions that could deeply impact their lives.
The purpose of the Burnside Gorge Health Assessment (BGHA) was to capture a “snapshot” of the overall health and well-being of individuals visiting the Burnside Family Medical Clinic. The information gathered can be used to develop a deeper understanding of health and well-being in the neighbourhood, while serving as baseline data to analyze changes as the community grows. The findings will be disseminated to community groups, agencies, service providers and policymakers in order to enrich their efforts to meet the needs of the diverse populations they serve.
VIPIRG and the University of Victoria Sustainability Project (UVSP) undertook a large, year long project to measure the sustainability of our university. The tool being used for this project is the Campus Sustainability Assessment Framework (CSAF). The CSAF is a tool designed to assess indicators of university sustainability and provide a context for the institution to measure its current level of sustainability.
Advocacy work to remove two year time limits on healthcare. The Employment and Assistance Act and its companion the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities were passed in June 2002 by the Liberal government in B.C. Total benefits were cut by as much as 40% per month, including a 100% claw back of all employment earnings and child support, unless deemed disabled. Related articles here, here, and here.
VIPIRG students completed a research project on the impacts of welfare cuts on simple mothers living in Victoria. At the time, the Liberal Government of British Columbia is in the process of instituting massive cuts to welfare, including reducing support payments to single parent families, cutting transit, forcing people with disabilities to look for work, and threatening single parents of children over age three with further cuts if they are unable to find employment.
VIPIRG began this project with the goal of inspiring community action towards improving the access to dental care for people living in poverty.VIPIRG's Research Report "Towards A Community Dental Clinic" was the basis of the establishment of a Community Dental Clinic.
In 2001, there were few population health statistics collected to measure the oral health status of adults living in the capital region, specifically for homeless residents. Rev Allan. Tysick of The Open Door (now known as Our Place Society) reports that 95% of clients required immediate dental care. "I think poor dental health is one reason why many diseases are spread among the downtown population"
VIPIRG organized the campaign that kicked NATO out of town.
As the chart below shows, a majority of our expenses goes to wages and community grants program. VIPIRG hires 7 student staff each year, only 1 staff works full-time. Our next major expense is community grants and donations, which goes towards supporting UVic student led events, projects, and conferences.