The City of Vernon has recently released a community profile located at www.investvernon.ca
On page eight under the heading Quality of Life, it is stated that, “The Greater Vernon area offers an outstanding quality of life.”
With the median income for men at $35,575 and for women at $23,000, and the average price of a single-family dwelling sitting at $236,500, I question the City of Vernon’s definition of quality.
We have all experienced friends and family leave Vernon for the brighter pastures of Alberta or Saskatchewan, unable to make ends meet in our community of low wages and high cost of living.
We’ve scratched our heads, debated over water coolers at work, and chatted with neighbours on the ends of our driveways, wondering how people are making it here.
Educated, skilled workers and their families are not staying here.
They are choosing 30-below winters over our pleasant climate and spectacular natural environment.
Here’s the reality, Vernon’s tax base will not be able to support the needs of the community if this trend continues.
Don’t get me wrong, there are jobs. However, the majority of them are part-time and minimum wage.
I understand that a consulting company was hired to create an economic development strategy in 2010.
It too is posted on our City of Vernon’s website under economic development.
The long and short of it is that there is no industry here and it doesn’t take a consulting agency to recognize that.
We as a community need to make it obvious to our local politicians that jobs are a priority to taxpayers.
When you address poverty through job development, you reduce the incidence of crime, domestic violence, addictions, behavioural issues in schools, health concerns reduce or diminish, and the overall collective attitude of a community improves.
Is it possible to live in a beautiful city where the cost of living is manageable and where people earn a living wage?