Sandra Richardson: Make your voice heard in the Vital Signs survey

The past few months, along with being difficult and disruptive, have also been a chance for reflection. No one has been left untouched by these circumstances, leaving us all thinking about what has been revealed about ourselves and our community.

One thing that has been reinforced for me is the value of community interconnection. While all have been affected by this crisis, and many have suffered, we have seen so many examples of people coming together to help one another, to offer support, and to lift one another up.

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From the daily cheers for our frontline workers, to stories of farmers helping to feed the hungry, to the more than 15,000 donations we saw coming from far and wide to the Rapid Relief Fund, we have seen a community come together.

The crisis has exposed vulnerabilities in our community, too. From homelessness, to hunger, to social isolation, to mental health and addiction, this situation has shined a unignorable light on our shortcomings as a community.

All of this has been on our minds at the Victoria Foundation as we have been planning for the 2020 edition of our Victoria’s Vital Signs report. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the report, and I’m delighted to be able to say that as of tomorrow, June 1, our resident survey will be up and running to collect the information you provide that will go into the report.

The window of opportunity to take the survey is shorter this year, as we’ve had to push its opening day by one month. We sincerely hope this will not change how many people take the online survey, because perhaps now more than ever it’s so important to get the views of as many of our residents as possible.

As usual, the survey focuses on 12 key issue areas in our region, asking for your opinion on how the capital region is faring when it comes to such issues as transportation, the economy and housing. If you’ve taken the survey before, you’ll notice we made the questions more personal this year.

Our report would be out of touch indeed if it did not spend some time analyzing how the pandemic has affected our region. For that reason, we’ve included some questions about your personal experiences during the pandemic. We’re interested to see how the information collected may differ from past years, as this situation may very likely have changed the way many see this community. There may be a new sense of pride, but there may also be a deeper awareness of our challenges.

But that’s for you to say. I encourage everyone to take the Vital Signs survey, starting tomorrow at

Sandra Richardson is CEO of the Victoria Foundation.

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