CBRM put under the microscope in new report

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SYDNEY — A public charity has released a report providing a snapshot of quality of life in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality as it compares to the rest of the province and the country.

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Allison Kouzovnikov, executive director of the Community Foundation of Nova Scotia, said the report Cape Breton Regional Municipality's Vital Signs is the fifth of its kind in the province.

The report series was launched in 2009 after a group behind an endowment fund in Wolfville, N.S., wanted to explore ways to direct resources back into the community.

"This report comes at an important time in CBRM's history because CBRM is just coming off 10 years of a huge economic stimulus in the form of two separate remediation projects, which has pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into the community," said Kouzovnikov. "So the impact of that is seen in the data points. If you look at things like employment growth, those numbers are quite good and do exceed both the provincial and national averages."

Kouzovnikov said the report, which was funded through private donations, raises the question of what happens now that projects such as mine remediation and the cleanup of the Sydney tar ponds have winded down.

"There's also been a fairly significant population decline and so clearly not everyone in the community has been able to benefit from those projects and they have moved away for greener pastures," said Kouzovnikov. "The question then is how do we stem that tide of outmigration to enable the community to have an appropriate balance of demographic segments."

Findings of the report show that in 2011 there were 2,925 more people working in the CBRM than in 2001.

However, during that time period the CBRM's population declined by 8.1 per cent or 8,570 people (of which 58.9 per cent were under 15 years of age.)

The CBRM now has the oldest median age at 47.5 years compared to seven comparable urban centres in Atlantic Canada.

Report statistics also showed a disparity in the level of poverty in the CBRM compared to the rest of the province and Canada.

Three years ago, the CBRM reported an overall poverty rate of 20 per cent, which was 19.5 per cent higher than the provincial rate and 39 per cent higher than the national rate, according to the report.

Other report findings show the daily commute to work in the CBRM is comparable to Nova Scotia average and lower than the national average.

Meanwhile, the CBRM scored lowest on the total crime severity index compared to other Atlantic Canadian cities, including Saint John, Charlottetown, St. John's, Moncton, Fredericton and Halifax.

At the same time, the CBRM recorded the second highest total youth crime rate in 2012 with 4,276 youths charged with a Criminal Code offence per 100,000.

Out of the same comparable cities, the CBRM had the fourth highest violent crime rate among youth.

Kouzovnikov said the basic findings of the report were compiled by a Cape Breton University student who was hired in June.

The official launch of the document will take place today at 10 a.m. at CBU's Verschuren Centre.

A panel discussion will feature CBU president David Wheeler, Sydney physician Dr. Mary Doyle, CBU program development scientist David Alderson, and Ian McNeil, a manager with the Cape Breton Partnership.

 

 

Organizations: Community Foundation of Nova Scotia, Vital Signs, Cape Breton Partnership

Geographic location: Sydney, Wolfville, Atlantic Canada Nova Scotia Saint John Charlottetown St. John's Moncton Fredericton

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  • Harrison Budden
    October 17, 2013 - 20:35

    are copies of the document available to the public.

  • dave
    October 01, 2013 - 11:36

    Ehs isnt using chargers. They use a ford torus. Its a supervisor car. They used to have gas guzzling ford explorers. What would you like police to use? Kia Rios? Chargers are not sports cars. The police budget needs to be pushed back and the fire service needs to stop ignoring the depts outside of sydney

  • dave
    October 01, 2013 - 10:57

    hmm, here's an idea, lets cut back on spending first of all, it's all about what is going out , not what is coming in , we have to cut all the wasteful spending, these politicians need a huge pay cut, then they will be more able to relate to the average person, also it will weed out the ones that are in it for the money. secondly this nonsense with police chargers, the sherrif has a new charger , heck the ehs has a new charger, sure there's a smart idea, lets get all the cbrm workers new chargers , guzzle gas on the tax payers dime, but drive around in style, explain to me why the ehs needs a sports car? maybe we should take a look at our current situation of spending millions upon millions every year to process people for weed related offences, i mean we all know that by now , weed is pretty harmless, and if we were to stop spending all this money prosecuting and instead put a ticket system in place, we could start making millions instead of spending them.. it's quite sad when the average joe can figure this out .... we need radical change here , and the rest will follow. common sense .....

  • steve
    October 01, 2013 - 08:03

    Hey Cuzner lets just keep the status quo.