The Glorious Diversity of our Riding

The Glorious Diversity of our Riding

Communities like our Vancouver-False Creek riding are becoming far more multicultural and multilingual. Some time ago I realized how important and respectful it was for neighbours to communicate a simple phrase such as a greeting to those whose native language is different. In creating the Greeting Fluency Initiative, I endeavoured to do just that, teach greeting phrases so citizens can achieve Greeting Fluency.

Diversity in our riding, which has over 50,000 residents, includes language, but also includes many other elements making it the most diverse of any riding in British Columbia. I wanted to share some observations on the diversity of Vancouver-False Creek.

Vancouver-False Creek is Culturally Diverse

In our riding, 60% of residents identify English as their mother tongue compared to 72% in BC as a whole. There are 27 different languages identified as the mother tongue of Vancouver-False Creek residents.

About 35% of residents identity themselves as a visible minority while over 60% identify their ethnic origins as other than the British Isles. These include over 7,000 Chinese and over 10,000 South and Eastern Europeans from countries such as Russia, the Ukraine, Poland and Italy. There are over 1500 residents from Iran and more than 500 from African nations. In total Vancouver-False Creek residents identify their ethnic origin from over 130 countries. Now that is cultural diversity!

Vancouver-False Creek is Socially Diverse

Sometimes media reports characterize our neighbourhoods as full of million dollar condos occupied by wealthy folks. Well, there are in fact many million dollar condos, however, there is in fact a wide variety of accommodation that allows a diverse social composition to thrive downtown.

The median household income is virtually the same as that of BC. 52% of residents rent their housing while 48% own. There is a wide variety of social housing and co-ops for singles, families, seniors and people with disabilities.

People are retiring here, working here, investing here, and raising families here. Over 30% of children in our riding are under the age of 6, which compares to around 20% for the Province. 40% of families in the riding have children at home. 10% of Vancouver-False Creek are seniors. There is a wide array of single folks, couples, single parents, multiple child households; everything that is reflective of our world today exists in our riding.

Vancouver-False Creek is Commercially Diverse

There are many aspects of our riding that make it Commercially Diverse.

So many people are employed in such a wide range of activities. That is because we have such a wide range of occupations and skilled, educated residents to fill them. Further, downtown residents, with downtown employment opportunities, results in 40% of workers in our riding walking to their place of employment.

Just consider the diversity of employment in Vancouver-False Creek. The riding includes the Central Business District with both Canadian and International Banks, Financial Institutions, Real Estate, Mining, Forestry and other Resource companies including 1200 firms that make Vancouver the largest junior mining center in the world. There are small family businesses, home based businesses and live/work residences.

Our riding is home to a world renowned hi tech and digital industry that employs our bright, educated, visionary residents. We have countless service oriented jobs ranging from tourism, sports and the arts, to food service, retail and transportation.

We have careers in health care, policing, fire safety and social work. There are carreers in the legal system with a Court House in our riding, and education, with schools, universities, arts programs and culinary institutions.

Those who live, work, play and raise families in this environment are often more accepting of those who do not come from similar social or cultural backgrounds. Reknowned Vancouver-based architect Matthew Soules has suggested that cities can actually be considered “engines of peace”. We are better equipping ourselves and our children to grow a more peaceful and understanding world.

Vancouver-False Creek is a reflection of the world. High quality, well planned density, what I call EcoDensity, is economically, environmentally and socially responsible and allows us to achieve that result.


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