Social Inequality in the City: Panel Discussion


Inequality has been rising for three decades in Canada. In Vancouver, the gap also continues to grow. Inequality is associated with decreasing health outcomes, poorer education levels, higher rates of mental illness, higher levels of incarceration and less social mobility. Minimum wage, social assistance rates and income levels generally, have not kept pace with the cost of living in cities. The number of people who are self-employed and underemployed has grown, while seniors' poverty has increased.  On November 2, 2015, a six-member panel discussed the impacts of social inequality in Vancouver and offered policy ideas for civic governments to consider. The event was a co-presentation of SFU's Vancity of Commuity Engagement and the Vancouver

Panel members:

Mary Clare Zak, Managing Director, Social Policy & Project Division, City of Vancouver

Matt Hern, Instructor at SFU Urban Studies, author of Common Ground in a Liquid City: Essays in Defense of an Urban Future, and Co-founder/Director of 2+10 Industries

Paul Taylor, Executive Director of Gordon Neighborhood House in the West End, and formerly Executive Director of the DTES Neighborhood House

Viveca Ellis, Single Mothers Alliance

Margot Young, Law Professor at UBC

Bill Beauregarde, Community Coordinator, Aboriginal Front Door Society

Moderator: Charlie Smith, Editor of Georgia Straight


Video of lecture and panel discussion at SFU website here.

The lecture and panel  event is part of the Vancouver City Planning Commission’s program of dialogues on the future of the city. Current Commission initiatives are described here.


Panellists at social inequality discussion