Discussion on demographics was a huge component of the Columbia Basin Symposium (CBS) that took place in Kimberley from October 13-15th. The Columbia Valley stood out from its counterparts in the dependence ratio demographic according to Village of Radium Hot Springs council member Mike Gray, who spoke on the outcome of the event at the Wednesday, October 25th Council meeting.
“That’s the number of the very young and elderly divided by the number of the people who are in the income earning ages,” he said. “They are watching how it happens in our area to get a glimpse of the future for the rest of the province.”
The symposium traditionally focuses on three global trends that are having a long-term impact on the region including demographics, technology, and climate change. The Province is looking at issues relating to the rise in non-income earners with the Valley trending ahead of B.C. as a whole in this category.
The gap in the middle age demographic poses some interesting challenges that the Valley has been working to mitigate for quite some time and it looks as though there has been a measure of success in creating a model that could be beneficial for the rest of B.C. as time goes on said Mr. Gray.
Adjustments to service, taxation, and elderly care in and out of hospitals have resulted from the influx of this population and The Valley has set the stage in this arena with the province sitting up and taking notice of strategies to handle the effects of this continuing trend province-wide.