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Provincial snapshot

Fourth annual report on quality of life in N.L. released

By Cathy Newhook

What does life in Newfoundland and Labrador look like in 2017?

The fourth annual Newfoundland and Labrador’s Vital Signs Report can give you a pretty good idea — on everything from financial security to well-water usage.

A shared initiative between the Community Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador and Memorial’s Harris Centre, the Vital Signs report uses quality of life indicators, expert commentaries and case studies to put a spotlight on issues and aspects of life in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The report is part of a broader national program of the Community Foundations of Canada.

Strong sense of belonging

This year’s edition of the report focuses on belonging and highlights how residents’ sense of belonging impacts how they live and connect in their communities.

“Our focus on belonging builds on the themes of the national Vital Signs reports that have been produced by Community Foundations of Canada over the past three years,” said Dr. Ainsley Hawthorn, executive director, Community Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador.

“It also provides us with an opportunity to showcase the real strength of our province. Belonging isn’t just a vague, feel-good concept: research has shown that the stronger a person’s sense of connection to the people around them, the likelier they are to volunteer, to vote and to take other types of action that benefit our society.”

The report combines infographics, articles and expert commentary to provide a snapshot of what issues and challenges are facing the province.

Broad range

The report covers a broad range of issue areas, including crime and safety, economics, civic engagement and mental health.

“We wanted to explore how issues like financial security, safety and mental health impact our sense of belonging and how our neighbourhoods, heritage and even the food we eat can support our ties to our communities,” said Dr. Hawthorn.

As part of a unique partnership with Saltwire Network, the full report will be circulated in every copy of The Telegram and The Western Star on Saturday, Oct. 21, and in regional weekly papers throughout the following week.

“We’re very excited to be a part of this initiative,” said Dr. Rob Greenwood, executive director, Harris Centre.

“It’s an opportunity for us to pull together interesting and informative indicators and present them in a way that is understandable and usable. The report really gets people talking and tapped into the issues.”

The report can be viewed online and was made possible with the support of Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador, YMCA of Newfoundland and Labrador, Choices for Youth, Memorial University’s Faculty of Medicine, and the Community Foundation of Canada.

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