North Thompson Star/Journal
The Thompson- Nicola Regional District (TNRD) recently announced the release of its 2017 Regional Growth Strategy monitoring report.
The Regional Growth Strategy is a strategic plan for achieving a socially, economically and environmentally responsible future for the region. Using 2016 census and other recent data, the report informs how the TNRD is faring as a region and how the regional district’s decisions, those of higher governments, and events and trends impact lives in the TNRD.
The report examines 10 indicators – everything from jobs and housing, to agriculture and air quality.
• In the past five years housing starts are up 20 per cent in established communities. Kamloops still accommodates the greatest percentage of new housing units (80 per cent), many of which are in multifamily developments.
• More people are driving for longer commute durations to work and/or school while rates of walking, biking, using transit, or carpooling remain stagnant or are declining.
• Economic and employment trends are positive – median income is up and unemployment is actual number of higher paying resource sector and manufacturing jobs are down since the 2011 Census.
• The Thompson-Cariboo-Shuswap Health Service Delivery Area (HSDA) reports higher rates of asthma, COPD, and diabetes than B.C. as a whole. The good news is that body mass index (BMI – a comparison of body weight to height) is decreasing and life expectancy is increasing.
• The region’s agriculture sector continues to gain strength on the basis of higher beef prices and ongoing diversification of cattle/dairy industry. Total farmed land is up and farm income is up – even as the number of individual farms is down.