About the Program
As Canadians, we value vibrant, inclusive communities where appropriate housing, education and employment are accessible to all. Fostering communities that enable the social, economic and cultural aspirations of its citizens is a central order of local government.
This is no small challenge. Municipalities must constantly balance environmental health and economic growth, reduce poverty, homelessness and crime, provide clean air and water and offer recreational and cultural opportunities to further the attainment of personal and collective goals.
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) helps its members meet these and other key quality of life issues through its Quality of Life Reporting System (QOLRS).
Led by FCM, the QOLRS measures, monitors and reports on social, economic and environmental trends in Canada's largest cities and communities. By providing evidence of important trends taking place across the municipal sector, the QOLRS helps to ensure that municipal government is a strong partner in formulating public policy in Canada.
Relying on data from a variety of sources, the QOLRS contains hundreds of variables that measure changes in 10 domains. The reporting system is also used to publish thematic reports, which examine specific local trends. Taken together, these trends form issues of national importance.
Analysis of trends is based upon the understanding that quality of life is influenced by a variety of factors, including the development of a vibrant local economy, the availability of affordable, appropriate housing, dependable community infrastructure, and reliable access to clean air and drinking water.
Making a Difference
The QOLRS is recognized as a credible source for municipal data. As a result, community organizations, research institutes, journalists and various government bodies rely upon the analysis provided in each report.
For example, the Trends and Issues in Affordable Housing and Homelessness report was featured in the CBC program Passionate Eye. The document is also cited in a Senate report of the Senate Subcommittee on Cities and referenced in the Canadian Homelessness Research Library.
Other pan-Canadian initiatives to recognize the value of the QOLRS include the Community Foundations of Canada's Vital Signs project and the Canadian Council on Social Development's Community Social Data Strategy. In addition, FCM has accepted invitations to appear before both House of Commons and Senate committees to discuss QOLRS, furthering its objective of informing and influencing decision makers across the country.
The significant local and national media coverage given to QOLRS reports further underscores their value.