Peg shows impact of poverty in Winnipeg


A new Peg report shows poverty triples the chances of dying in Winnipeg before 75, while the life-expectancy gap between highest and lowest incomes is almost 20 years.

The report – Our City: A Peg Report on Health Equity – is highlighted and linked to from Peg’s  Facebook page and Twitter account.

It shines a light on 11 indicators that show gaps in health based upon income and other social circumstance existing in 12 Winnipeg community areas and 25 neighbourhood clusters. In the lowest income cluster area in Point Douglas the life-expectancy gaps for men and women are 18 and 19 years respectively in comparison to higher-income areas.

An overview of the report indicator information shows gaps related to health, and change trends, between the highest and lowest income areas in Winnipeg.

An overview of the report indicator information shows gaps related to health, and change trends, between the highest and lowest income areas in Winnipeg.

“Disadvantage profoundly limits opportunities to be healthy. This is about much more than individual health choices,” said Dr. Sande Harlos, Medical Officer of Health with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, in a news release.

Life-expectancy gaps of 18 years for men and 19 years for women exist between the high and low income levels among 25 neighbourhood clusters.

Life-expectancy gaps of 18 years for men and 19 years for women exist between the high and low income levels among 25 neighbourhood clusters.

The report, echoing the experiences of those working in health and social services, highlights that addressing these gaps will require the involvement of all aspects of our community – including business, government, non-profits, and other groups.

“It is concerning to see such significant health inequity in our city – and in some cases, to see inequity growing. By working together, we can change this picture”, said Connie Walker, President and CEO of United Way Winnipeg.

“Peg clearly continues to be a crucial tool for Winnipeggers to understand some of the inequities that exist in our city,” said Scott Vaughan, President and CEO of the International Institute for Sustainable Development. “These sobering findings are an urgent call for collaborative action.”

The report, Our City: A Peg Report on Health Equity, was developed in partnership with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.


Peg, an accessible and interactive community indicator system that measures the health of our communities year after year, can be found online at


Peg wins a Spirit of Winnipeg Awards for innovation.

We’re delighted Peg—our community indicators system project with IISD—was recognized by the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce with a Spirit of Winnipeg Award in the ‘Charity’ category.

Peg also received a Community Indicators Consortium Impact Award in Washington, D.C. in 2014, in recognition of its innovative approach and ability to drive positive community change.

United Way & IISD staff accept a Spirit of Winnipeg Award for Peg.

United Way & IISD staff accept a Spirit of Winnipeg Award for Peg. Photo by @D_Roy_Water on Twitter.

Peg gets an award for its compelling, interconnected picture of Winnipeg.

Peg, the community indicators system United Way and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) codesigned, received the Community Indicators Consortium Impact Award on September 30th, 2014.

Heather Block at the CIC Conference.

Heather Block at the CIC Conference. Photo by @CommunityIC on Twitter.

This award is presented to indicator projects that best demonstrate the power of indicators to drive positive community change. Measuring everything from vaccination rates to average home prices, Peg seeks to keep track of progress in Winnipeg.

Heather Block, Director, Strategic Initiatives at the United Way of Winnipeg and Charles Thrift, project manager with the Knowledge for Integrated Decisions Program at IISD, were proud to accept the award at the Community Indicators Consortium‘s Impact Summit in Washington, D.C.

Heather and Charles with the Impact Award.

Peg helps paint a bigger picture, showing how different indicators of community health are interconnected with and affect each other.

Peg Indicators CIC Award“Peg has done a great job of incorporating best practices from the field of community indicators, and adding their own innovations” says Craig Helmstetter, a CIC board member and chair of the 2014 awards committee. “Not only does Peg do a solid job of tracking important trends, it also provides a great platform for helping people understand those trends and use that information to improve their community. Peg appears poised to contribute to Winnipeg’s relatively high quality of life for years to come.”

The Consortium also singled out Peg for it’s engaging visual presentation—brightly coloured and accessible, the system draws people in so they want to learn more.

Another aspect of Peg the Consortium admired was the way it aligns with many other systems in Winnipeg, such as the Winnipeg Poverty Reduction Council (WPRC), the Province’s All Aboard poverty reduction strategy, and the WRHA.

Measuring complementary data assists everyone who wants to make a difference in our city, and demonstrates the level of communication necessary to make it happen. Peg is relevant and credible in its incorporation of the measurement needs of other agencies working in Winnipeg.

An example of this sharing lies in the data surrounding homelessness. The WPRC’s Plan to End Homelessness (PDF) calls for measuring Winnipeg’s homeless population in order to show if the situation is improving. Peg will also house this data, available to the public.

Community Indicators are like a piece of infrastructure for our city. Thanks to Peg’s strong working relationship with Manitoba Education, we are working with teachers to get Peg used in the classroom as a way of getting students engaged in their community. Curriculum resources were developed for the “Global Issues” high school course.

From the perspective of moving the needle on Winnipeg’s most challenging social issues, United Way sees Peg as an ever-improving tool that demonstrates the impact of our work, and indeed highlights where there is still work to do.

Peg releases annual well-being report; Winnipeg improving in many key areas.

Peg releases Our City: A Peg report on Winnipeg's well being.

Today Peg released its first annual Winnipeg well-being report, Our City: A Peg report on Winnipeg’s well-being (PDF).

It outlines how we’re doing on 16 key indicators, and the good news is Winnipeg is improving on the majority.

Peg Winnipeg Well-Being Overview

Winnipeggers have been making many improvements, from increased high school graduation rates and more disposable income to environmental successes like using less water, recycling more and more rides on the bus.

Areas where Winnipeg is declining include rate of children in care, the condition of our dwellings, lower voter turnout, less volunteerism and escalating diabetes.

There’s been no change in readiness to learn—the skills children need upon entering kindergarten that go a long way towards future success. Up to 40% of Winnipeg children are entering school not ready to be thereImproving readiness to learn is one of the goals of our involvement in the Early Childhood Development Innovation Fund.

While caring about our city is important, caring alone is not enough to make change. It’s also important to measure and report on how we are doing.

Measuring and reporting on economic, social and environmental issues can help us rally and work together toward an even stronger Winnipeg. Measurement encourages us to ask questions, to seek innovation, to drive results, and to celebrate progress.

Let’s talk: mood and anxiety disorders in Winnipeg

One in four Winnipeggers has a diagnosed mood or anxiety disorder, a new Peg report reveals.

The news comes a day before Olympian Clara Hughes is back in Winnipeg to raise awareness around mental health issues as part of Bell’s Let’s Talk Day.

It also follows a recent move by United Way’s community investment committee to add the Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba to the essential network of programs and services we support in Winnipeg, building on our commitment to healthy people and strong communities.

Percent of people with mood and anxiety disorders in Winnipeg, by neighbourhood.

An indicator of mental health, mood and anxiety disorders impact many aspects of wellbeing:

  • Employment: Unemployment among people with serious mental illnesses ranges from 70% to 90%
  • The economy: Mental illness costs the Canadian economy an estimated $51 billion every year, according to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
  • Safety: People with mental illness are more than twice as likely to be victims of crime.
  • Physical health: People with serious mental health conditions are at high risk of chronic physical conditions and vice versa.

Brad’s story: Art and Mental Health

Developed through a partnership between United Way of Winnipeg and the International Institute for Sustainable Development, Peg is a community indicators system and innovative website that makes it possible to measure our city’s progress and compare data from different neighbourhoods.

Read the full report here and visit the Peg website for more information.

Introducing Peg, a way to measure change in Winnipeg.

United Way of Winnipeg and partner International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) are excited to launch Peg, an interactive website that helps us visualize and compare the data we have on how we’re doing as a city.

People trying out the Peg interactive community indicators website.

People trying out the Peg interactive community indicators website.

Peg is a “community indicators system.” It hosts information from lots of sources—government, nonprofit—and lets you track changes over time and compare different neighbourhoods.

What Are Community Indicators?

Caring about Winnipeg is important, but it’s not enough. Measuring our community’s health is the next step in making sure the work we all do is really making a difference.

Seeing the trends, knowing whether efforts are moving the needle on important social issues, can inspire us to try harder if things are working and change tactics if they’re not.

“To achieve positive, measurable change, decision making must be informed by credible data and relevant indicators.”
—International Institute for Sustainable Development

This kind of information transparency can help guide policymakers’ decisions, engage the community in working towards shared goals, and inform the work of nonprofits. It’s central to United Way of Winnipeg’s values.

“(Peg is) meant to help policy-makers and the public look at hard data instead of anecdotal evidence.”
—Winnipeg Free Press, “Hard numbers present city – warts and all.”

To keep up to date with Winnipeg’s progress, follow Peg on Twitter and Facebook.