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January 28, 2016
Rural Ontario Institute awards funding for community wellbeing survey in Oxford
Rural Ontario Institute presented Community Oxford with a cheque for $15,000 today to support work on the Canadian Index of Wellbeing survey being launched in Oxford this spring.

Rural Ontario Institute presented Community Oxford with a cheque for $15,000 today to support work on the Canadian Index of Wellbeing survey being launched in Oxford this spring.

The Canadian Index of Wellbeing survey will help fulfill the “Community” goals of the Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan by establishing a baseline understanding of quality of life in Oxford County today. This in turn will help set specific targets outlined in the plan to ensure high quality health care and social programs, improve access to education, develop intercommunity transportation, promote volunteerism, increase voter participation and more.

The survey will be sent by mail from Community Oxford to a random sample of Oxford County residents over April and May 2016. It will ask recipients a range of questions to indicate how they are really doing with respect to eight domains measured by the Canadian Index of Wellbeing:

• Community vitality
• Democratic engagement
• Education
• Environment
• Healthy populations
• Leisure and culture
• Living standards
• Time use

Oxford County is one of eight rural communities in Ontario selected for Rural Ontario Institute’s Measuring Rural Community Vitality Initiative. The funding for Oxford County was announced today at the Future Oxford Expo by Rural Ontario Institute Chair Dean Anderson and Advisory Committee Member Sam Coghlan.

More information about the Canadian Index of Wellbeing survey will be available over the coming weeks at For the latest news and updates, follow Future Oxford on Facebook and Twitter.



Kelly Gilson, Co-Chair, Community Oxford

“We want people to know their voice matters. We need input from our citizens to understand what we’re doing well now when it comes to building a better community, and what we need to do better to continue to move in that direction for the future.”

Randy Peltz, Co-Chair, Community Oxford

“With the process of identifying the goals of the community sustainability plan now completed, our work begins. The survey is only the first step in this work, but understanding what people who live here experience day to day is key to refining those targets and actions committed to in the plan.”

Norm Ragetlie, Director, Policy and Stakeholder Engagement, Rural Ontario Institute

“We are thrilled to have had 30 communities express interest in working together to share their own experiences and learnings in the area of measuring outcomes that are difficult to capture. Oxford’s community wellbeing research aligns with our aim to deepen understanding of practices for quantifying rural civic engagement, social capital and community wellbeing.”



Community Oxford, a sub-committee of Future Oxford, is focused on the Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan goals to create community that is accessible, knowledgeable and creative.

Rural Ontario Institute is a non-profit organization committed to developing leaders, initiating dialogue, supporting collaboration and promoting action on issues and opportunities facing rural Ontario.

The Canadian Index of Wellbeing is a national initiative supported by an independent, non-partisan group of national and international leaders, researchers, organizations, and grassroots citizens who are developing a new way of measuring wellbeing in Canada. The CIW Network is based at the University of Waterloo.

The Future Oxford: A Community Sustainability Plan sets out the community’s vision for how we will manage community, environmental and economic resources for Oxford County’s future growth and wellbeing. The final draft Plan, which can be viewed at, sets out 70 distinct actions including:

  • reducing the percentage of Oxford County residents living in poverty;
  • increasing the number of residents with post-secondary education;
  • increasing participation in arts, recreation, and cultural activities;
  • growing jobs relative to population growth;
  • encouraging production and consumption of locally produced food and products; and
    achieving the highest total waste diversion rate per capita in Ontario. 

For more information and to read the Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan online visit



Tommasina Conte
Oxford County
519.539.9800, ext. 3503

Mark Cassidy
Rural Ontario Institute





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