Name: Rick Erb

Occupation: Educator/Volunteer

Rick grew up in Richmond, Port Coquitlam, and Agassiz, and currently lives in Burnaby. He had a good life growing up. He became a teacher on call in his 30s in Surrey and Coquitlam. Eventually he got a night school position in Surrey teaching ESL.  He had a stroke in 2005.  After the stroke, his life changed a great deal and he had to stop working.  He finds groceries expensive, but generally can afford food and rent. He continues to volunteer in his community, and is looking for more ways to get back to work.

We support raising welfare and disability rates. At $610 and $906 per month respectively, they are completely inadequate and have been frozen since 2007. The cost of food has increased by almost 25% over the last 10 years, and the average household needs about $1400 per month to meet the cost of basic necessities.

“It makes me ashamed as a Canadian to see that [over 500 thousand people live in poverty in BC]. I expect more out of this country. I expect Canada to be the leading country in the world especially starting with how it treats its own citizens.”