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Email your political leaders below and tell them you want a poverty reduction plan for BC. It will only take 30 seconds of your time but will have a long-lasting impact.

We Need a Poverty Reduction Plan for BC!

Dear Minister Shane Simpson and Parliamentary Secretary Mable Elmore,

(cc’d Premier John Horgan, Opposition Leader Andrew Wilkinson, Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver, and Minister of Finance Carole James)

Congratulations on the launch of the first-ever poverty reduction plan for BC!

I am pleased to see that you recognize the importance of a comprehensive framework with cross-ministry responsibilities and investments, a foundation in reconciliation, a gender-based plus analysis (which includes tracking impact on low income people), and measures to reduce and prevent poverty. These are critical for a strong foundation to a poverty reduction plan. The Child Opportunity Benefit coming in Fall 2020, alongside a continued commitment to building a quality, affordable child care system in BC, will make a significant difference for children and families in poverty. Eliminating or limiting some of the cruelest elements of the income assistance system is also a welcome step to a more supportive system.

However, your report also identifies priorities named in the province-wide consultation process that are not yet met in TogetherBC including “better access to good food for families, enhanced investments in affordable transportation, and improved income security, including assistance rates.” Recognizing the human rights of people living in the deepest poverty requires increasing income assistance rates far beyond the recent $50/month announcement and linking them to the actual cost of living. Tied to this, BC should re-implement vacancy control to ensure those increases are going to the people you want to benefit.

Over the next 5 years, we also need more to address housing, child care, education, employment, health, transportation, access to justice and food security. This includes actions recommended by the #AllOnBoard campaign such as free transit for children and youth and a sliding scale transit pass for all based on income.

TogetherBC outlines many reasons to reduce poverty in B.C. “Because it’s the right thing to do. Because we care about our neighbours. Because we care about the kind of world we want to leave behind for our children. And there are costs to inaction…costs that stretch across the system – from health care to policing to social services.”

Please ensure that you build on the strong start tracked in TogetherBC and realize these principles in concrete action moving forward.

Thanks again for launching BC’s poverty reduction strategy!



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