B.C. introduces poverty reduction plan to cut child poverty by 50 per cent

Poverty Reduction Minister said an estimated 678,000 people are living in poverty in B.C.

British Columbia’s government has introduced legislation aimed at reducing the provincial poverty rate by 25 per cent and chopping the child poverty rate in half over the next five years.

Poverty Reduction Minister Shane Simpson says B.C. currently has the highest overall poverty rate in Canada but this strategy would move the province to the third-lowest rate overall.

The New Democrats promised to introduce B.C.’s first poverty reduction plan during the 2017 election campaign.

Simpson says the proposed legislation reflects the findings of a public consultation process where more than 8,500 people attended information meetings and told their stories about the challenges of living in poverty.

READ MORE: More housing, subsidies urged for B.C. poverty reduction plan

Last fall, Simpson said an estimated 678,000 people are living in poverty in B.C., including 118,000 children.

He said those numbers were based on the federal government’s Market Basket Measure indicator which includes the costs of food, clothing, footwear, transportation, housing and other expenses for a family with two children.

The legislation introduced Tuesday requires the government to release its strategy by March 31, 2019.

Simpson says a major reason B.C. has a high poverty rate is because the former Liberal government did not make fighting poverty a priority.

“The government was steadfast in saying we don’t need a poverty plan,” said Simpson after introducing the legislation. “We had a government that said we are going to meet our minimal statutory obligations to those who are vulnerable.”

The Liberal government said repeatedly that its poverty reduction agenda involved helping people find jobs to improve their standard of living rather than introduce a poverty plan in name only.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Hub International to close Bella Coola office March 28

Company says staff shortages to blame

Dry weather leads to historic low water levels in local rivers

The prolonged cold, coupled with the lack of precipitation, has contributed to the situation

Bella Coola businesses still eligible for Wildfire Business Transition Training Program

Small businesses are eligible to apply for reimbursement of training expenses up to $10,000

Bill passes to make Sept. 30 National Day for Truth and Reconciliation statutory holiday

Residential school survivor Phyllis Webstad and CRD Area F director Joan Sorley were in Ottawa for the vote

Wally Webber elected to fourth term as Nuxalk Chief Councilor

Webber took the win with 174 votes out of a total of 389

VIDEO: 13-year-old killed in B.C. crash that involved five kids

The children range in age from six to 17.

MPs denounce leaked reports of Trudeau-JWR clash over Supreme Court pick

Opposition MPs called the leaks an act of desperation meant to smear Wilson-Raybould

Study says B.C.’s housing policies mean drug users can be targeted for eviction

The study involves 50 people living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

VIDEO: Homicide team called in after three killed in Surrey car crash

Investigators ask public to come forward with information, dashcam video

Stranger climbs onto B.C. family’s second-floor balcony, lights fire in barbecue

Incident in Abbotsford terrifies family with two-year-old boy

UPDATED: Sailings resume after BC Ferries boat hits Langdale terminal

The Queen of Surrey is stuck on the dock, causing delays to Horseshoe Bay trips

Eviction halted for B.C. woman deemed ‘too young’ for seniors’ home

Zoe Nagler, 46, had been given notice after living in the seniors complex in Comox for six years

Coroner’s inquest announced for Victoria teen’s overdose death

Elliot Eurchuk was 16 years old when he died of an opioid overdose at his Oak Bay home

Vancouver Island home to B.C.’s luckiest lotto store

Five million-dollar winners have bought tickets from same Port Alberni corner store

Most Read