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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19: Health Canada recalls 23 hand sanitizers brands

Multiple types of unauthorized industrial-grade ethanol have been found in hand sanitizer products

Young Ucluelet local earns Indigenous Language Revitalization Diploma

Timmy Masso hasn’t entered Grade 12 yet, but he’s already secured a University of Victoria diploma.

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

‘Someone knows something’: a look into Vancouver Island missing persons with interactive map

There are more than three dozen people listed as missing throughout Vancouver Island

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

Children suffer swollen eyes, burns while playing at Lower Mainland spray park

Mission RCMP are investigating incident that injured several children

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

Beloved Island woman dies at 106

Dorothy Adair adored by the many people she met in Chemainus in two short years

Man arrested for allegedly pushing unsuspecting seniors, jumping on cars at Parksville mall

Cops arrest man after ‘aggressive incident’ at Wembley Mall in Parksville

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

Most Read