VICTORIA– While B.C. Liberal policies are directly increasing and deepening poverty for many families, New Democrats are offering British Columbians a path out of poverty with the introduction of the Poverty Reduction and Economic Inclusion Act.
“B.C. has had the highest rate of overall poverty in Canada for 13 years and the highest child poverty rate for 10 years. The time for action is long overdue,” said New Democrat social development critic Michelle Mungall.
“New Democrats are offering British Columbians a path out of poverty with the Poverty Reduction and Economic Inclusion Act. This legislation will help identify and change bad policies that intensify poverty while also developing real programs that help people access training and jobs to better their lives.”
British Columbia remains one of only two provinces in Canada without a legislated plan to tackle poverty. At the same time, child poverty rates in the province have been an average of 34 per cent higher than the national rate for more than a decade.
“Sky–high poverty rates are directly tied to B.C. Liberal policies such as the child support clawback that takes money from B.C.’s poorest children. The government could begin reducing poverty immediately by allowing children of single parents receiving income assistance to keep their child support,” said New Democrat leader John Horgan.
Faith in Action, a multi-faith organization devoted to addressing the root causes of poverty in B.C. supports this approach.
“Government policies can ease poverty or make it worse,” said Peggy Wilmot of Faith in Action. “That’s why Faith in Action supports a poverty reduction plan for British Columbia as the first step towards a government that recognizes the inherent dignity and worth of all citizens.”