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

B.C. Interior free from measles

Vancouver measles outbreak hasn’t spread to the B.C. Interior

Christina Lake welcomes new fire chief

Joe Geary made the move to the Boundary from Sidney.

Man injured in police shooting near Nelson has died

The death follows an incident in Bonnington on Feb. 13

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

What’s happening for Family Day in the Boundary

Activities in and around Grand Forks offer something for everyone.

Students give two thumbs up to no more B.C. student loan interest

Eliminating the loan interest charges could say the average graduate $2,300 over 10 years

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Missing Surrey snowshoer caught in avalanche found dead on Vancouver mountain

North Shore Rescue resumed its search today after efforts were temporarily halted Tuesday due to snowstorm

Experts urge caution after 10 human-triggered avalanches across B.C.

One man is still stuck after avalanche on south coast

Most Read