This week the Dietitians of BC released their new report, The Cost of Eating in BC 2009. The Dietitians publish this annual report to bring attention to the fact that not all British Columbians have enough money to buy healthy food. While shelter and food costs have risen significantly over the past decade, income assistance rates have remained virtually unchanged and minimum wage, once the highest in the country, has remained at $8.00/hour. For those receiving income assistance or earning minimum wage there simply is not enough money to pay for housing and food, let alone other necessities. Unemployment is up and more people are relying on assistance.
There are too many living in poverty in BC and too many lined up at food banks. Dietitians are calling for the provincial government to take some additional action to address poverty in this province. Other provinces are taking action. Quebec and Ontario have anti-poverty legislation, while Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia, Manitoba and New Brunswick all have poverty reduction plans. Common to them are significant changes to income assistance and increases to minimum wage. View the report.