Indigenous people, people with disabilities (including mental illness), recent immigrants, refugees and temporary foreign workers (including farm workers and live in caregivers), single mothers, single senior women, queer and transgender people (particularly youth) have higher rates of poverty and homelessness. The poverty reduction plan must focus its efforts on the structural barriers faced by these groups:
What’s in the government’s TogetherBC Plan?
- Child Opportunity Benefit will provide an increase of the maximum lifetime benefit for a family with two children from $7,920 to $48,000 and will significantly reduce child poverty.
- Increases to the Climate Action Tax Credit, and increases to caregiver rates including some kinship caregivers.
- Gaming revenue sharing with First Nations and investment in Aboriginal Friendship Centres.
What Priority Actions are We Still Fighting For?
- Restructure federal and provincial funding to better address the needs of all Aboriginal people, including the large off-reserve population.
- Essential investment in all elements of the legal aid system.
- Provide free transit for children 0-18 years of age and a low-income transit pass for adults.
- Increase HandyDART service hours.
- Universal and comprehensive supports for youth aging out of foster care.
- Address income and support for kinship caregivers left out of 2019 budget announcement.
For more information, please read the following resources:
- Take Action for a strong Poverty Reduction Strategy
- ABC plan policy brief
- “What’s in the Government’s Plan? What are we still fighting for?” poster
- Single Mothers’ Alliance website
- Council of Senior Citizens’ Organization (COSCO) website
- Citizens for Accessible Neighbourhoods website
- The Canadian Coalition Against LGBTQ+ Poverty website
- Red Women Rising: Indigenous Women Survivors in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, April 2019)
- Envisioning Justice for Migrant Workers: A Legal Needs Assessment (Migrant Workers Centre, March 2018)
- Definition of Indigenous Homelessness in Canada (Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, 2017)
- Sharing Our Realities: Life on Disability Assistance in British Columbia (Citizens for Accessible Neighbourhoods and the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition, April 2017)
- Poverty and Inequality Among British Columbia’s Seniors (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, April 2017)
- Shameful Neglect: Indigenous Child Poverty in Canada (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, May 2016)
- Beyond Our Plates: A brief report of the lives of migrant agricultural workers in BC in 2014-2015 (Migrant Workers Dignity Association, December 2016)
- Walking the Line to Put Their Families First Lone Mothers: Navigating Welfare and Work in British Columbia (First Call, SFU, Single Mothers Alliance and SPARC BC, January 2016)
- First Nations Child Poverty: A Literature Review and Analysis (First Nations Child Poverty: A Literature Review and Analysis, 2015)
- BC Poverty Reduction Coalition’s submission to the Poverty Reduction Consultations
- Long Overdue: Why BC needs a poverty reduction plan