On February 26, 2015, Viveca Ellis of Single Mothers Alliance BC and Kasari Govender of West Coast LEAF -both member organizations of the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition- published an article on Vancouver’s The Province newspaper, detailing through powerful statistics how BC’s inadequate minimum wage is failing single mothers:
In 2011, 44,500 poor children lived in families with one adult working full time year-round. In one of the richest provinces, in one of the richest countries in the world, working families — especially those headed by women — are still unable to afford the necessities of life.
Working minimum wage, a single mother and her children will be struggling to eat properly, remain housed and stay healthy.
Both Ellis and Govender then explain that this dire situation presents a choice for the kind of society we would like BC to be:
We have a choice as a society, and it really isn’t that complex: guarantee a minimum wage, regularly indexed to increases in the cost of living, that puts workers above the poverty line and allows them to provide the most basic supports for their families, or abandon them.
We insist on the former. Women’s economic equality and inclusion depend on it. What do we have to lose but poverty?