to disprove beliefs about poverty, that simply aren’t true.
Myth #1: Jobs are the answer
Not all seniors in BC are making ends meet, and working is often not an option to lift them out of poverty. “Get a job” doesn’t cut it for seniors in BC!
Sonny Gill (Farm Worker) lives in Abbotsford with her daughter-in-law and her granddaughter. Both her husband and her son have passed away. She is in her late 60s now. She struggles to make ends meet on her pension. Prior to retiring, she picked berries for 14 years. When she first started picking berries, they paid 22 cents per pound; now, they pay 40 cents. She feels that there should be more services and care for the elderly in BC. “My son died, it’s just me and my daughter-in-law now. I have to look after my granddaughter so my daughter-in-law can go to work.”
Jonquil (Director of Non-Profit Organization) is a 59 year old woman who lives in Surrey with her adult daughter. She has a rare form of severe arthritis and is now wheelchair-bound. Jonquil struggles to make ends meet on disability, in particular because of the expenses that come with having a disability. She volunteers as the executive director of the Surrey Urban Mission, a centre that caters to marginalized populations. She works between 40-70 hours a week overseeing the Mission, which she describes not as a work commitment but as a lifestyle.
- B.C. Seniors’ Poverty Report Card, United Way and SPARC BC
- Discussion on senior’s economic security, United Way
- Poverty and Inequality Among British Columbia’s Seniors, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
- Monitoring Seniors’ Services report, The Office of the Seniors Advocate
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Ask him to address the huge gaps in the poverty reduction plan.
A Living Wage is one that allows families to cover their basic expenses, such as food, clothing, shelter and transportation. What’s the difference? Increasing the minimum wage can be a strong first step towards establishing a wage that allows families to thrive, not just survive!
Why Poverty Myth Busters?
Whether you’re at a party, having dinner with your parents, at the bus stop, or listening the news, whenever there’s a discussion about poverty, you will no doubt hear things like “the situation in BC isn’t that bad”, how “the poor are lazy” and they “just need to get a job“, or that “those on welfare are taking advantage of our world-renowned social assistance programs.”
This is why the Poverty Free Action Team has launched this campaign. It’s time to bust these poverty myths and get to the root of the problem!
While the ideas you often hear about poverty almost seem to make sense – especially if the person saying it is a friend, a relative, or even a professor – they are in fact incorrect! They are myths that put the blame on the less fortunate for their situation, while reneging on our collective responsibility and values of caring for each other, supporting those who need it, and making sure that we all share equally in the wealth and beauty of our communities.
This series of posters and videos will build a continuing campaign to dispel a variety of these common misconceptions.
Donna Howe (Nurse’s Assistant) is a single parent in her late 50s. She works at a residential care facility but is currently in a dispute with management and has been forced to take the last 2 months off as medical leave without pay. She feels that she is being bullied by her employer who wants to hire younger staff for less money. She is getting by on savings but fears she won’t have enough money to pay her rent in the next few months. She has no money to go back to school to re-train and is concerned about her future.
Rose Henry (On-Call Worker/First Nations Human Rights Advocate) sees poverty as part of a long history of oppression. She came to Victoria with hopes of getting an education to get out of poverty but she struggled as a student and a single parent. She was no longer able to continue at school when band funding was restructured. She and her partner struggle every month with the high cost of living. She has skipped a lot of meals because her family needed food. She continues to work hard to make ends meet and advocate for aboriginal rights in her community.
William Elder (Community Activist) was born and raised in Surrey. He was recently evicted from an apartment that was plagued by untreated black mold in the bathroom, which resulted in an altercation with the landlord. He worked in security for over 40 years but he had to leave due to respiratory illness. He is mostly house bound and requires support for home care. He receives disability benefits of $906 per month, but this is reduced dollar for dollar by the CPP disability he receives at $527.51. By the time his bills are paid, he is usually left with only $75 to $150 per month for groceries.