A call is building across British Columbia for a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy. You’ve heard the call and joined the call, and now you want to pass it on to your local MLA candidates. The lead-up to May’s provincial election is a window of opportunity for you to get the attention of candidates in your riding. This guide will give you some tips for getting started, provide you with a brief overview of the political context, the breakdown of poverty in BC, and offer suggestions for some engaging questions. Click here to download.
All candidates meetings are a good opportunity to hear from your local candidates on the issues you care about. However, they can become platforms for candidates to talk about the issues they care about or to provide a “laundry list” of election promises. This guide will support you in keeping the focus on your community and your issues by providing practical steps for hosting a Celebration of Humanity, an all candidates meeting with a twist. Click here to download.
This BC Poverty Reduction Coalition poster shares what we’d like to see in a poverty reduction plan. Post it in your community! Just email us to order your free copies or you can print copies of the posters if you have access to a full colour 11×17 inch printer. Click here to download.
This series of posters was produced using artwork created at our kids’ public art workshops. They are being featured as bus shelter ads in Vancouver during March and April and are available as 11×17 inch posters for distribution in your community – just email We Can’t Afford Poverty to get your free copies or check out the distribution centre list for a location near you to pick some up. You can also download a set of PDFs and print copies of the posters if you have access to a full colour 11×17 inch printer. Click here to download or find a distribution centre.
This BC Poverty Reduction Coalition fact sheet shares five things you should know about poverty in BC. Email us to order your free copies or you can print copies of the factsheet at home. Click here to download.
This report co-published by Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – BC Office, the United Way of the Lower Mainland, and the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition describes how BC is Canada’s only province to have never had a poverty reduction plan. It examines the most recent statistics on poverty and its associated hardships in BC, and demonstrates that strong policies are urgently needed to dramatically reduce and ultimately eliminate poverty in our province. A comprehensive and ambitious poverty reduction plan for BC is long overdue. Click here to learn more.
Looking beyond the numbers to focus on real-life stories, Sharing Our Realities: Life on Disability Assistance in British Columbia finds a remarkable consensus between people with disabilities, income assistance workers, and even the findings of the government’s own disability consultation about what ails the system and what is needed to improve the lives of people with disabilities. The report, which surveyed people with disabilities and income assistance workers across the province, includes recommendations to increase income and disability assistance rates, simplify applications for income and disability assistance, and return to a system with individualized caseworkers.
“The message is that we don’t have enough for basics like food and shelter,” said Frank, who receives disability assistance, “and this makes our disabilities worse. We are losing our health. We are losing our homes. We are losing our lives. This is a crisis.” Click here to learn more.
This report co-published by Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – BC Office, the United Way of the Lower Mainland, and the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition explores the economic and public policy contributing to working poverty and develops recommendations for change. The study finds that a job is not a guaranteed path out of poverty. Over 100,000 working-age people in Metro Vancouver were working but stuck below the poverty line in 2012, not counting students and young adults living at home with their parents. Click here to learn more.
1 in 5 BC children in BC live in poverty, which is 163,260 children — larger than the entire population of Abbotsford. Data in this report, released in November 2016 by First Call: Child & Youth Advocacy Coalition, with the collaboration of SPARC BC and Campaign 2000, highlights growing income inequality among BC families. It also highlights that our failure to properly support youth as they leave foster care is putting many of them at risk of homelessness. Click here to learn more.
A Poverty Reduction Plan needs to raise the incomes of those living in poverty, and also build the social infrastructure, public services and assets that are vital to providing a path out of poverty and improving quality of life: social housing, universal childcare, education and training, and community health care. In particular, the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition have unanimously recommended these policy recommendations within the 7 policy action areas outlined in our Open Letter. Click here to download.
For more resources, visit http://bcpovertyreduction.ca/learn-more/resources/