NCLGA Executive Recommendation: Endorse | Endorsed as Amended by the NCLGA Membership
WHEREAS British Columbia has one of the highest rates of poverty in Canada;
AND WHEREAS the price of poverty is borne by all British Columbians through higher justice system costs, greater demands on the health care system, increased pressures on community services and reduced economic productivity;
AND WHEREAS British Columbia is the only province in Canada without a poverty reduction strategy:
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that NCLGA and UBCM advocate to the provincial government, in support of ongoing discussions, to develop and implement a poverty reduction strategy to reduce the number of people living in poverty in BC by setting concrete targets and timelines to reduce poverty.
AND THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that this plan also addresses mandatory user fees for provincial services i.e. MSP that disproportionately impacts lower income earners.
The UBCM membership has consistently endorsed resolutions calling on the provincial government to develop and implement a poverty reduction strategy or plan, including the establishment of targets and timelines (2014-B40, 2014-B41, 2011-B65, 2010-B51, 2009-SR2).
Responses have not yet been received for the 2014 resolutions. In response to resolution 2010-B51, however, the provincial government highlighted a range of supports it already provides for low-income individuals and families, including “subsidized housing, child care subsidies, employment programs, dental and optical care for children and programs for vulnerable seniors.”
UBCM would note that it continues to be engaged in a Community Poverty Reduction Strategy with the provincial Ministry of Children and Family Development, which aims to assist families living in poverty to access resources. A forum will be held in March 2015 to discuss the strategy.