Premier Gordon Campbell's policies made life tougher for single moms

Media outlets across the province have faithfully reported Premier Gordon Campbell's comments about how hurt he felt after being the target of personal attacks.

On November 4, he emphasized that we should discuss issues without personalizing things.

He has a point. However, wouldn't it be nice if journalists focused just as much attention on the people that the premier has hurt over the years with his policies?

Campbell was the son of a single mother, who had a tough time in her life. So what did he do as premier? He introduced policies to make things far more difficult for many single moms across the province.

He started by eliminating the NDP's promised child-care program. The premier also kept his mouth shut when the federal Conservatives eliminated the federal Liberal child-care program.

That's not all. After taking power in 2001, the Campbell government clawed back family-maintenance payments from welfare cheques on a dollar-by-dollar basis, eliminating a $100 monthly exemption.

The premier also took away the $200 earnings exemption for welfare recipients. This meant that single mothers on social assistance would have their cheques deducted dollar-for-dollar for every penny they earned as income.

According to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, B.C. was the only jurisdiction in North America that prevented social-assistance recipients from increasing their income through part-time work.

The Campbell government also put single parents in the "expected to work" category when their kids turned three. This resulted in far lower benefits.

Single parents were expected to work, even if there wasn't any child care available.

Previously, single parents weren't categorized this way until their youngest child turned seven and was attending school.

Is it any wonder that B.C. always leads the country in child poverty?

In his second term, Campbell alleviated some of the worst effects of these policies by introducing a rent-supplement program for parents who don't live in subsidized housing. He also cut personal income taxes for the working poor and boosted welfare rates.

These measures contributed to B.C. improving its child-poverty rate from 13.7 percent in 2007 to 10.4 percent in 2008.

But the province is still at the back of the pack, according to the latest national statistics. This has been the case for seven consecutive years.

Follow Charlie Smith on Twitter at twitter.com/csmithstraight.

Comments

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32 Comments

Clive

Nov 6, 2010 at 10:01am

There is no nastier piece of work than Gordon Campbell. When you tear up union contracts and cram the HST down people's throats during a recession what do you expect? People feel so powerless under this ruthless dictator that the blogs are their only chance to vent their frustration. Doesn't matter who the new BC Liberal leader is, they will just be a puppet of big business in BC as they finance and control every aspect of the party; hence the lowest minimum wage in Canada and the HST. The BC Liberal caucus has no ball just ball lickers so they will have to go outside to try to recruit the next puppet.

Pat R

Nov 6, 2010 at 10:36am

Gordon Campbell has been many women's worst enemy. Unfortunately all the cronies in the Lyin' Liberal party will be just as bad. Good riddance. Don't let the door slam your butt on the way out Gordo.

nachum

Nov 6, 2010 at 11:18am

Misogynistic! Self serving to the max! These thoughts are how I feel about the BC Liberals treatment of single Mothers in BC.

As for Gordon Campbell, the man is such a snake and his attempt at Crocodile tears is beyond the pale.

The BC Liberals are a sick bunch of puppies.

KnotUntied

Nov 6, 2010 at 11:30am

Perhaps you mean single PARENTS?

Coleman says No to Food

Nov 6, 2010 at 11:42am

Single mom's who find themselves in need of assistance soon learn to go hungry as Minister of Housing and Social Development regularly turn down families in dire need of a food even thought there in nothing to eat in their home. Minister says needy clients need to smarten up and budget their money they don't have or will find themselves in longline ups a St James where all the violent criminals hang out. Coleman is all heart as can't expect government to feed a hungry child can you? Minister feels he has far better things to do with the wopping $20 the Ministry has decided is sufficient to feed a child for the month if they are lucky enough to get it with out be demorilized and putdown or forced to appeal.
I am just getting set to send of the reconsiderations and appeals to the United Nations so the Minster can add that feather to his cap as government spends at least $1000 turning down the hungry when they asked for a crisis grant for $20 and then go for an appeal that cost hundreds.
Is the Minister out to lunch? Yes, that is where you can find the big,old warm hearted minister in a fancy reasturant eating the finest there is because he needs to keep up his energy as its quite the job ensuring BC's most vunerable go without.
I recommend all women who have been denied food for themselves and their children also do the same. The foodbanks are filled with the cities garbage not food as the irony of the organization teaching families to eat properly and then hang out junk or food poisioning another norm.

Correction $500 to $1000

Nov 6, 2010 at 12:31pm

I am not sure of the actual cost of the appeal I imagine pages, number in panel, etc also add to the cost of an appeal for $20 for food that can take up to 2 months to receive.
I used to do job costing and would say cost of appeal ranges from $500 and up. It used to work if Ministry had a certain number of appeals would change the rules now Ministry just demorilizes you and tells you if you appeal they will send you to St James.
It is also impossilbe to feed a hungry child for the month on a $20 crisis grant so what's that all about?

fit to be tied

Nov 6, 2010 at 12:36pm

here is something single mom's should know
the old man is also on the hook for alimony
it was in a court ruling in Montreal last week
so don't need to tie that knot to be tied.

cuz

Nov 6, 2010 at 1:19pm

Clive, I don't like Gordon Campbell, but I have no problem with him tearing up union contracts. They are just as greedy as any government group or individual.

cherylb

Nov 6, 2010 at 5:26pm

Really. It works both ways. If you treat people with disdain and disrespect, you have to expect to receive the same treatment. Gordo deserved everything thrown his way and more. He hurt a lot of people and told a lot of lies.

Andre

Nov 6, 2010 at 5:35pm

cuz-what the hell makes the HEU greedy the fact that
they want a living wage? A wage that pays the mortgage
and feeds the kids, have you ever worked in a hospital?

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