B.C. Poverty Reduction Coalition asks parties to detail poverty plans
The B.C. Poverty Reduction Coalition is asking the leaders of the four largest political parties about their specific plans to help struggling British Columbians.
Will you increase welfare rates and index these to inflation? Will you hike the minimum wage and peg future raises to inflation? Will you build social housing?
These are some of the questions put forward by the coalition in a letter to the leaders on January 28, 2013.
“According to a recent poll commissioned by one of our members, the BC Healthy Living Alliance, 78% of British Columbians think it is important for political leaders in BC to address poverty with a provincial poverty reduction plan with clear targets and timelines,” Ted Bruce, coalition cochair and past president of the Public Health Association of B.C. wrote.
“Clearly, the public is ready for political leadership on this issue and we would like to know what actions your party will be introducing should you win the provincial election in May,” Bruce also stated in his letter.
As of February 25, only the Green Party of B.C. had responded, Trish Garner, an organizer with the coalition, told the Straight in a phone interview.
According to Seth Klein, director of the B.C. office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, the coalition will issue a report about how the political parties intend to address poverty in the province sometime in April.
“It’s basically putting them on notice that the coalition will issue an assessment of all the parties prior to the election,” Klein told the Straight in a phone interview.