CCAP Signs on to Poverty Reduction Campaign

You can get involved in campaign to reduce poverty too.

Would you like to be part of a big BC campaign to reduce poverty?  If so, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has an open letter calling for specific targets and timelines for reducing poverty in BC.

They are collecting names of groups that will endorse an open letter to all political parties in BC.  The letter calls for these targets and timelines:

* Using Statistics Canada’s low-income cut off after tax (LICO-AT),  reduce BC’s poverty rate from 13 per cent to 9 per cent in four years, and  to 3 per cent in ten years (meaning, effectively, a one third reduction  within the mandate of the next government, and a 75 per cent reduction within a decade).

* Ensure the poverty rate (using the LICO-AT) for children,  lone-mother households, single senior women, Aboriginal people, people with  disabilities, and recent immigrants likewise declines by 30 per cent in four  years, and by 75 per cent in ten years, in recognition that poverty is  concentrated in these populations.

* Within two years, ensure that every British Columbian has an income that reaches at least 75 per cent of the poverty line (using the LICO-AT).

* Within two years, ensure no one has to sleep outside, and end all  homelessness within eight years (ensuring all homeless people have good  quality, appropriate housing).

In order to achieve these targets, we call upon political parties to commit, prior to the May election, to specific policy measures and concrete actions  in each of the following policy action areas. Special attention should be focused on the needs of those most likely to be living in poverty (single mother households, single senior women, Aboriginal people, people with disabilities and mental illness, and recent immigrants and refugees).iwantchange

Policy Action Areas

1. Provide adequate and accessible income support for the non-employed.
2. Improve the earnings and working conditions of those in the low-wage workforce.
3. Improve food security for low-income individuals and families.
4. Address homelessness and adopt a comprehensive affordable housing and supportive housing plan.
5. Provide universal publicly-funded child care.
6. Enhanced support for training and education for low-income people.
7. Enhance community mental health and home support services, and expand integrated approaches to prevention and health promotion services.

There is nothing inevitable about poverty and homelessness in a society as wealthy as ours. If we commit to a bold plan, a dramatic reduction in poverty and homelessness within a few short years is a perfectly achievable goal.

If you want to help out, bring this letter to your group, church, union, housing co-op etc., and ask them to sign.  Send the signed letter to:

Seth Klein
Director, BC Office
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives  seth@policyalternatives.ca  tel. (604) 801-5121 1400 – 207 West Hastings St.
fax. (604) 801-5122 Vancouver, BC V6B 1H7  CCPA webpage: http://www.policyalternatives.ca

Poll says British Columbians want poverty reduction

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives recently commissioned a poll by the company Environics. The poll found that:
* 87 per cent of British Columbians believe the Premier should set concrete targets to reduce poverty;
* 77 per cent said that in the face of a recession, governments should focus even more effort on supporting the poor; and
* 74 per cent said they would be more likely to support a provincial political party that pledged to make poverty reduction a high priority. ~JS