BC Poverty Reduction Strategy

The Province has released its Poverty Reduction Strategy, Together BC.  The strategy outlines policies to achieve the targets introduced in the 2018 Poverty Reduction Strategy Act: a 25% reduction in B.C.’s overall poverty rate and a 50% reduction in the child poverty rate by 2024.

TogetherBC is anchored around five foundational elements:

  • the BC Child Opportunity Benefit announced in Budget 2019,
  • increasing the minimum wage, following from the recommendations of the Fair Wages Commission,
  • ChildCareBC, as announced in the 2018 Budget,
  • Income assistance and disability rate increases, and
  • Leveraging federal initiatives and supports such as the Canada Child Benefit and Guaranteed Income Supplement Top Up.

The plan also incorporates previously announced policies or investments made since July 2017 that address affordability, access to education and training, inclusive employment opportunities, social inclusion, and supports for family, children and youth.

Targets, timelines and accountability for TogetherBC are established in the Poverty Reduction Strategy Act passed in November, 2018. This legislation requires that the Province release annual progress reports by October 1 each year, and establishes an independent Advisory Committee. Past President Murry Krause is pleased to represent UBCM on the Advisory Committee.

UBCM membership has consistently supported resolutions calling for a provincial poverty reduction plan. UBCM supports the government’s investment in BC’s families, children and youth, which includes a commitment of $1 billion over three years to bring down the costs of child care for more families and create new licensed child care spaces in BC.  Membership has endorsed several resolutions over the years calling for more quality, affordable, and accessible child care. 

TogetherBC also addresses several other issues that have been raised by UBCM membership, including the need for increased income assistance, bus passes for persons with disabilities, access to healthy food and investments in transit and active transportation. UBCM is also supportive of many of the previously announced housing initiatives that are addressed in the plan, including investments in new affordable housing over 10 years through the $1.9 billion Building BC: Community Housing Fund.

UBCM will continue to monitor the implementation of the Strategy.

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