Shane Simpson, B.C.’s minister of social development and poverty reduction. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)

OUR VIEW: So much is riding on B.C.’s poverty reduction plan

Strategy details to be revealed soon based on affordability, opportunity, inclusion, reconciliation

Shane Simpson, B.C.’s minister of social development and poverty reduction, recently sang his government’s praises at a Surrey Board of Trade luncheon in Whalley.

He noted B.C. has the lowest unemployment rate in Canada, at 4.7 per cent while wage growth has accelerated by 4.1 per cent, “the highest in over a decade, and we’re expected to lead Canada’s economic growth this year and next.”

But Simpson also laid out some challenges.

“People in Surrey and in other communities who are vulnerable, who are struggling, have been challenged in very real ways over the past number of years. We need to do better.”

We’ll say. Surrey Memorial Hospital recently discharged two patients and sent them by taxi to a homeless shelter in Chilliwack, prompting a sharp response by that city’s mayor, Ken Popove: “Discharging patients into homeless shelters when they still require some level of care is not an acceptable practice.”

Bill 39 – B.C.’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Act – was passed in the fall, with legislated targets and timelines committing the government to reduce overall poverty by 25 per cent and child poverty by 50 per cent over the next five years.

READ ALSO OUR VIEW: Make Surrey’s policing plan public

The government is expected to soon reveal the details of the strategy based on affordability, opportunity, social inclusion and reconciliation.

Simpson described the strategy as a “road map” to lift people up out of poverty. B.C., he noted, is the only province that didn’t have a long-term strategy for poverty reduction.

So much is riding on this poverty reduction strategy.

Statistics Canada figures for 2016 indicated roughly 557,000 people are living in poverty in B.C. and that figure is no doubt higher today.

Jonquil Hallgate is co-chair of the Surrey Homelessness and Housing Task Force. She says she hopes the strategy will present a “seamless plan” to prevent more people from joining the ranks of the homeless.

Let’s hope that happens.

Now-Leader



edit@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Surrey-area associations gear up for hockey restart

But it’s not yet clear when city-operated rinks and rec centres will reopen

Proposed Marine Drive zone aims to make use of small lots ‘more efficient’

CR-3A zone discussed during White Rock’s first virtual public information meeting

Surrey Mounties seize shotgun, ammo, after officers shot at with BB gun in Newton

Police say they were on foot patrol in the 6400-block of King George Boulevard when someone fired at them with a BB gun

Rugby practices to return to Lower Mainland fields this fall

B.C. Rugby announced its return to play plan July 7

Delta man charged with arson in relation to New Year’s Day fire in Tsawwassen

The blaze at 5405 12th Ave. destroyed a building containing two dentist offices and a music school

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

Investigation clears RCMP in incident where man fell from Langley overpass

‘Officers acted commendably and placed themselves at risk’ police watchdog report finds

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Rural Chilliwack residents asked to stay indoors, lock doors amid heavy police presence

Heavy police presence in rural Chilliwack neighbourhood as RCMP contend with ‘serious situation’

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

Most Read