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

Just Posted

Surrey man mourns the loss of classmate killed in New Zealand mosque attack

When he heard news of the attack, he sent a message to his friend

Semiahmoo Ravens win first two games of peewee hockey provincials

Peninsula team hosting Tier 1 tournament at White Rock’s Centennial Arena

Surrey RCMP search for missing woman

Deborah-Lynn Hurshman was last seen on the 13600-block of 102 Avenue on March 12.

Vehicle plows through White Rock business

Incident happened at Kidazzles (1253 Johnston Rd.)

Defiant vigil starts healing in New Zealand after massacre

Police say the gunman in the shooting that killed 50 acted alone

B.C. First Nations’ intake of essential nutrients could drop by 31%: study

Professors project the nutrient decrease by 2050 if climate change mitigation continues as is

5 to start your day

Gas prices go up, a deadly single-car crash in Coquitlam, big day for Alphonso Davies, and more

Man enters unlocked B.C. home with knife, sexually assaults 22-year-old

Investigation ongoing after woman sexually assaulted in Greater Victoria early Sunday morning

Trudeau fills vacancy in cabinet with B.C. MP Joyce Murray

Murray, 64, was elected in 2008 and served previously as a minister in B.C.’s provincial government

Gunman kills 3 on Dutch tram; mayor says terror likely

Utrecht police release photo of 37-year-old man born in Turkey who is ‘associated with the incident’

Driver dies in fiery crash in Coquitlam

Police say speed was factor in single-vehicle collision

Facebook announces changes to political advertising to meet new federal rules

Bill C-76 bans the use of money from foreign entities to conduct partisan campaigns

Most Read