A month on welfare turns focus on the poor

Jagrup Brar has taken a courageous stand to accept the MLA Welfare Challenge.

Jagrup Brar has taken a courageous stand to accept the MLA Welfare Challenge and live on provincial income assistance rates for one month in order to discover the reality of life for social welfare recipients.

Some people in the community feel that this challenge is a joke and that living on $610 a month will not be difficult, however they are very wrong. Mr. Brar has undertaken a serious effort to show the plight of people receiving social welfare.

His actions will demonstrate a big divide between the rich and poor, and make people aware that this gap has to be minimized.

Almost 60 per cent of the South Asian community lives under the poverty line but they do not realize their predicament because we engage in practices of communal living within our large families so that we can economize living expenses. When groups of people, like a family, are able to pool their money together, they can stretch their dollars even further.

I’d like to bring the focus off of those receiving income assistance to the farm workers in our communities. It is very difficult to raise a family on farm worker wages, especially as they do not even earn minimum wage. How can farm workers sustain themselves while sending their children to higher education? They will never be able to afford it.

Many people who live under the poverty line visit India, wear very nice clothes and pretend to be well paid. However, they live and earn here – in Canada. They have to pay for their food, shelter and other miscellaneous necessities of life in Canadian dollars; not in Indian rupees. Therefore they must consider supporting this demonstration for justice. In the first week of January I will ask the community and farm workers to come out and support this event by openly asserting their plight with large placards stating 1) We Want Minimum Wage; 2) We Want Stat Holidays; and 3) We Want Overtime. Farm workers deserve these rights like any other workers in B.C. that are governed by Employment Standards.

I also implore the community to support Jagrup Brar’s Welfare Challenge. Mr. Brar’s initiative is a great platform for us to put pressure on the government to do something for poor working people.

 

Charan Gill

CEO

Progressive Intercultural Community Services

Just Posted

White Rock looking at 3.9% tax increase

Budget discussions are to take place this week

PHOTOS: White Rock Festival of Lights celebrated with a cheer

Hundreds of people gathered in the city Saturday for a Christmas event

Seniors plead to Surrey council ahead of public hearing for 1,000-plus unit development

In June, seniors in the buildings said they felt ‘left in the cold’ as plans for redevelopment materialized

Several people in custody following reports of shots fired into a Surrey home

Police say the incident happened in the early hours of Saturday morning

Surrey RCMP asks for public’s help to find missing 15-year-old boy

Prabhjot Singh Gill was last seen Dec. 6 in the area of 140th Street and 66th Avenue

MAP: Christmas light displays in Surrey and beyond

Send us pictures of your National Lampoon-style lit-up homes, nativity scenes or North Pole playlands

B.C. creates $8.5M organization to improve safety for health care workers

Group will bring together unions, province, health care organizations

Four men in hospital after early morning Vancouver stabbing

A large group of men was seen fighting in Yaletwon

Kovrig clings to humour as ‘two Michaels’ near one year in Chinese prison

Their detention is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Brain injury from domestic abuse a ‘public health crisis,’ says B.C. researcher

Nearly 80% of the domestic violence victims who reported to police last year were women

Campbell River mom’s iPhone containing priceless photos stolen from Victoria hospital parkade

The phone contained photos, heartbeat recordings of her late son

Miller nets winner as Canucks edge Sabres 6-5 in OT

Roussel, Leivo tally two apiece for Vancouver

Most Read