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 37 per cent behind in housing supply projections

Of 18 cities in Metro Vancouver, only City of North Vancouver and Richmond met or exceeded projections

Winning Christmas card art shown at Surrey gallery

Arts Council of Surrey’s annual competition won by Edwin Stephen and Nancy Painter

Delta police campaign shines a light relationship violence

Campaign comes after a Delta man was charged with assault with a weapon and uttering threats

‘A labour of love’: High school turns into ‘toy shop’ for Surrey Christmas Bureau

Fraser Heights Secondary has been making toys for the non-profit for more than a decade

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

Owners of hotels on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside fight $1 expropriation in court

Vancouver City Council voted to expropriate the properties for $1 each in November

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

B.C. pharmaceutical company’s stocks double in value after successful lupus drug trial

More than 40 per cent of patients using voclosporin saw improvements in kidney function

Second warning on romaine lettuce from California region as another E. coli case reported

Two cases of E. coli have been reported in relation to the illness in the U.S.

Braille signs coming to TransLink bus stops in 2020

Transit authority says it’s the first to do so in Canada and the United States

CUPE issues 72-hour strike notice for SkyTrain

Local 7000 release states ‘parties are still bargaining’, union will have job action plan by Saturday

Abbotsford man was ‘unintended victim’ of 2018 fatal shooting, police say

Jagvir Malhi, 19, was gunned down while on his way to university

Most Read