BC announces poverty reduction plan

The BC Government has launched it's poverty reduction plan.

The goal is to reduce the overall poverty rate by 25 per cent across the province, and the child poverty rate by 50 per cent.

The strategy document outlines programs already announced like affordable housing, lower child care costs, plus raising income and disability assistance rates.

The announcement on March 18th is positive in the eyes of the BC Poverty Reduction Coaltion, but spokesperson Trish Garner says "rent increases really vacuumed up any of the other beneficial impacts of those policy measures. So, that is a real concern, and that is one of the reasons that we've been focusing on vacancy control and will continue to focus there."

Garner says until there is rent control, a focus on affordable housing won't pay off - the gap between the wealthy and the poor in the province is too wide. 

Garner also says transportation is another vital component  that has not yet been addressed. She says examples include "free transit for children and youth, and a low-income adult pass. Here in BC, we're actually pretty far behind other jurasdictions in taking these kinds of measures to make sure that people can get around: can get to their work, can get to school, can get to medical appointments, and can be part of the community."