The BC Poverty Reduction Coalition has called for a comprehensive plan to address poverty in British Columbia with legislated targets and timelines and since 2008 more than 400 organizations have signed on to the call. Calls have also been issued by the Union of BC Municipalities and by the BC Legislature’s own finance committee.
While BC is one of the wealthiest provinces in Canada, it also has one of the highest poverty rates in the country. The Government recognizes that previous efforts to reduce poverty were narrow in scope and failed to address the issue. They are now prepared to take a more multi-pronged, evidence-based approach.
Fall 2017, the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction initiated BC’s long awaited plan to examine the issue of poverty and developing a strategy to address it. A 28-member advisory committee has been tasked with gathering input from across the Province and provided a budget of $1.2 million to support a province-wide engagement process.
Twenty-one (21) of the twenty-five (25) Friendship Centres hosted ‘Indigenous Poverty Reduction Consultations’ through February and March of 2018, with some Centres hosting two sessions. A total of 1509 respondents participated in the consultations through in person interviews, surveys and facilitated sessions. Indigenous perspectives will be critical to the success of the Province’s poverty reduction agenda given the disproportionately high number of Indigenous families living in poverty in the province. More than a quarter million Indigenous people (First Nations, Inuit, and Metis) call BC their home; one in six Indigenous people in Canada live in the region
For more information the report can be read here