December 9, 2016
First, thank you for your long-standing commitment to helping BC kids and for willing to do the heavy lifting on measures to shape public policy. Please be assured that I will look for every opportunity to support measures to deal with poverty, especially through collaboration between the federal and provincial governments.
In that regard, I will continue to prod BC’s governing party to re-assess their decision to allow a staggering increase in the cost of annual transit passes, which were such a critical catalyst for so many people wanting to access services and stay connected in the community. When I served as Director of Communication for TransLink, I remember the move by Gordon Campbell to cancel the bus pass program shortly after his election as Premier, and how he ended up changing all of that because he saw the immense social and health benefits it delivered.
As you probably know, there are many moving parts in the federal government’s total plan for Canada , and many of them are or will contribute to lifting Canadians out of difficult economic and social situations. The Canada Child Benefit may not be mentioned that often, but the impact it has continues to be significant.
Your November 25th email offered direction on a comprehensive range of initiatives, and I will raise it with the appropriate Ministers. Like you, I am looking forward to more details on a Poverty Reduction Strategy.
I am concerned when I get emails and letters from people who are upset over the support we give as a nation to refugees or via foreign aid when there is so much to be done to help people here at home. My view is that, regardless of our current national economic situation, we are a wealthy enough nation to do both. Accomplishing the overall objectives must be a mix of immediate measures to alleviate suffering and support for the fundamentals needed to move people into a sustainable, more prosperous life.
Member of Parliament – Fleetwood-Port Kells