Letters and Submissions

BC Premier Defends Lack of Support for Poverty Reduction Legislation – Bill M212

June 2014

In response to First Call’s call to action regarding Private Member Bill M212, the Poverty Reduction and Economic Inclusion Act, Premier Clark stated that legislated targets are not necessary to achieve “good outcomes.“ Rather, the solution is to lift “people out of poverty through job creation and improved access to training for well-paying jobs” and to improve the economy to “provide more revenue to government for spending on health, education and social services supports for those unable to work.”

The premier also noted that 19,000 families currently received subsidized housing; one million low-income British Columbians were exempt from paying income tax; 800,000-plus residents were not paying MSP premiums; the minimum wage was now $10.25/hour; milk and fresh foods were provided free of charge in elementary schools; an Early Childhood Tax Benefit now existed (as of 2015) – and, BC’s child-poverty rate had declined by 41 percent since 2003.