B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau questions NDP government minister in the B.C. legislature, July 13, 2020. (Hansard TV)

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau questions NDP government minister in the B.C. legislature, July 13, 2020. (Hansard TV)

B.C. VOTES 2020

B.C. Greens leader calls for move to basic income system

Don’t tie education fund to enrolment, Sonia Furstenau says

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau released her platform for the Oct. 24 election Wednesday, including changes to the province’s social assistance program to move toward a “basic income transition” in the future.

The first step would be making the temporary additional $300 COVID-19 crisis supplement added to social assistance and disability assistance permanent, and establish a 12-month period for recipients to make additional money without having it deducted from support payments. The Greens also want income assistance to be tied to inflation, and to eliminate the “asset test” that requires people to sell possessions such as vehicles to be eligible.

“Our social assistance programs do not lift people out of poverty, they actually entrench them,” Furstenau said at a campaign event in New Westminster Oct. 14.

Furstenau called for school district funding to be kept at the 2019-20 level, as schools deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and a transition to home and online learning that is affecting enrolment. She said districts are laying off teachers due to the pandemic, at a time when they need to adapt to the changes it has imposed on them.

Building on an earlier campaign promise, the platform pledges to provide $300 million in new funding to “begin the phase-in of up to 25 hours free early childhood education programs per week for three and four-year-olds, rising to $550 million as capacity expands.”

The platform confirms previously announced Green promises, including a plan to phase out public funding of for-profit long-term care facilities. NDP leader John Horgan adopted a similar position after Furstenau raised the issue in the election’s only televised debate Oct. 13.

RELATED: NDP’s long-term aim to phase out for-profit senior care

RELATED: B.C. parties battle over taxes to recover from COVID-19

The plan includes a rental support program for people paying more than 30 per cent of their income in rent, and an extension of leases for housing co-ops that are about to expire. That would lead to the creation of a land bank for new co-ops, and a capital fund to support acquisition and maintenance of rental housing by non-profits.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC Votes 2020

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Skeena Queen, serving the Swartz Bay-Fulford Harbour route has been out of action since early Wednesday morning, forcing BC Ferries to cancel eight sailings connecting the Saanich Peninsula and Salt Spring Island. It is not clear when service will resume. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
BC Ferries cancels sailings between Greater Victoria and Salt Spring Island

With repairs to Skeena Queen underway, it is not clear when service will resume

Victoria police ticketed and impounded the vehicles of two drivers after they were caught speeding through a school zone. (Black Press Media file photo)
Two drivers caught doing nearly triple the speed limit in Victoria school zone

Almost $1,000 in fines, vehicle impounded for each motorist

Michael Arthor Leighton is wanted by the Saanich Police Department for assault. (Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers/Twitter)
Police seek man wanted for assault in Saanich, multiple charges in other jurisdictions

Michael Arthor Leighton is known to travel around the Island, Saanich police say

Lookout Lake water levels are low as the dam undergoes upgrades. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Colwood dam upgrades projected to be under budget

Province designates Lookout Brook as a high consequence dam should it fail

The Turkey Head Walkway. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Oak Bay community sees untapped potential in Turkey Head

Part 3 of a closer look at Oak Bay Marina and Turkey Head

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sails down, masks up for Ron and Sherry Pryde, who completed a 119 day journey that was supposed to be 70 days. (Zoe Ducklow)
Coast Guard towed rudderless sailors to Port Hardy hours before a powerful storm

Rudderless for a month, the couple zigzagged most the way home with “a few donuts and lazy-eights”

Brody Peterson said he intends to dispute tickets issued by Grand Forks RCMP at his backyard “house warming” Saturday, Oct. 10. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Brody Peterson told The Gazette he intends to dispute tickets issued by Grand Forks RCMP at his backyard “house warming” Saturday, Oct. 10. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
‘This is a big outdoor space’: Grand Forks man behind backyard party to fight COVID tickets

Homeowner Brody Peterson said he’ll dispute tickets for refusing police instructions, alleged COVID violations

A glimpse of some of the 480 (approx) cars written off as a result of the acid spills along the Trail highway in 2018. Photo: Trail Times
Kootenay Ford dealer’s frustration grows with ICBC

Trail AM Ford owner Dan Ashman says he just wants fair compensation from ICBC

Mail-in ballot from Elections BC (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
At least 26% of eligible voters have already cast their ballot, Elections BC says

Voters can cast a ballot until 8 p.m PST on Election Day

A 2018 decision to fly a rainbow flag ended up costing the City of Langley $62,000 in legal fees (Langley Advance Times file)
Human rights win in rainbow flag fight cost B.C. city $62,000

“Lengthy and involved” process provoked by complaint

Spawning salmon have returned to local streams. (The Canadian Press)
TOP 5: Suggestions for your week ahead

This week – storytime, politics and wildlife

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a news conference Tuesday October 20, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau and his family decide against trick-or-treating this year due to COVID

Adhering to local health authorities, Trudeau urges Canadians to do their part in following those guidelines

Most Read