Letters: Discuss the solutions not the problems

Lawyer concerned with Tom Fletcher's comments in column

I read “Poverty of Politics Continues”, in which Tom Fletcher criticized the 2012 Child Poverty Report Card both for containing a “familiar script” of recommendations and for using what he views as an inaccurate tool to measure the extent of child poverty in BC.

As an anti-poverty lawyer, Mr. Fletcher’s editorial concerned me. First, he is right that many of the Report Card recommendations have remained the same over years, but that is because little progress has been in many of the areas.

Second, even if Mr. Fletcher’s opinion that the current tool to measure poverty is inaccurate, I fail to understand why we should dismiss the recommended solutions because we don’t know the exact extent of the problem.

We can see many of these issues through simple common sense. For example, a single person on temporary welfare gets $610/month to cover all basic living costs and a single person with a severe disability gets $906 (almost two-thirds of total income assistance cases are in the disability category). Average rent for a bachelor apartment in B.C. is almost $800. It’s clear that people cannot survive on current assistance rates.

Finally, aside from the basic dignity issues raised by Mr. Fletcher’s suggestion that poor people move out of urban areas to reduce their costs, I will just note that many essential services for a person trying to survive on the above rates, like subsidized housing, food banks, accessible infrastructure, and specialized medical care, are easier to access in urban areas.

My desire to see B.C.’s poverty rate decline has nothing to do with a desire for “big government.” I would rather live in a society that supports all of its citizens and doesn’t leave many of them behind.

It’s time for a meaningful public discussion about solutions.

Kendra Milne

Burnaby

(raised in Sooke)

 

Just Posted

RCMP ask for public’s help to determine cause of weekend fire

RCMP are investigating the cause of the South Island Concrete fire

Whitecaps favourite switches to the Island

Marcel de Jong worked to end Whitecaps contract, joining Pacific FC on the ground floor

VicPD seeks person of interest after short-term rental ransacked

Combined losses for damage and theft are over $5,000

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

One arrested, weapons and drugs seized in Sooke bust

During the Feb. 6 raid, police found firearms, ammunition, drugs, and brass knuckles

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

B.C. man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of Feb. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read