Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sticking it to the poor

University of Victoria Political Science Professor Michael Prince wrote a good piece on another of the victims of the provincial budget. For minimal savings but significant impacts, the BC Liberals are again sticking it to the province's most disadvantaged citizens.

It's not enough that we live in some of the most expensive real estate in Canada - but we have the lowest minimum wage and the highest rate of child poverty. Our income assistance programs reveal a big gap between what people get in support and what they need to live on - I'm sure even some of the development industry are frustrated that those programs aimed at providing or subsidizing housing don't cover their real costs, and that's making it harder for them to justify doing business in the rental or affordable housing market.

The choices will be hard for too many. Dental care or food (of any sort)? Shoes you can walk in (if a disability requires special footware), or paying the phone bill?

We need to provide, and at least at the municipal level some councils, including ours, Vancouver and others, are trying to fill some of the gaps in housing, access to health care, and a host of other services that the province should be paying for.

Prince writes eloquently about the impacts of saving nickels and dimes on the backs of the poor. It's worth reading.

No comments:

Post a Comment