Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall speaks at a poverty forum at Central School in 2015.

COLUMN: B.C. needs a poverty reduction plan

Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall's latest column focuses on poverty.

For the sixth time, New Democrats have introduced a Poverty Reduction Act for B.C.

We are the only Canadian province to not have an open and transparent poverty reduction plan with real measures of success.

We also have some of Canada’s highest poverty levels and least affordable housing and cost of living. Every year since 2013, I have given Christy Clark and the BC Liberal government the chance to change this, but she refuses. Nevertheless, I will continue to ask her to put big corporate donors and partisan politics aside and support of this bill.

Budget Response

When looking at this year’s provincial budget put forward by the BC Liberal government, I could only conclude that it was a blatant attempt to get British Columbians to forget the past 16 years of BC Liberal neglect, service cuts and broken promises.

The cost of living has skyrocketed, 91 per cent of seniors’ homes don’t meet the basic standard of care, a generation of kids have been denied the education they deserve, all because of direct choices by the BC Liberal government.

And while the promise is to cut MSP, it’s happening after Premier Clark has doubled it and continues to hike BC Hydro and ICBC rates.

New Democrats have been calling for an end to MSP and are committed to see it happen along with a budget that puts British Columbians first.

Homeless kids should not be left in the cold

While in Victoria this month, Carole James and I wanted answers, not excuses, on why Maple Ridges homeless kids can expect money for a shelter weeks before an election but not when the shelter needed it two years ago to keep it from closing. However, we later learned that the promise of re-opening the shelter wasn’t true at all.

The $1-million announced and described by the minister is going to an entirely different project. The result is that homeless youth are still left in the cold. We wouldn’t want that for Kootenay kids and we don’t want it for any kids in BC.

Sofa Chat

It’s been really informative and a whole lot of fun to host some of my fellow New Democrat MLAs in a Facebook Live Sofa Chat from the B.C. Legislature.

We’ve been discussing current events and topics at the heart of their roles as MLAs and New Democrat spokespeople. MLA Melanie Mark was in my office for a special Sofa Chat this Wednesday, International Women’s Day, to talk about women warriors and being a first in B.C. history.

You can tune into my Facebook page to watch live or click the links to view past Sofa Chats, which include David Eby and I talking about B.C.’s housing crisis and how government staff showed up to covertly record and spy on a recent New Democract Party youth event; a discussion with MLA Jodie Wickens on her motion for $10 per day childcare; and Gary Holman talking about banning big money from BC politics.

Kaslo Heritage Day

On February 18, I attended Kaslo’s Heritage Day events.

I arrived and joined a wonderfully large group of residents and visitors on a walking tour of Kaslo’s Heritage sites.

You can join a Heritage walking tour anytime you like by downloading a guide to your smart phone.

After the walking tour we enjoyed a light lunch and tea at the Legion Hall. Thank you to all the volunteers who made this such a great day!

 

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