BC residents are invited to come out and have their say on the province’s Poverty Reduction Strategy.
A series of consultations will be held starting November 27 along with two stops in the Cariboo on February 2 in Williams Lake and in Quesnel on February 3.
The province believes it’s crucial to hear feedback from those who are living in poverty according to Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, Shane Simpson.
“It’s really important that we hear from people who are living the experience of poverty and people in the community who are engaged to make things better, it’s really important that we get those insights.”
“We know poverty is not just a Vancouver thing or a Victoria thing, it’s across the province as these circumstances are somewhat different in all jurisdictions.”
A 27-member Advisory Forum was formed last month, which includes Rosanna McGregor, the executive director of the Cariboo Friendship Society.
BC has the highest poverty rate in the country with 678,000 people according to the Market Basket Measure.
The total includes 118,000 children in low-income families and about 64,000 seniors.
About 40% of those living in poverty are working adults.
“Housing is a big challenge, either with issues of availability or affordability. Rental housing is very tough to come by for families to find in many parts of British Columbia and of the course, the price of housing is a hurdle for a lot of people so that’s a big piece,” says Simpson.
The forum will also support the minister by offering expertise and advice on how to best implement the strategy and to provide advice on legislation dates and timelines.