For the month of January 2012, Jagrup Brar responded to Raise the Rates’ MLA Welfare Challenge and lived on the welfare rate of $610. This gained widespread media coverage and public support for tackling the deep poverty in BC. BC has the greatest economic inequality the worst poverty and child poverty rates in Canada.
Sadly, since then, the BC government has not raised welfare rates and has done very little to relieve the hardships of those living in poverty in this province, so we need to keep the issues in the public’s mind, and continue to put pressure on BC’s politicians to act.
Raise the Rates calls on the government to:
- Increase income assistance to the Market Basket Measure
- Remove the arbitrary barriers to receiving welfare
- End the clawbacks of child support
- Raise earnings exemptions
- Increase the minimum wage to $15/hr
- Build 10,000 social housing units a year
- Provide high quality public childcare
- Reverse the tax cuts for the rich and corporations and increase tax on people earning over $250,000 a year
On this page we have links to publicity material and suggestions for action.
Some Suggestions for Actions You Can Take
Sign the petition
Please sign the petition, it only takes a few seconds. Also please send this on to your friends, family and colleagues and encourage them to sign it.
Talk to Your Local MLA
Arrange to meet with your local MLA to try to persuade them to implement the demands above.
Write to the Local Media
Local newspapers are usually happy to carry local stories, why not contact them or write a letter to the editor. If you want any help, do contact Raise the Rates.
Invite a Speaker to your Organization
Raise the Rates would be happy to provide a speaker to your group or organization (Faith community, union local, community group, etc). Just contact us: email@example.com
Hold a public meeting or event
We know that you will have some creative ways to get the attention of the media, and spread the word about how low welfare rates are and what a poverty trap welfare has become. Be sure to contact your local media about any activities you organize!
Do a public action, maybe outside your local MLA’s office
Maybe your event could take place in this strategic location!
Propose a Resolution
You could put forward a resolution to your organization – union, community group, etc in support of raising welfare and an anti-poverty program. Raise the Rates is happy to help.
Write to Provincial Politicians
Write to the Premier, Christy Clark, and Leader of the Opposition, John Horgan, or your provincial MLA. Find their contact information here: http://www.leg.bc.ca/mla/3-1-1.htm.
Read the letter from 40 members of St Thomas Parish, Vancouver to Premier Clark.
Here’s a sample letter:
Useful Information and Resources
- Facts about welfare (PDF)
- Useful reports and websites
- Raise the Rates posters and other activities that promoted our work
Poster showing the daily welfare rates is less than a coffee and a muffin (jpg)
- Flyer for distribution on need to raise welfare (two sides: jpg 1, jpg 2)
- Fact sheet about welfare in BC (pdf)
- Do the Math sheets, for single person and single parent family, showing how much money people on welfare have for a month and inviting the public and politicians to try to work out a budget
Feel free to distribute all of the above materials at any public meeting or action.
We would love to hear of your actions so do let us know.
If you would like more advice or ideas for activities or further information about Raise the Rates please contact: Bill Hopwood: firstname.lastname@example.org