Photo of Audrey Siegl

Take Action

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:

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:

Raise the Rates sent these letters to Christy Clark and Adrian Dix, they may be of use for ideas.

Read the letter from 40 members of St Thomas Parish, Vancouver to Premier Clark.

Here’s a sample letter:

[MLA Address]


Dear [MLA Name],

I am a member of your constituency and I want you to know that I support the work of the Raise the Rates campaign. Here are some things which I would like to see the British Columbia Legislature take action on:

  • Increase Income Assistance Rates to the Market Basket Measure. This is approximately $1,300 a month in Vancouver, for a single person. I want to see the rates indexed to inflation.
  • Remove arbitrary barriers that prevent people in need from receiving assistance. The 2-year independence test, the 5-week work search and restrictions based on citizenship status are unfair and prevent people from receiving the help they need.
  • Increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour and index it to inflation.
  • I want to see an end to the clawbacks that prevent single parents receiving support from the absent parent.
  • Build at least 10,000 units of affordable non-market housing per year in addition to increases in supportive housing, assistive living units and shelter beds.
  • Provide high quality public childcare.
  • Increase the tax rate on people who earn more than $250,000 per year and reverse the tax cuts to corporations.

These measures will ensure that everyone in British Columbia is able to participate in our economies and communities. These measures will help to end poverty in our province. We should not have anyone in our province that has to live in poverty since there is no reason why anyone in Canada should have to go without.

By implementing the solutions brought forward by the Raise the Rates campaign, this government can show the people they care about the well being of British Columbians, and are willing to fulfill their responsibilities to their constituents.

Yours truly,


Useful Information and Resources

Here are:

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:


5 Comments on “Take Action

  1. Love the ideas and yes it’s time for things to change. I am a single parent on PWD and I barely make it each month. But here’s something else that no one has mentioned that I think would help alot of single parents. That is the fact that the ministry forces you to assign your right to Child Support to them and in doing so gives them the right to deduct it dollar for dollar from your cheque. It’s wrong… that is money that a court of law said was for the support of my child and it gets take away or should I say stolen every month. In my case it’s almost $300 and it would make a huge differnce in our lives. I would mean not so much reliance on food banks and freebies and thrift stores. Just a thought. Thanks

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