Province Must Lead on Poverty, Say BC Cities

Submitted by Tamarack on November 10, 2015 - 12:30pm
By Andrew Macleod

This article was originally published in The Tyee on October 29, 2015 by Andrew Macleod. It is re-posted here with permission.


The Union of British Columbia Municipalities is ending its partnership with the provincial government on a three-year-old poverty reduction project and instead wants the province to pursue a broader anti-poverty plan.

"The pilot project is completed," said Al Richmond, the president of the UBCM. "There's not really a role for us to play at this time... If they come back with initiatives to reduce poverty in British Columbia, UBCM will be more than happy to participate."

The Community Poverty Reduction Strategies project began in 2012 in seven B.C. communities -- Prince George, Surrey, Port Hardy, Kamloops, Cranbrook, New Westminster and Stewart -- where the Ministry of Children and Family Development funded family consultants to lead the development of action plans to help families living in poverty and to connect low-income families with existing services.

The results were mixed, according to a recent UBCM policy update, with some success but also frustrations with the gaps in services. Among the problems cited were that "low-income families were being referred to programs that were over-subscribed" and "there was an absence of services in small and rural communities."

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