October 14, 2014
Premier Christy Clark & Hon. Don McRae, Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation
Station PROV GOVT
Victoria, BC V8W 9E1
Dear Premier Clark and Minister McRae,
RE: Raising Social Assistance Rates
I am writing on behalf of many constituents who receive social assistance, and are in dire financial straits every day. Specifically, I respectfully request that you raise welfare rates.
The typical rate of $610/month is grossly inadequate to meet basic needs. This amount means that there is only $26/week remaining to cover not only food but also clothing, medication, transport, childcare, education, hygiene, and other fundamental necessities – a task that cannot be realistically achieved. The current welfare rates are abysmal and ensure that people will remain destitute.
It is difficult to put into words the sense of anger and despair shared by those stuck in the poverty trap. This is a wealthy province, so why does our province have the highest poverty rate in all of Canada? This is often passed off as due to individual failings, but I have seen an abundance of motivation and capacity amongst those living below the poverty line. The problem is due to a failure of public policy.
I know that it is our collective hope that our poorest citizens have a better life, and a better future. But first they need stability. And stability is only achieved with a decent income. The rates need to be raised immediately – and I ask that your government do so.
Thank you for your consideration.
Libby Davies, MP (Vancouver East)