B.C. communities have seen the most progress on the ground in domains where the province has made substantial investments (for example, housing, child care, and food security). The B.C. government has also shown leadership piloting and expanding $10/day child care and minimum wage increases, with the minimum wage, was raised to $15.20/hr in June, making it the second-highest in Canada. Beginning in September 2021, public transit across the province will be free for children aged 12 & under.
For many municipalities, the enactment of a provincial strategy has legitimized poverty reduction planning and action led by local government. This was strengthened through the innovative Poverty Reduction Program, administered by UBCM
Having participated in the extensive consultations that informed the strategy, it was heartening to see clear evidence and understanding that poverty is a systemic and complex problem that requires a comprehensive and collaborative approach.
nequity and intersectional issues are acknowledged. Vulnerable groups and populations are clearly identified, and the voices of people with lived and living experiences are amplified.
Importantly, legislation requires the strategy reflect a commitment to reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. B.C. was the first province in Canada to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples for Indigenous communities. Related actions are geared towards self-determination, justice, access to culturally appropriate wellness supports, and acknowledge that addressing the ongoing effects of colonialism is fundamental.
In July, B.C. responded quickly to the discovery of unmarked graves at former residential school sites, including appointing Indigenous Liaisons and committing $12 million to support related research. Responding to evidence of Indigenous-specific racism in health care, in August the province announced an investment in new Indigenous cultural safety resource collection to support culturally safe health systems.
- Together BC
- Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission