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Petition to raise BC welfare rates nears final count

Last Updated Nov 10, 2015 at 5:54 pm PST

Raise the Rates Change.Org https://www.change.org/p/christy-clark-raise-social-assistance-rates-in-bc
Summary

A petition to raise BC’s welfare rates to $1,500 from $610 per month is looking for its last 1,000 signatures.

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – At the very least, they want the premier to tell them she’s listening.

By Monday evening, an online petition was near 1,000 signatures shy of its goal in order to ask the Province to increase the amount given out in social assistance to $1,500.

A tally of signatures by the evening of Monday, November 9, 2015

Currently BC allots $610 per month to those on welfare, a figure that has remained unchanged since 2007.

Bill Hopwood, organizer with Raise the Rates, said that budget allows only about $21 per week for food and creates a poverty trap.

“BC is the only province in Canada right now that doesn’t have a poverty reduction plan,” Hopwood said. “Now some of those plans with other provinces are better or worse, abut they are at least trying.”

Raise the Rates estimates poverty costs BC over $8 billion a year.

“Most of us just live our lives and we don’t really think about these things and I think the evidence is, most British Columbians, when they’re aware of it, go, my god.”

Recently the organization held their 4th Annual Welfare Food Challenge where nearly 200 people attempted to eat only what they could buy for $21 for a week.