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Poverty reduction supporter sets BC election target


BC’s next projected election is in less than four months

You may have seen posters on some bus shelters before the holidays with the words "we can't afford poverty"

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — When Bill Hopwood was a kid, he says, there was no homelessness and there were no food banks.

“There were hardly any people pan handling. Now we are a richer country and a richer province, and yet you can’t walk any main street in Vancouver and not see people homeless.”

Hopwood is the organizer of Raise the Rates, a group lobbying to raise welfare rates in BC. But it’s a borader topic that he’s hoping with take center stage in the next BC election.

“Poverty costs an enormous amount of money … It’s such an enormous cost to the people of BC,” he says.

A campaign to encourage people to put pressure on politicians to make a change has launched including YouTube videos, public events, social media conversions, and posters with the words “we can’t afford poverty.

Some of the posters have already made appearances at bus shelters and community areas.

Hopwood says a good poverty reduction plan could save the province a lot of money.

“My dad’s in hospital at the moment and it costs $3,000 a day to keep a person in hospital. People who are poor are in hospital far more often because they get sick a lot more,” he says as an example of the cost of poverty.

“Getting the politicians to listen really is the key.”

The next provincial election is projected for May, 2017.