Canadian Social Research Links

British Columbia 
Government Links

Sites de recherche sociale au Canada

Sites du gouvernement 
de Colombie-Britannique

Updated March 5, 2017
Page révisée le 5 mars
2017

[ Go to Canadian Social Research Links Home Page ]


Jump directly further down on the page you're now reading:

* Key Welfare Links in BC - scroll down to the grey box below, right column
* Latest BC Budget
- February 21, 2016 (See "NEW" below)
* Poverty reduction in BC
* Minimum wage in BC

* Non-governmental sites in BC : see the first two links in the left column below this text box

See these related Canadian Social Research Links pages also:

- British Columbia NGO Links (A-C)
- British Columbia NGO Links (D-W)
- British Columbia Welfare Time Limits
-
The Vancouver Olympics and The Poverty Olympics


PovNet - friends and kindred spirits in BC --- current and comprehensive site - highly recommended!


Media

(HINT: Try clicking each media link below and searching their archive for specific words, e.g., welfare)

Victoria Times-Colonist
Vancouver Province
Vancouver Sun

Georgia Straight
TheTyee
Monday Magazine
Vancouver Courier

 
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Each issue includes all links added to this site during the previous week.
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NEW

Opinion: Guaranteed Basic Income on verge of takeoff in Canada
https://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2017/03/02/Guaranteed-Basic-Income-Canada/

Basic income in BC? Green Party wants it but some welfare advocates don’t
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/basic-income-in-b-c-green-party-wants-it-but-some-welfare-advocates-don-t-1.3999759

--------------------------------------------------------

Long Overdue:
Why BC needs a poverty reduction plan
By Seth Klein, Iglika Ivanova and Andrew Leyland
January 11, 2017
BC is Canada’s only province without a poverty reduction plan. This report examines the most recent statistics on poverty and its associated hardships in BC, and demonstrates that strong policies are urgently needed to dramatically reduce and ultimately eliminate poverty in our province.

Complete report (PDF - 1.7MB, 44 pages)
https://www.policyalternatives.ca/sites/default/files/uploads/publications/BC%20Office/2017/01/ccpa-bc_long-overdue-poverty-plan_web.pdf

Report Summary (PDF - 740KB, 4 pages)
https://www.policyalternatives.ca/sites/default/files/uploads/publications/BC%20Office/2017/01/ccpa-bc_long-overdue-poverty-plan_summary_web.pdf

Source:
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
https://www.policyalternatives.ca/

---

- Go to the Provincial and Territorial Anti-poverty Strategies and Campaigns page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/antipoverty.htm


Average Rent Prices for September 2016
with Data Provided for 20 Canadian Cities
- avg. rents for studio/bachelor - 1-2-3bedrooms

New report on rents in various communities across Canada
http://www.rentseeker.ca/blog/index.php/newly-updated-rental-data-shows-average-rents-for-20-canadian-cities/2917
News Release
September 14, 2016
By the RentSeeker Team
Canada’s Leading Real Estate Listing Website and Apartment Finder, published newly updated rental data in what’s become it’s [sic] highly popular Infographic format, which has become a popular resource for renters, landlords, economists, and journalists which shows Average Rent Prices for September 2016 with data provided for 20 Canadian cities. (Click the link above to select an apartment size and one of the 20 Canadian cities below, in no particular order.)

* Toronto : http://www.rentseeker.ca/Toronto.aspx * Lethbridge : http://www.rentseeker.ca/Lethbridge.aspx
   
* Ottawa : http://www.rentseeker.ca/Ottawa.aspx * Hamilton : http://www.rentseeker.ca/Hamilton.aspx
   

* Calgary : http://www.rentseeker.ca/Calgary.aspx

* Mississauga : http://www.rentseeker.ca/Mississauga.aspx
   
* Montreal : http://www.rentseeker.ca/Montreal.aspx

Niagara Falls : http://www.rentseeker.ca/Niagara_Falls.aspx

   
* Edmonton : http://www.rentseeker.ca/Edmonton.aspx

* Oshawa : http://www.rentseeker.ca/Oshawa.aspx

   

* Vancouver : http://www.rentseeker.ca/Vancouver.aspx

* Burnaby : http://www.rentseeker.ca/Burnaby.aspx

   

* Kingston : http://www.rentseeker.ca/Kingston.aspx

* Brampton : http://www.rentseeker.ca/Brampton.aspx

   

* London : http://www.rentseeker.ca/London.aspx

* St. Catharines : http://www.rentseeker.ca/St._Catharines.aspx

   

* Sarnia : http://www.rentseeker.ca/Sarnia.aspx

* Halifax : http://www.rentseeker.ca/Halifax.aspx

   

* Windsor : http://www.rentseeker.ca/Windsor.aspx

 

Source:
RentSeeker.ca
– Canada’s Leading Real Estate Listing Website and Apartment Finder
http://www.rentseeker.ca/


British Columbia Budget 2016
February 16, 2016

From the
Government of British Columbia:
[
http://www2.gov.bc.ca/ ]

February 16, 2016

Balanced Budget 2016
http://bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2016/default.htm
British Columbia’s continued fiscal discipline and steady economic growth are providing the means for new and increased funding for services, helping families with the cost of living, and taking new steps to help promote home ownership, Finance Minister Michael de Jong announced today.

Budget Highlights (small PDF file, 8 pages)
http://bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2016/highlights/Balanced_Budget_2016_Highlights.pdf

News Release (small PDF file, 3 pages)
http://bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2016/newsrelease/2016_News_Release.pdf

Budget backgrounders (small PDF files):
--- New Measures Aim to Improve Housing Affordability
http://bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2016/backgrounders/2016_Backgrounder_1_Housing.pdf

--- B.C. Families Will See Savings with New MSP Premium Rate Structure
http://bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2016/backgrounders/2016_Backgrounder_2_MSP.pdf

--- Fiscal Plan 2016-17 – 2018-19
http://bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2016/backgrounders/2016_Backgrounder_3_FiscalPlan.pdf

Budget documents:
http://bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2016/default.htm
Everything from the budget speech to backgrounders, Ministry service plans, fiscal plans and more...

---

Related links:

B.C. announces funding boost for children in government care
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/bc-announces-funding-boost-for-children-in-government-care/article28776987/
Source:
The Globe and Mail
February 16, 2016

---

BC Best Province for Low Taxes? Uh, Not for Poor Families
http://thetyee.ca/News/2016/02/18/BC-Poor-Families-Tax/
Despite finance minister claim, low-earners with kids better off in Alberta or Quebec.
By Andrew MacLeod, 18 Feb 2016

---

Christy Clark's Inequality Budget
Unfairness grows in BC's tax system, with families paying more and businesses less.
http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2016/02/19/Christy-Clark-Inequality-Budget/
By Paul Willcocks
16 Feb 2016
(...)
There is a pervasive myth that growing inequality is the inevitable result of some economic force, as immutable as gravity. In reality, inequality is growing in large part as a result of government policy. When a government decides to rely less on progressive taxes to raise money it increases inequality
(...) What British Columbians really need is a commission on tax fairness to look broadly at the way taxes are collected, who is paying and how we can build a more equitable, transparent and sustainable system to raise the revenue government needs.

-----

Highlights of British Columbia Budget 2016-2017 (small PDF file, 3 pages)
https://landlordbc.ca/sites/default/files/budget_-_2016.pdf
Budget highlights include:
--- Creation of the BC Prosperity Fund
--- Changes to MSP Premiums
--- Improving Housing Affordability
--- Affordable Housing Initiatives
--- Home Ownership Data Collection
--- Investing in BC’s Future Workforce
--- Infrastructure Spending
--- BC Economy Initiatives
--- Taxation Policy

British Columbia
Removing financial barriers for persons with disabilities on assistance

https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2015SDSI0069-001847
News Release
November 5, 2015
(...)
Beginning Dec. 1, 2015, the amount of assets that people receiving disability assistance may hold without losing eligibility for assistance will rise to $100,000 for an individual with the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) designation, and $200,000 for a couple where both have PWD designation. Currently, the asset limits are $5,000 and $10,000 respectively.
And for the first time in B.C., persons with disabilities will be able to receive cash gifts with no effect on their eligibility for assistance.

Source:
Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation
https://news.gov.bc.ca/ministries/social-development-and-social-innovation

Regulation changes support families on income assistance
https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2015SDSI0038-001163
July 24, 2015
Amendments to the employment and assistance and the employment and assistance for persons with disabilities regulations made today pave the way for significant changes to the income and disability assistance program in British Columbia.
These changes will come into effect on Sept. 1, 2015.

The new Single Parent Employment Initiative will remove barriers to employment for single parents on income and disability assistance, providing them with the training and supports they need to secure long-term and sustainable employment. Up to 16,000 single parents on income and disability assistance will be able to benefit from this program which offers:
* Up to 12 months of funded training for in-demand jobs, or a paid work experience placement;
* Transit costs to and from school;
* Child-care costs during their training or work placement and in the first year of employment;
* Health supplement coverage for a full year after they leave income assistance for employment;
* Single parents will also be able to remain on income assistance when they attend a training program, and
* Exemptions for bursaries, scholarships and grants have also been extended to single parents in approved training programs.

More info about the Single Parent Employment Initiative:
http://www.eia.gov.bc.ca/programs/spei.html?WT.mc_id=6e9c1f21d87a06bfbc2cae62fbf4ba97&WT.cg_n

Two additional changes come into effect on September 1, 2015, that will help all families with children transition to employment:
https://news.gov.bc.ca/stories/more-help-for-families-with-children-on-assistance
* An increase in earnings exemptions
* Retaining your health supplements for up to 12 months after leaving assistance for employment.

Source:
BC Government News
https://news.gov.bc.ca/

From the
Caledon Institute of Social Policy:

Social Assistance Summaries 2014 (PDF - 235KB, 49 pages)
http://www.caledoninst.org/Publications/PDF/1062ENG.pdf
Anne Makhoul, March 2015

The informative Social Assistance Statistical Report [ http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2011/rhdcc-hrsdc/HS25-2-2008-eng.pdf ], published by the federal and provincial/territorial governments, was last released in 2010 and presented 2008 data. In its place, the Caledon Institute will publish a Social Assistance Summaries series as part of its web-based Canada Social Report, which will be operational in spring 2015. In the interim, this publication offers an advance viewing of 12 of Canada’s 13 provincial and territorial Social Assistance programs. Material from Nunavut was not available in time to be included in this paper.
A summary was prepared for each province and territory with input and feedback from government representatives in every jurisdiction. All reports include program descriptions and data on the number of social assistance cases and recipients dating, in most jurisdictions, from 1997 to 2014. The summaries will be updated annually.

Source:
Caledon Institute of Social Policy
http://www.caledoninst.org/

Free tuition, child care for single parents on welfare:
B.C. reveals new plan to help move people back into the workforce
http://www.vancouversun.com/story_print.html?id=10880844
BY Rob Shaw
March 11, 2015
VICTORIA — Single parents on welfare can get free tuition and child care as they train and start a new job, the government announced Wednesday. The province unveiled a new $24.5-million plan that will cover school fees, daycare, medical costs and transportation for single parents as they try to move off income or disability supports and into the workforce...). The government has not increased the income assistance or disability rates since 2007. A 10-per-cent increase to the welfare rate would cost the province $140 million a year, according to government estimates. Premier Christy Clark has said the government can’t afford to raise support rates, but will explore doing so once the economy improves.

Source:
Vancouver Sun
http://www.vancouversun.com/

---

From the
Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation:

[ http://www.gov.bc.ca/sdsi/ ]

Significant changes announced to support single parents on assistance
http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/2015/03/significant-changes-announced-to-support-single-parents-on-assistance.html
March 11, 2015
The Government of B.C. is announcing a significant change to the income and disability assistance program that will help single parents secure a meaningful job by allowing them to stay on assistance for up to 12 months while they train for their new job.
(...)
Under the new Single Parent Employment Initiative, more than 16,000 single parents on income and disability assistance will also have access to a range of supports that will help break down the barriers they often face when trying to find a full-time job, including:
* Tuition and education costs for approved training programs that last up to 12 months for in-demand jobs.
* Transportation costs to and from school.
* Full child-care costs during training.
(...)
The Single Parent Employment Initiative will launch in September 2015.

This builds on yesterday’s announcement* that supports all parents on income assistance who want to pursue employment and move towards economic independence. The government doubled earning exemptions from $200 to $400 per month for all families with children, and increased them from $300 to $500 per month for families who have a child with disabilities.

Critique of the earnings exemption policy
http://www.thetyee.ca/News/2015/03/12/BC-Family-Welfare/

* More help for families with children on assistance
http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/2015/03/more-help-for-families-with-children-on-assistance.html
March 10, 2015

British Columbia
Rent Assistance Initiatives:

Rental Assistance Program for working families with children
http://www.bchousing.org/Options/Rental_market/RAP
The Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER) program helps make rents affordable for BC seniors with low to moderate incomes. SAFER provides monthly cash payments to subsidize rents for eligible BC residents who are age 60 or over and who pay rent for their homes. To qualify for this program, families must have a gross household income of $35,000 or less, have at least one dependent child, and have been employed at some point over the last year.

Shelter Aid For Elderly Renters
http://www.bchousing.org/Options/Rental_market/SAFER
SAFER is cash assistance to help with monthly rent payments in private market rental units for seniors 60+ who pay more than 30% of gross monthly income towards rent, meet citizenship requirements and have lived in BC for the full 12 months preceding application

Seniors' Rental Housing initiative
http://www.bchousing.org/Options/affordable_rental
Low to moderate income seniors over 55 and persons with disabilities can access affordable rental housing options
- See more at: http://www.bchousing.org/Options/affordable_rental#sthash.uIJsgWDY.dpuf

Source:
BC Housing

http://www.bchousing.org/

British Columbia Budget 2015/16
http://bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2015/default.htm
February 17, 2015
- budget main page, includes links to all budget papers (several of which appear below)

British Columbia Balanced Budget 2015/16 (small PDF file, 3 pages)
http://bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2015/newsrelease/2015_News_Release.pdf
News Release
February 17, 2015
Balanced Budget 2015 maintains discipline, supports economic growth and job creation
The B.C. government has introduced Balanced Budget 2015, which includes forecast surpluses in all three years of the fiscal plan and modest investments in priority areas.

Budget Speech (PDF - 131KB, 20 pages)
http://bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2015/speech/2015_Budget_Speech.pdf

Budget and Fiscal Plan 2015/16 – 2017/18 (PDF - 2.1MB, 138 pages)
http://bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2015/bfp/2015_budget_and_fiscal_plan.pdf
Part 1: Three Year Fiscal Plan
Part 2: Tax Measures
Part 3: British Columbia Economic Review and Outlook
Part 4: 2014/15 Updated Financial Forecast (Third Quarterly Report)

Budget Highlights (small PDF file, 8 pages)
- http://bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2015/highlights/2015_Highlights.pdf

Supplement to the Estimates
Fiscal Year Ending March 31, 2016
(PDF - 745KB, 80 pages)
http://bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2015/estimates/2015_Supplement_to_the_Estimates.pdf

Budget Backgrounder (small PDF file, 2 pages)
http://bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2015/backgrounders/2015_backgrounder_1_fiscal_plan.pdf

---------------------------------------------

Analysis and media coverage:

From the BC Office of
the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives:

11 things you need to know about BC Budget 2015
http://www.policynote.ca/11-things-you-need-to-know-about-bc-budget-2015/
1. Budget 2015 ends the claw-back on child support payments for single parents on welfare
2. BC remains the only province in Canada without a poverty reduction plan.
3. MSP premiums are going up again
4. Budget 2015 underfunds key public services. Spending increases to health care and education are failing to keep up with inflation and population growth.
5. Running a surplus does not mean that BC is prospering.
6. BC spends more every year providing tax credits to corporations than to low income individuals.
7.(...) Budget 2015 ignores a number of important recommendations coming out of this year’s pre-Budget consultation report that would have greatly improved the lives of some of the most vulnBritish Columbia Budget 2015/16
http://bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2015/default.htm
February 17, 2015
- budget main page, includes links to all budget papers (several of which appear below)

British Columbia Balanced Budget 2015/16 (small PDF file, 3 pages)
http://bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2015/newsrelease/2015_News_Release.pdf
News Release
February 17, 2015
Balanced Budget 2015 maintains discipline, supports economic growth and job creation
The B.C. government has introduced Balanced Budget 2015, which includes forecast surpluses in all three years of the fiscal plan and modest investments in priority areas.

Budget Speech (PDF - 131KB, 20 pages)
http://bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2015/speech/2015_Budget_Speech.pdf

Budget and Fiscal Plan 2015/16 – 2017/18 (PDF - 2.1MB, 138 pages)
http://bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2015/bfp/2015_budget_and_fiscal_plan.pdf
Part 1: Three Year Fiscal Plan
Part 2: Tax Measures
Part 3: British Columbia Economic Review and Outlook
Part 4: 2014/15 Updated Financial Forecast (Third Quarterly Report)

Budget Highlights (small PDF file, 8 pages)
- http://bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2015/highlights/2015_Highlights.pdf

Supplement to the Estimates
Fiscal Year Ending March 31, 2016
(PDF - 745KB, 80 pages)
http://bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2015/estimates/2015_Supplement_to_the_Estimates.pdf

Budget Backgrounder (small PDF file, 2 pages)
http://bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2015/backgrounders/2015_backgrounder_1_fiscal_plan.pdf

---------------------------------------------

Media coverage and analysis:

From the BC Office of
the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives:

11 things you need to know about BC Budget 2015
http://www.policynote.ca/11-things-you-need-to-know-about-bc-budget-2015/
1. Budget 2015 ends the claw-back on child support payments for single parents on welfare
2. BC remains the only province in Canada without a poverty reduction plan.
3. MSP premiums are going up again
4. Budget 2015 underfunds key public services. Spending increases to health care and education are failing to keep up with inflation and population growth.
5. Running a surplus does not mean that BC is prospering.
6. BC spends more every year providing tax credits to corporations than to low income individuals.
7.(...) Budget 2015 ignores a number of important recommendations coming out of this year’s pre-Budget consultation report that would have greatly improved the lives of some of the most vulnerable British Columbians.
8. The BC Early Childhood Tax Benefit, which was originally announced in BC Budget 2013, is too small to make a real difference for families.
9. BC is not getting a fair return on our publicly owned natural resources.
10. Budget 2015 admits defeat on the BC Jobs Plan.
11. There is no action on climate change in this budget.

Source:
Policy Note
http://www.policynote.ca/

---

Policy Note is the blog of the BC Office
[ https://www.policyalternatives.ca/offices/bc ]
of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
[ https://www.policyalternatives.ca/ ]

Also from CCPA-BC:

BC Budget 2015 fails to make real investments in British Columbians: economist
https://www.policyalternatives.ca/newsroom/news-releases/bc-budget-2015-fails-make-real-investments-british-columbians-economist
February 17, 2015
(Victoria) Budget 2015 demonstrates a short-sighted focus on recording a surplus instead of a long-term vision that would address serious social and environmental deficits, says Iglika Ivanova, Senior Economist at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

----------------------------------------------------

From CBC News:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/

B.C. Budget 2015: Canada's only province in the black
High earners, home buyers and fewer car insurance claims push surplus to almost $1B
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/b-c-budget-2015-canada-s-only-province-in-the-black-1.2960956
By Chris Brown
February 17, 2015

More CBC News budget coverage - 11 articles
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/topic/Tag/B.C.%20Budget%202015

----------------------------------------------------

From CTV News:
http://www.ctvnews.ca/

Single parents can keep child-support, but little else in budget for families
http://bc.ctvnews.ca/single-parents-can-keep-child-support-but-little-else-in-budget-for-families-1.2241022

Highlights from B.C.'s 2015-2016 provincial budget
http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/highlights-from-b-c-s-2015-2016-provincial-budget-1.2240633

----------------------------------------------------

From Global News:
http://globalnews.ca/

The BC Opposition responds to Budget 2015 (video, duration 9:26)
http://globalnews.ca/video/1835628/2015-bc-budget-opposition-responds/

---

- Go to the 2015 Canadian Government Budgets Links page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/budgets_2015.htm

NEW


Minimum Wage:

Current and Forthcoming Minimum Hourly Wage Rates for Adult Workers in Canada
- federal govt. site --- the best resource for info on current and upcoming minimum wage levels
Source :
Minimum Wage Database

-----------

Related links from the
Progressive Economics Forum Blog:

The Economics of the Minimum Wage
By Andrew Jackson
January 27, 2007

Revisiting the minimum wage disemployment effects
By Iglika Ivanova
August 6, 2008

 



Hotlinks
The links below will take you directly to the following
British Columbia government and non-governmental web pages:

Government Home Page
Office of the Premier
Government Directory
Current News - Government-Wide
Legislative Assembly
Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation
Ministry of Children and Family Development
Ministry of Health
Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation
Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development
Office of the Ombudsperson
Ministry of Finance
Ministry of Justice and Attorney General
Ministry of Education
Ministry of Advanced Education and Innovation and Technology
Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens' Services
Auditor General
BC Housing

--------------------------------

B.C. Centre of Excellence for Women's Health

Victoria Times-Colonist
Vancouver Province
Vancouver Sun
Georgia Straight - "Canada's Largest Urban Weekly" [Vancouver]
TheTyee
Monday Magazine
Columbia Journal

 

 

 


British Columbia Provincial Election Resources

British Columbia went to the polls on Tuesday, May 14, 2013.
Source:
Election Almanac
- complete coverage of federal, provincial and territorial elections in Canada including election results, public opinion polls, ridings and candidates, election news, electoral history, links, and more

- Go to the Political Parties and Elections Links in Canada (Provinces and Territories) page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/politics_prov_terr.htm

 

Key welfare links

Department responsible for welfare
Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation

Name of the welfare program
BC Employment and Assistance Program

Legislation
Employment and Assistance Act
- Employment and Assistance Regulations
Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act
- Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Regulations

Source:
BC Laws

Policy Manual
Employment and Income Assistance Online Resource

Welfare statistics
See Social Assistance caseload/beneficiary statistics and expenditure information, 1997 to 2014 - this link takes you to a section of the Key Welfare Links page of this site. UPDATED APRIL 1, 2015

BC Employment and Assistance Latest Month Caseload Statistics (incl. time series stats)
Social Statistics - from BC Stats
Labour and Social Statistics - from BC Stats
See also:
Number of People on Welfare, March 1995 to March 2005 (PDF file - 133K, 1 page)
Source: National Council of Welfare

Welfare rates (benefits)
Increases to Income Assistance Rates (Feb. 20/07)
- incl. rates before and after April/07
Income Assistance rates - (effective January 1, 2005)
Disability Assistance rates - (effective January 1, 2005)
Source:
BC Employment and Assistance Rate Tables

- incl. links to other welfare allowances for special needs and other benefits

Plus (for children):
BC Family Bonus - from the Ministry of Small Business and Revenue

Latest search results on Google.ca for
"welfare, -child, -animal, British Columbia"

- Web search results
- News search results
- Blog search results

Related Links
* The Cost of Eating in BC 2011 Report (PDF file - 4.6MB, 16 pages) [Feb. 2012] - from the Dietitians of Canada

* The Rise and Fall of Welfare Time Limits in BC (PDF - 294K, 37 pages) - June 2008
Source: Vancouver Island Public Interest Group
Related link : British Columbia Welfare Time Limits
* MEIA Service Plan, 2008/2009 to 2010/2011 (from BC Budget 2008 - Feb. 19/08)
* Still Left behind : A Comparison of Living Costs and Income Assistance in British Columbia
(PDF - February 2008, from the Social Planning and Research Council)


For more information about welfare in other Canadian jurisdictions,
see the
Canadian Social Research Links Key Provincial/Territorial Welfare Links page.




Poverty Reduction in BC
NOTE: this link takes you to the BC section of the
Anti-poverty Strategies and Campaigns page of this site:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/antipoverty.htm

Since May 2010, ALL links to content concerning poverty reduction strategies and campaigns have been moved to the above page from the individual provincial/territorial pages, including government and NGO links.



Public-Private Partnership to Renovate Single-Room Occupancy Hotels in the Downtown Eastside

http://www.fin.gc.ca/n12/12-024-eng.asp
March 2, 2012
Vancouver, British Columbia—The Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia today announced a public-private partnership to renovate and restore 13 provincially owned Single-Room Occupancy (SRO) hotels housing some 900 residents in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside to provide access to clean and safe social housing. The Government of Canada will contribute up to $29.1 million through the P3 Canada Fund towards eligible construction and implementation costs. The Province will contribute $87.3 million towards construction and implementation costs and additional funding over a 15-year maintenance period.

Source:
Department of Finance Canada

http://www.fin.gc.ca/



From BC Stats:

Social Statistics
A number of statistics are available that offer indications of the social fabric of the province.
The Socio-Economic Profiles and Indices present data in tables and charts on population, economic hardship, labour market issues, education, crime, health problems, risk factors for children and youth, and regional immigration indicators. Data on the proportion of the population receiving Income Assistance and Employment Insurance is presented quarterly and Community Fact Sheets offer a comparison to provincial figures of various socio-economic indicators using annual figures primarily. Finally there are links to other sources of Education Data and a page with information on Other Social Statistics.

Income Assistance and Employment Insurance Statistics
http://www.bcstats.gov.bc.ca/StatisticsBySubject/SocialStatistics/IncomeAssistanceEmploymentInsurance.aspx

Labour and Income Statistics
http://www.bcstats.gov.bc.ca/StatisticsBySubject/LabourIncome.aspx



British Columbia 2013 Election : May 14, 2013

http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/politics_prov_terr.htm#bc
Click the link to go directly to the BC 2013 election section of the provincial-territorial election links page.
- includes links to parties, platforms, results, analysis and critique of the election.



April 28, 2010
New Westminster BC Enacts Canada's First Living Wage Bylaw
For a collection of links to information about this progressive initiative in BC and the living wage movement in general,
go to the Living Wage Links section of the Minimum Wage Links page


Government Home Page*

Government Directory
Government News Releases 
Search/Browse by Ministry or by Topic 


*
Lies, damn lies and government websites:

[December 2009]
David Schreck is an independent watchdog of the British Columbia government.
In the article below, he "reviews" the new BC Government Home Page by systematically debunking several of the self-congratulatory factoids (found in the section entitled For the Record: Facts on Current B.C. Issues) from the govt. site.

BC Government's Revised Website - A Commentary by David Schreck
December 15, 2009
"(...) British Columbians have learned the hard way after the last election that the B.C. Liberals suffer an enormous credibility gap. Whether it is their claims about the HST, promises about the deficit, commitments to protect health and education or simply statistical facts about child poverty and employment, you have to check the facts for yourself because you can't believe what the government tells you, updated website or not."
- includes half a dozen links to authoritative sources of data that contradict or correct statements found in the For the Record page, notably with respect to the government's claims about poverty reduction and job creation.

Source:
StrategicThoughts.com
This is the personal website of David Schreck - political pundit, former MLA and former Special Advisor to the (NDP) Premier, among other accomplishments.

Related link:

Government of British Columbia Home Page



Office of the Premier

Government of British Columbia Home Page
Premier's Speech at the swearing-in ceremony
News release (June 16)
List of new cabinet ministers
Summary of ministry responsibilities

Executive Council of the Government of British Columbia - from the website of the Office of the Premier - new Cabinet with biographies.

Google News search Results : "British Columbia, new government cabinet"
Google Web Search Results : "British Columbia, new government cabinet"
Source:
Google.ca

Legislative Assembly

Legislation

Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation

Reports and Publications - links to reports, manuals, books, brochures and other publications 

News

BC Employment and Assistance Programs (Welfare)

Key welfare links in BC - scroll back up to the grey box on this page for all important links to welfare program information in BC.

 


Here's where you'll find
the most recent welfare stats from BC: 

BC Employment and Assistance Caseload Statistics - latest month and time series
(Scroll to the bottom of the page for archives going back to 1996)
- extensive caseload breakdowns by case type, family type, family size, single male / single female split, and more
- incl. stats on Continuous Assistance cases (Persons with disabilities or persistent multiple barriers to employment)

Other Research - links to MHR Exit Surveys

Selected news releases and other site content:

June 2012
British Columbia's welfare rules are changing

Common Sense Changes Encourage Work, Protect Vulnerable Families
http://www2.news.gov.bc.ca/news_releases_2009-2013/2012PREM0079-000835.htm
News Release
June 11, 2012
VANCOUVER – Premier Christy Clark today unveiled the first pillar of her Families First Agenda: Supporting Vulnerable Families. These changes and initiatives will help build a stronger foundation for B.C. families to help them become self-sufficient. (...) The changes, most of which will come into effect later this year, will help vulnerable families attain better financial outcomes, assist individuals with disabilities lead more independent lives and help people capable of work avoid the cycle of income-assistance dependence.

To improve financial outcomes for vulnerable families, changes include:
· Increasing the school startup supplement so that families now receive $100 for every child aged 5-11, and $175 for every child 12 and over.
· Providing access to dental services for children of families on hardship so parents can take their children in for regular dental checkups.
· Exempting income tax refunds so individuals and families on income assistance will be able to keep their full income tax refund.

To assist individuals with disabilities to lead more independent lives, changes include:
· Individuals receiving disability assistance will be able to earn up to $800 per month and still receive their full benefits.
· Providing the flexibility to calculate earnings on an annual basis, rather than monthly, so individuals with disabilities can maximize their earning during times when they are feeling healthy and able to work to an annual total yearly exemption of $9,600.

To help families avoid the cycle of income assistance dependency, changes include:
· Extending work search requirements for new applicants from three weeks to five weeks.
· Instituting a modest $200 monthly earnings exemption for all expected-to-work clients, regardless of family size, to give employable individuals a better opportunity to get job skills and experience, take advantage of short-term or temporary work, and better provide for their families while receiving assistance.
· Enhancing employment planning to support people transitioning off income assistance and returning to work.
(...)
In addition to these changes to income and disability assistance, in April the Ministry of Social Development opened 85 centres in communities throughout the province to deliver the new Employment Program of B.C., which provides the supports and services to get unemployed British Columbians back into the workforce quickly. Over the coming weeks, more ideas and actions will be put forward to support our commitment to supporting families in B.C.

NOTE : At the bottom of this news release, you'll find a detailed backgrounder with more info on these measures.

Source:
Office of the Premier
http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/ministries/office-of-the-premier/
Ministry of Social Development
http://www.gov.bc.ca/hsd/

---

More information about the
Families First Agenda: Supporting Vulnerable Families (PDF - 836K, 19 pages)
http://www.bccare.ca/pdf/Christy%20Clark%20-%20Families%20First%20Agenda.pdf (dead link)
February 2011
2011 Liberal leadership campaign document
by leadership candidate Christy Clark:
[ http://www.christyclark.ca/ ]
[ http://www.bcliberals.com/ ]

Comment (by Gilles):

At some point after Christy Clark won the BC leadership race (and the Premier's chair) in February 2011, the link to www.christyclark.ca/ started redirecting visitors to www.bcliberals.com and all site content on the candidate's website vaporized. You'll note that the URL of the above PDF file is not from the Liberal party website, but rather the BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) [ http://www.bccare.ca/ ].
BRAVO, BCCPA, for fostering government accountability by preserving this document.
BOO, Liberal Party of BC, for deep-sixing an online checklist of campaign promises against which Premier Clark's performance could be measured.

Perhaps my online searching abilities are on the wane, but I found it next to impossible to find more than a few passing references to the Families First Agenda in the February 2012 BC Budget [ http://www.bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2012/default.htm ] . The main budget document is 162 pages and "Families First" doesn't appear once. The 2012/13 – 2014/15 Service Plan for the Ministry of Social Development doesn't mention Families First. The service plan for Children and Family Development contains exactly three mentions of "Families First" (twice on p. 3 and once on p.9).
To check these and other budget papers, click the 2012 Budget link in this paragraph.

[For that matter, I spent some time searching the BC Government website in general for anything on Families First, and came up pretty much empty. If you find some decent background info about this initiative on a BC govt. site, please send it along to me so that I can post its link.]

---------------------

Related links:

From the
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives:

New BC welfare rules: some positive steps forward (and a couple steps back)
http://www.policynote.ca/new-bc-welfare-rules-some-positive-steps-forward-and-couple-steps-back/
June 12, 2012
By Seth Klein
Yesterday (June 11) the BC government surprised many when it announced a host of welfare policy changes. In all, almost 30 welfare rule adjustments are to be enacted (the full list of rule changes can be found here : http://goo.gl/zeuW7 ).
After more than a year as premier, the announcement was billed as “the first pillar of [Premier Clark’s] Families First Agenda.” The changes themselves were described as “common sense” reforms (begging the question of why the government stubbornly refused to make these changes for 10 years). Overall (but with some important exceptions), these changes are good news and long overdue. That said, many of the changes are marginal; most will impact very few people, and the government itself estimates the overall cost of the full suite of changes at approximately $5 million – a rounding error in provincial budget terms.

Source:
Policy Note (blog)
http://www.policynote.ca/

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/

---

From
The Tyee:

'Modest' changes to welfare welcomed, with some exceptions
http://thetyee.ca/Blogs/TheHook/BC-Politics/2012/06/11/WelfareChanges/
By Andrew MacLeod
June 11, 2012
Advocates welcomed most of the changes the provincial government made today to the income assistance program, but criticized the province for increasing the time people will have to wait for help and for failing to raise rates."We're generally pleased, but we would like to see a raise in the rates," said Trish Garner, an organizer with the B.C. Poverty Reduction Coalition [ http://bcpovertyreduction.ca/ ]. Social Development Minister Stephanie Cadieux called the changes, the bulk of which will come into effect in October, "modest" and Premier Christy Clark described them as "balanced changes" that support people who are unemployed while encouraging them to get work. The province reversed a couple of major policies the BC Liberals put into place in 2002, shortly after forming the government.
(...)
Seth Klein (Director of the BC Office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives [ http://www.policyalternatives.ca/offices/bc ], criticized the government for increasing from three weeks to five the time people who are classified as "expected to work" will be required to wait before receiving help. "It just feels punitive and penny pinching," he said. "It just creates a lot of hardship for people." Welfare is understood as a last resort and people don't tend to apply until they're in desperate need, he said. "All indications were the three-week wait was a dysfunctional rule, and they've chosen to expand it." While Klein agreed most of the changes Cadieux and Clark announced are common sense, he said, "This extension of the three week wait to five weeks is the one piece in all this that's quite the opposite."

Source:
The Tyee

http://thetyee.ca

---

From the CBC:

B.C. welfare changes draw lukewarm support
NDP says Liberals reinstating benefits they took away in 2001

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/06/11/bc-welfare-changes-reaction.html
June 11, 2012
B.C. Premier Christy Clark is drawing lukewarm praise from anti-poverty groups and the Opposition New Democrats for increasing assistance to poor families and British Columbians receiving disability payments. Clark said Monday her $5 million plan to supplement the incomes of vulnerable B.C. families and support the goals of disabled people looking for jobs is the first pillar in her Families First Agenda. (...) Clark will introduce welfare system changes later this year that provide extra money to needy families to get their children ready for school and she's allowing people who receive disability assistance to earn up to $800 per month without losing their benefits.

Source:
CBCNews
http://www.cbc.ca/news/

---

Outcomes of BC Employment and Assistance (BCEA) Applicants that* do
not Complete the Application Process
(PDF - 516K, 16 pages)
January 2011
The analysis in this report uses tax data in Statistics Canada’s Longitudinal Administrative Databank (LAD) to examine the income of applicants that did not complete the income assistance application process over the period 2000 to 2004.
Specific findings of the report are:
- The median after-tax income of non-returning applicants is higher than what they would have received on full-time, full-year income assistance.
- The median income of non-returning applicants increases over the two-year follow-up period, indicating that they are financially better off in the
years after their uncompleted application for income assistance.
Source:
BC Ministry of Social Development

---

Related link:

What Happened to Welfare Applicants Who Dropped from Radar?
Government failed to track those who stopped applying, then didn't file tax returns.
By Andrew MacLeod
February 3, 2011
Many people who started applying for welfare in British Columbia but didn't finish the application process made more money than they would have had they received assistance, a British Columbia government study said. [See the link to the study below). But the study only included people who filed income tax returns for three years in a row, leading one welfare observer to conclude the government still knows little about how changes to the system in 2002 affected the most vulnerable. At that time the government introduced, among other changes, a three-week delay in the process where applicants were expected to look for work.
(...)
In a March 2009, report called "Last Resort," (PDF - 2.2MB, 132 pages), the B.C. Ombudsperson's Office said the ministry had agreed to find out whether people who discontinue their application process move on to employment or educational programs within two months, and to report their findings publicly. While the government's outcomes report obtained by The Tyee confirms many people fail to complete the application process, it adds little to what's known about what happens to those people. "After the [2002] change in the application process, 58 per cent of applicants that were not exempted from the three-week work search requirement did not return for the second stage of the application process," the report said.

Source:
The Tyee

---

Is BC Child poverty - down or up?

Child Poverty Continues its Decline
Factsheet
June 17, 2010
VICTORIA – Statistics Canada released figures (June 2010) showing that child poverty levels in BC have declined for the fifth year in a row and are now at a nearly 30-year record low for the province:
· Child Poverty in B.C. has declined for the fifth year in a row, according to figures released today by Statistics Canada.
· The most recently-released child poverty rate is 10.4 per cent. That is a 20 per cent decline from 13 per cent the year previous and a 46 per cent drop since 2003.
· The child poverty level (LICO after tax) is now at its lowest level since 1980.
· The child poverty rate in B.C. fell by 46 per cent between 2003 and 2008.
· Provincially, the median after tax income for families for two or more people rose 5.7 per cent in B.C.
Source:
British Columbia Ministry
of Children and Family Development

---

From BC New Democrats*
(Official Opposition):

REALITY CHECK:
B.C. Ranks Highest in Canada for Child Poverty
(dead link)
News Release
June 17, 2010
Today the B.C. Liberals are saying they’re proud of new child poverty figures from Statistics Canada.
But a closer look at the numbers reveals that B.C. continues to have the highest child poverty rate in the country, for the seventh year in a row. As the Statistics Canada figures show, more than one in ten B.C. children live in poverty.
[ * BC New Democrats? What happened to "New Democratic Party"? More re-branding, I guess...]

Province to cut $25m from income assistance:
15% increase in welfare recipients (dead link)
By Jonathan Fowlie
March 30, 2010
Many of British Columbia's most vulnerable citizens will see significant changes to their social safety net beginning Thursday as the provincial government moves to cut millions from what it hands out in income assistance. From a reduction in dental visits to a cancellation of the province's minimum shelter allowance, the government hopes to save $25 million over the next two years through the reductions -- something it says needs to be done in light of a recent explosion in demand for income assistance.
Source:
Vancouver Sun

Outstanding Warrants (PDF - 34K, 3 pages) (dead link)
March 19, 2010
Information Factsheet
Effective June 1, 2010, changes to the BC Employment and Assistance Program will restrict eligibility for income assistance or disability assistance for persons who have outstanding arrest warrants for indictable offences in BC or other provinces, as well as arrest warrants under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada).
Source:
Ministry of Housing and Social Development

Related links:

Many problems found with welfare law (dead link)
(Cutting off welfare and disability payments
to people who have outstanding criminal warrants)
June 1, 2010
The provincial government's plan to refuse welfare and disability payments to people who have outstanding criminal warrants has one major flaw: It relies on the honesty of those charged with crimes to tell social service workers that they have outstanding warrants. It's not the only problem with this new law that comes into affect today. This new regulation is punitive, pointless and counterproductive. It punishes people who may be charged but never convicted of a crime. It's counterproductive because it is likely it will force some people to steal just to survive, if they are honest enough to admit that they have an outstanding warrant and then have their request for welfare denied.
Source:
Canada.com

---

Welfare crackdown (video, 1:25) (dead link)
Pivot Legal Society's John Richardson reacts to the B.C. government suing hundreds of welfare recipients to try to recover overpayments
[ NOTE: After you've viewed the above video, check the right-hand column next to the video screen for more poverty-related videos from BC. ]
Source
MSN Canada

---

New B.C. bill could cut off social assistance for minor offences (dead link)
By Rob Shaw
November 20, 2009
VICTORIA — People with outstanding warrants for relatively minor offences — such as shoplifting or property damage — could be denied income assistance in British Columbia under a newly-passed bill the provincial government had claimed was supposed to focus on serious criminals.The confusion marks the latest hiccup in legislation that's believed to be the first of its kind in Canada, but which critics say is almost sure to face a challenge under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Source:
Victoria Times Colonist

The legislation, as passed:

Bill 14 — 2009
Housing and Social Development
Statutes Amendment Act, 2009

Third Reading Copy
17th day of November, 2009

The news release from the
Ministry responsible for welfare:

Outstanding warrants to be ineligible for social assistance
News Release
October 19, 2009
VICTORIA – The provincial government will restrict access to income assistance and disability assistance for people with outstanding indictable arrest warrants in B.C. and other provinces, as well as arrest warrants under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada). Indictable offences are the most serious types of offences and include a wide range of crimes such as assault, breaking and entering, drug trafficking, murder, assault with a weapon, and assault causing bodily harm.
Source:
Ministry of Housing and Social Development

Related links:

BC law to deny welfare to some; wording too loose says NDP
By Andrew MacLeod
October 19, 2009
British Columbia housing and social development minister Rich Coleman today introduced legislation that he says will prevent people with outstanding warrants for serious crimes from receiving welfare. But New Democratic Party critic Shane Simpson says the legislation will also affect people who have committed only minor crimes. “The minister has issued a press release that says one thing and a piece of legislation that says something very different,” said Simpson. “They have a blank cheque on who they can capture with this and that's inappropriate.”
Source:
The Tyee

B.C. to deny welfare to alleged criminals (dead link)
October 19, 2009
.B.C. Social Development Minister Rich Coleman plans to cut off welfare and disability payments to people with outstanding arrest warrants.
Critics are raising concerns about a new bill introduced by the B.C. government that would deny social assistance or disability benefits to anyone with an outstanding arrest warrant. The provincial minister for housing and social development, Rich Coleman, said the bill is aimed mainly at people from other provinces who move to B.C., although it applies to anyone with an outstanding warrant for an indictable offence anywhere in the country.
Source:
CBC

Welfare rules won't apply to other benefits;
People who get low-income tax credits will not have to submit to criminal record check
s
By Justine Hunter
October 20, 2009
While British Columbia seeks to deny welfare benefits to people who are wanted by police, it does not apply the same standards to people collecting provincial tax credits. The province does, however, deny inmates of federal prisons from receiving low-income tax credits, and is currently seeking to expand that exclusion to include prisoners in provincial jails. The province offers numerous tax credits to low-income earners, including sales tax and climate-action rebates. A government official said yesterday there are no plans to require a criminal background check to screen for outstanding warrants in those cases.
Source:
Globe and Mail

Bill urges criminal checks for welfare seekers
First-of-its-kind law to weed out those with warrants
for serious crimes based on a principle of ‘punishment,' civil liberties group says
By Justine Hunter
October 19, 2009
British Columbians seeking welfare and disability benefits will be denied assistance unless they agree to a criminal background check, under proposed new legislation tabled yesterday. Housing and Social Development Minister Rich Coleman told reporters that the law, expected to be in effect early in 2010, is meant to ensure the province is not paying benefits to people who are wanted by police in other jurisdictions for serious crimes.

Source:
Globe and Mail

---

Act will protect homeless in extreme weather
News Release
October 29, 2009
VICTORIA – The Province has introduced the Assistance to Shelter Act to keep homeless British Columbians safe from extreme weather by giving police the authority to take people at risk of harm to emergency shelters, announced Housing and Social Development Minister Rich Coleman. (...) Police will have to be satisfied people are at risk of harm due to the weather conditions before taking them to an emergency shelter. Once at the shelter, they have the right to decide whether or not they want to stay at the shelter. The shelter may provide the opportunity for individuals to connect with outreach workers, who can help them access medical, financial and long-term housing supports. (...) The new legislation will apply to adults age 19 and older when an extreme weather alert has been issued for a community. It is expected that the legislation will be in place this winter. Youth are covered by the Child, Family and Community Service Act, which provides the framework for Child Protection Services.
Source:
Ministry of Housing and Social Development

The legislation:
Assistance to Shelter Act (Bill 18, 2009 - First Reading)
"Explanatory Note: This Bill establishes a scheme for issuing and cancelling extreme weather alerts and enables police officers to transport persons at risk to emergency shelters when extreme weather alerts are in effect."

Related links:

B.C. introduces controversial homeless law
October 29, 2009
By
Darcy Wintonyk
The B.C. government introduced a controversial law Thursday that allows police to force homeless people to go to a shelter - but won't give officers the power to make them stay. Homeless advocates and provincial civil rights watchdogs have denounced the legislation, saying it is little more than a veiled attempt to clean up Vancouver streets before the 2010 Olympic Games.
Source:
CTV

---

More bad news for welfare
May 30, 2009
BC's latest welfare "statistics" were released mid-afternoon on Friday, May 29th. The "temporary assistance - expected to work" caseload increased 52.9% between April 2008 and April 2009. The total caseload increased by 14.4%, year over year. "Expected to work - two parent families" increased by 77.1%. Not only is the welfare caseload increasing, but the rate of increase is increasing! When the August 2008 data were released on the eve of the Vancouver by-elections, five months before the latest budget, the data showed an increase in "temporary assistance - expected to work" of "only" 20.2% and in the total welfare caseload of "only" 5.5%
[ incl. links to three related resources ]
Source:
Strategic Thoughts.com
The website of David Schreck, retired NDP MLA and active political pundit

New BC welfare numbers show continued climb
By Andrew MacLeod
May 29, 2009
VICTORIA – The British Columbia welfare caseload continued to rise in April, according to government figures released today. The total number of cases grew by 0.7 percent since March. The number in the expected to work category receiving temporary assistance was 54 percent higher in April than it was in June 2008. The total number of clients, including those on disability assistance, was 161,780 in April. That's still significantly lower than the 244,821 in 2001 when the then new B.C. Liberal Party took office and tightened eligibility requirements. In 1995 there were 367,387 clients on the welfare caseload.
[ incl. links to three related resources ]
Source:
The Tyee

---

Welfare in BC Up 49.8% - Revealed Post Election
May 15, 2009
The first crumb of what will likely be a lot more previously hidden bad news came out three days after the election when the Ministry of Housing and Social Services released welfare statistics (see "Related links" below) that should have been released by the end of April. The statistics for March 2009 show that for the category of "temporary assistance expected to work" the caseload increased by 49.8% between March 2008 and March 2009. The total welfare caseload is up 13.6% relative to a year earlier, and stands at the highest level since 2002. The welfare caseload has not only been increasing, but the increase has been accelerating. That was taking place in 2008 when Premier Campbell was still claiming that BC would duck the worst of the recession. It was worst yet during the election campaign when Premier Campbell was saying "Keep BC Strong". Thousands of British Columbians aren't looking at "keeping" BC strong, they just desperately want to regain their own strength.
Source:
Strategic Thoughts.com

Income Levels of BC Employment and Assistance (BCEA) Clients after They Leave Income Assistance (PDF - 279K, 16 pages)
2009 (PDF file dated April 24/09, 2pm)
The analysis in this report uses tax data from Statistics Canada to examine the income of clients that left assistance and never returned. It is a followup to a previous report, Outcome of those Leaving Assistance, which found that over 80 percent of employable clients who left assistance had employment income.
Specific findings of the report:
· Median total family income of clients, defined as aftertax aftertransfer income including employment income, is higher after clients leave income assistance and increases over time.
· Clients who left income assistance have income significantly higher, in some cases two to three times higher, than they would have receiving income assistance for the entire year.
· Most of the increase is attributable to increases in employment income.
· More...
Source:
Ministry of Housing and Social Development (HSD)

Related link from HSD:

Outcomes of Those Leaving Assistance (PDF - 61K, 6 pages)
February 2007
"(...) Since 2002, 88.2% of Expected to Work (ETW) clients who have left assistance and have not returned as of 2005 have employment income, are attending education or have other income in the year following their exit from IA."

Province refused to release report on welfare leavers
By Andrew MacLeod
April 24, 2009
The British Columbia government has suppressed a report on what happens to people who leave the province's welfare system, but now is promising to release it today.
(...) The province has insisted that the rapidly declining welfare caseload has been the result of more people finding employment. Other research, including a landmark study (PDF - 599K, 8 pages) by Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives researchers, and past Tyee coverage, suggests tightening eligibility rules in 2002 played a large role in the decline. A recent report by provincial Ombudsman Kim Carter, Last Resort (PDF - 2.2MB, 132 pages) , noted, “The ministry lacks evidence to support its conclusion that the reduction in the income assistance caseload is a result of people leaving assistance for employment.”
NOTE: The above article was posted in the morning on April and the Ministry posted its report (below) at 2pm (the timestamp on the PDF file).
The Tyee will quite likely have a followup article early in the coming week; check the Tyee home page for updates.
Source:
The Tyee

2005/06 Annual Service Plan: Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance
July 17, 2006
- includes : Message from the Minister and Accountability Statement * Highlights of the Year * Purpose, Vision, Mission and Values * Strategic Context * Service Delivery and Core Business Areas * Report on Performance * Goals, Objectives, Strategies, and Performance Measures * Deregulation * Report on Resources * Appendix A: Values and Service Code * Appendix B: Glossary of Terms
- highly recommended reading, especially the three links that you can click in the two lines above --- that's where you'll find (under "Core Business Areas") a good description of how Employment and Income Assistance (welfare) works in British Columbia, along with what they've accomplished and what they've spent in the past year, compared with what they said last year they would do and how much they planned to spend. There's much more info in the service plan, definitely worth checking out. You might also want to go to the service plan page for all Ministries to explore the plans for Children and Family Development and Health, among others.

NOTE: In the interest of balanced reporting, you might also want to read some of the reports about social programs in BC by a few of the non-governmental organizations that are the social justice watchdogs of the West Coast. Below, you'll find links to three such organizations, the BC Office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the Social Planning and Research Council (SPARC) of British Columbia, and PovNet, a BC-based "online resource for advocates, people on welfare, and community groups and individuals involved in anti-poverty work."
- BC Office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
- Social Planning and Research Council (SPARC) of British Columbia
- PovNet

BC Welfare Caseload Up
February 5, 2008
The Campbell government continues to suffer from the excesses of its first term. Time will tell whether the bungled sale of BC Rail, details of which are unfolding in the courts, will inflict damage before the May 2009 election. It still has not escaped the consequences of cutting the Ministry of Children and Family Development as if it were any other government department, and this week it is being reminded of its 2001 decision to cut the Mental Health Advocate. For a surprise on the list of memories, who would have thought that under the hard-hearted Campbell government the welfare caseload would increase?
Source:
Strategic Thoughts

------------------------------------------------------------

January 31, 2008
Province invests $200,000 in Direct Deposit initiative

News Release
VICTORIA – The Province is offering an incentive package that consists of a knapsack, warm socks, a toque and a pair of gloves to encourage income assistance clients to sign up for direct deposit, announced Claude Richmond, Minister of Employment and Income Assistance.
Source:
Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance

<...and, if the writers of This Hour has 22 Minutes were writing the next line of the above news release, it would read : "Minister Richmond is pleased to report that the initial response to the direct deposit incentive has been quite positive among those Income assistance clients who would prefer to not freeze their feet, head and hands this winter.">

------------------------------------------------------------

B.C. to put welfare payments on government debit cards
System to free recipients from cheque fees and carrying cash
(dead link)
December 06, 2007
VICTORIA -- Low-income British Columbians may soon get government-issued debit cards so they can manage assistance payments without facing hefty cheque-cashing fees or other problems. The project -- which follows a similar program in Alberta -- is meant to target the 24,000 low-income earners in the province who either don't have bank accounts or are otherwise ineligible to receive payments by direct deposit.
Source:
Vancouver Sun


JobWave
"JobWave™ is the most successful employment program in the history of British Columbia, continually bringing innovation to the field of job placement."

Source:
WCG International
WCG International will run the JobsNow pilot in six pilot communities in cooperation with municipal Ontario Works offices.

Related Link:

JobsNow (Ontario) - "Brighter Futures, Stronger Communities"
A website of WCG International

------------------------

New Employment Program Means More Job Success
July 26, 2006
KAMLOOPS – The new $35-million BC Employment Program has been successfully launched by the Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance. This means 15,000 income assistance clients in British Columbia will have an even better chance of finding and keeping a job this year. (...) The new BC Employment Program replaces two existing programs – the Job Placement Program and Training for Jobs – and is managed by GT Hiring Solutions (2005) Inc., the BC Society of Training for Health and Employment (THEO BC) and WCG International Consultants Limited."

Source:
British Columbia Budget 2006 - February 21, 2006


BC Employment and Assistance (welfare) Rate Tables
Income Assistance rates - (effective January 1, 2005)
Disability Assistance rates - (effective January 1, 2005)
Source:
BC Employment and Assistance Rate Tables
- also includes the latest rates for the following: Child in Home of Relative - Hardship Assistance - Hardship Assistance for Persons with Disabilities - Assets - Payment of Assistance [special needs] - General Supplements - Health Supplements and Programs - Fees for Medical Practitioners - Seniors Supplement
Source:
Ministry of Human Resources (MHR) (dead link)


Outcomes of those Leaving Assistance
(PDF file - 64K, 6 pages)
February 2007 (posted on the Ministry website October/07)
"Since the introduction of British Columbia Employment and Assistance (BCEA) in April 2002, the employable income assistance (IA) caseload has declined by 53,850 cases or 70 percent. What makes this decline even more significant is that it followed a 47 percent decline in the employable caseload over the preceding six years, following the introduction of BC Benefits in January 1996."
Source:
Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance

Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance
Online Resource
- British Columbia
"Effective March 27, 2006 the BCEA (welfare) Manual has been retired and replaced with an exciting* new information source – the Online Resource. The Online Resource incorporates information from a number of different sources into one user-friendly website, which will save time spent searching for up-to-date information and resources."

*"Exciting" isn't the first word that pops into most people's heads when they hear the expression "welfare information", but I, for one, found the old BC welfare manual more "exciting" because I could actually "find information" in there. The new manual has no hyperlinked table of contents - in fact, you have to open a PDF file to see the table of contents. And someone should tell the web design team that the plus sign to the left of a directory item (e.g., on the front page) is usually a simple piece of javascript that opens sub-directories, not just a graphic used in lieu of a bullet or a dash in front of each item in a list...

"Retired" BC Employment and Assistance Manual (Oct. 2004) - from The Internet Archive
NOTE: Do spend some time exploring The Internet Archive --- you'll find it has not only obscure Canadian provincial welfare policy manuals, but also large collections of links to events, people and places...

-------------------------------------

Changes Modernize BC Employment and Assistance Act
News Release
April 3, 2006
"VICTORIA – Amendments to the B.C. Employment and Assistance Act and the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act – introduced today in the B.C. legislature – modernize eligibility criteria, obligations for income assistance clients, and conditions for sharing information. '
These amendments reflect our commitment to provide British Columbians with an income assistance system that is fair, caring and sustainable,' said Claude Richmond, Minister of Employment and Income Assistance. 'They will increase our ability to better serve our clients while at the same time strengthening and protecting the integrity of the British Columbia Employment and Assistance program.'

The amendments affect three areas of the legislation:
· definitions of dependant and spouse;
· sanctions for inaccurate reporting of circumstances; and,
· information-sharing agreements.
Source:
Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance


Time Limit Policy to Protect People in Need (dead link)
News Release
February 6, 2004
"VICTORIA – The province has released a report projecting the number of clients that will be affected as the government follows through on its commitment to limit income assistance for employable clients to two years out of every five. The report, released by Minister of Human Resources Stan Hagen, honours a commitment made by the previous minister.The report shows that a total of 339 employable clients who have been receiving assistance for more than two years may become ineligible over the coming year, or receive a rate reduction, as a result of non-compliance with their employment plan. (...) A total of 339 clients will potentially be affected this year, far lower than the tens of thousands that the opposition claimed. At the same time, we are ensuring that those who are unable to work, or are doing everything in their power to find work, will be protected.”

Fact Sheet: Time Limits Update (dead link)
February 6, 2004
"(...) As part of the province’s emphasis on employment and personal responsibility, time limits were introduced in April 2002 in order to motivate employable income assistance clients to find jobs as quickly as possible. Employable clients who do not meet any of the 25 exemption criteria are limited to a cumulative 24 months (two years) of assistance out of every 60 months (five years). The 25 exemption criteria are designed to ensure that no one who is unable to work or who is actively looking for work will lose assistance."
- incl. monthly stats for April, May and June of 2004 and a projection for all of 2004-2005 showing the estimated number of clients who will have received income assistance for 24 months and do not comply with employment plans (i.e., failure to search for employment, leaving employment without just cause, dismissal with just cause and failure to accept employment.)

NOTE:
See the Canadian Social Research Links BC Welfare Time Limits page for 50+ links to welfare time limit information
!


News Release
February 6, 2004
"VICTORIA – The province has released a report projecting the number of clients that will be affected as the government follows through on its commitment to limit income assistance for employable clients to two years out of every five. The report, released by Minister of Human Resources Stan Hagen, honours a commitment made by the previous minister.The report shows that a total of 339 employable clients who have been receiving assistance for more than two years may become ineligible over the coming year, or receive a rate reduction, as a result of non-compliance with their employment plan. (...) A total of 339 clients will potentially be affected this year, far lower than the tens of thousands that the opposition claimed. At the same time, we are ensuring that those who are unable to work, or are doing everything in their power to find work, will be protected.”

Fact Sheet: Time Limits Update (dead link)
February 6, 2004
"(...) As part of the province’s emphasis on employment and personal responsibility, time limits were introduced in April 2002 in order to motivate employable income assistance clients to find jobs as quickly as possible. Employable clients who do not meet any of the 25 exemption criteria are limited to a cumulative 24 months (two years) of assistance out of every 60 months (five years). The 25 exemption criteria are designed to ensure that no one who is unable to work or who is actively looking for work will lose assistance."
- incl. monthly stats for April, May and June of 2004 and a projection for all of 2004-2005 showing the estimated number of clients who will have received income assistance for 24 months and do not comply with employment plans (i.e., failure to search for employment, leaving employment without just cause, dismissal with just cause and failure to accept employment.)

NOTE:
See the Canadian Social Research Links BC Welfare Time Limits page for 50+ links to welfare time limit information
!


Persons with Persistent Multiple Barriers (PPMB)
Fact Sheet
Effective September 30, 2002
Updated August 3, 2004
The PPMB category of the BC welfare caseload applies those individuals who are unable to achieve financial independence because of specific barriers to employment.
Related Links:
Persons with Persistent Mutiple Barriers
Persons with Disabilities
(dead link)
[ BC Employment and Assistance Program ]

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Workforce Adjustment: Ministry of Human Resources
Fact Sheet
November 13, 2003
"(...) Since June 2001, the ministry's income assistance caseload has fallen by 80,000 people as a result of the ministry's shift in focus - moving people towards sustainable employment while continuing to assist those most in need. (...) The ministry is now able to provide effective services to clients across the province with fewer resources. 26 Ministry of Human Resources offices will be amalgamated across the province by March 31, 2004. (...) The ministry will reduce its workforce by 324 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) positions. 300 positions have been identified through early retirement, voluntary departure and existing vacancies. The maximum number of employees will be reassigned through this process."
Source:
Fact Sheets and Graphs
Ministry of Human Resources (dead link)
NOTE: the link to this specific file has been deleted; I've left the above blurb intact for info...

Related Link:

Workforce Adjutment - BC Public Service Agency (dead link)


Employment and Assistance Appeal Tribunal Annual Report
On November 24, 2003, the Tribunal's first Annual Report was tabled in the legislature by Minister Murray Coell. The report, entitled "Getting Started", describes the Tribunal's first year of operation.
Complete report (PDF file 436K, 25 pages)
Source:
Employment and Assistance Appeal Tribunal


Canada and British Columbia sign an agreement to assist people with disabilities (dead link)
News Release
May 17, 2004
"VICTORIA - British Columbians with disabilities will be able to participate more easily in the labour market because of an agreement announced today by the Honourable David Anderson, Minister of the Environment, on behalf of the Honourable Liza Frulla, Minister of Social Development, and the Honourable Stan Hagen, British Columbia Minister of Human Resources. 'Helping people with disabilities to participate fully as citizens of this country is a priority for all governments,' said Minister Anderson. 'Every British Columbian must have the opportunity to make a contribution to our economy and our society. I am so pleased to work with British Columbia on this national priority.'"
Source:
Social Development Canada (SDC)

This agreement was signed under the Multilateral Framework for Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities, which replaced the Employability Assistance for People with Disabilities initiative in April 2004.
For more info about the national framework and the agreements signed with other jurisdictions to date, go to the Disability Links page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/disbkmrk.htm

New Exemptions for Caregivers of Disabled Children (dead link)
June 30, 2003
"Children with disabilities in British Columbia will benefit from changes to vehicle and earnings exemptions being provided to their caregivers."

Eye Exams Focus on Those in Need (dead link)
June 30, 2003
"Adult Income Assistance clients are now covered for routine eye exams as part of a new optical program."

$20 Million Helps People with Disabilities Access Jobs (dead link)
News Release
April 23, 2003
"Government is establishing a $20-million endowment fund with Vancouver Foundation to help British Columbians with disabilities find and keep jobs, Human Resources Minister Murray Coell announced today.(...) The Minister’s Council on Employment for Persons with Disabilities will provide advice to the Vancouver Foundation on the disbursement of funds."


Counterpoint:

Making the Disabled Beg
"Why is the Campbell government turning to charities to assist people with disabilities overcome barriers to employment? Human Resources Minister Murray Coell used the April staged cabinet meeting to announce a $20 million endowment to the Vancouver Foundation, the income from which will fund annual grants. (...) Coell's approach may have more to do with political networking than it does with helping people with disabilities."
Source : Strategic Thoughts.com

Related Link:
Vancouver Foundation

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Minister's Council on Employment for Persons with Disabilities (dead link)
"The principal goal of the Council is to advise the Minister of Human Resources on solutions and strategies for increasing the employment, employability and independence of persons with disabilities, particularly through partnerships with business and industry throughout British Columbia."

Minister's Council Reports (dead link)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Greater Supports for People with Disabilities (dead link)
March 27, 2003
"People with disabilities will be able to keep more of what they earn with an increase to the earnings exemption from $300 to $400, Human Resource Minister Murray Coell announced today."

Job Placement (JP) Program Successes (dead link)
"The Ministry of Human Resources is spending more than $300 million over three years on job placement and training for jobs programs. It's working. Since this government took office over 15,000 income assistance clients have been placed in jobs through ministry contracted job placement agencies."
- incl. links to success stories for each program


Related Links:

(direct links to the websites of each of the four job placement organizations)

ASPECT
Destinations
(dead link)
JobWaveBC
Kopar

The Other Perspective:

The Job Merchants : Meet the people who make money getting British Columbians off welfare
Issue15 Vol 29
April 10 - 16, 2003
"...[smaller employment assistance organizations] are beginning to be asked to accept performance-based funding, where payment depends on people finding jobs. It introduces an incentive to work only with the easiest to help. “We’re in the business of social services, not capitalizing on people finding work,” she says. With the new
payment model, she adds, “Basically there’s a price tag on everyone who comes through here."
Source : Monday Magazine
- special focus on JobWaveBC
NOTE: the link to this article has expired. I've left the above blurb intact for info...



F
rom the Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance
(formerly the Ministry of Human Resources):

Evaluation of the Job Placement (JP) Program and Training for Jobs (TFJ) Program Pilot (dead link)
Posted to the government website in August 2005
- includes a link to the summary of the evaluation, dated September 9, 2004 along with an evaluation update, dated July 6, 2005.
"These documents, along with other research on programming in other jurisdictions and feedback from staff, clients and service providers, are being used to determine which elements of JP and TFJ work well and what areas need improvement. Current employment programs will be refined in a way that best suits client needs and capabilities, and addresses changes in the nature and characteristics of the income assistance caseload."

Summary Report (PDF file - 141K, 35 pages) (dead link)
September 2004
"It is unlikely that the Ministry’s savings in BCEA payments will exceed the cost of the program for some time. In this respect, actual performance falls well below some of the more optimistic expectations for the program. However, actual performance of JP reflects the inherent difficulty in designing an employment program that would pay for itself. The difficulty is one of designing a process for identifying, in advance, the individuals who would benefit from the program and, thereby, not investing resources in persons who are unlikely to benefit." [Excerpt, p.26]

Update to the Summary Report (PDF file - 91K, 19 pages) (dead link)
July 2005

Related Link:

Libs' Welfare-to-Jobs Program a Bust, Reveals Delayed Report
Loses $13 million, high failure rate and neediest not served.
By Andrew MacLeod
August 11, 2005
One of the main arguments in favour of privately-run welfare-to-work programs like JobWave and Destinations has been that they don't really cost the taxpayer anything, since they are paid for out of what we save by moving people off of welfare. But an 11-month-old report prepared for the provincial government, quietly added to the province's website this week, shows that people in the programs do only marginally better in their job hunts than people who aren't in the programs. The government won't start saving money because of the programs for six or seven years, if ever."
Source:
TheTyee.ca

 

Exit Surveys of "Welfare Leavers"
January 6, 2003
Source : Strategic Thoughts

Research Report - Ministry of Human Resources Exit Survey Results (PDF file - 48K, 7 pages) (dead link)
October 11, 2002
- the first in a series of quarterly reports on the activities and experiences of people who have left income assistance.
- "The information comes from interviews of 1,833 individuals who received income assistance in September 2001, and who did not return to income assistance (IA) before the sampling date in April 2002. The survey found that almost 97% of the cases left IA to either work, attend school, for other income, or because of a change in family or financial status. More than 50% left income assistance for work, while 35% left to attend school or training."

Editorial Comment:
The number of completed surveys (1,833) represents just under 33% of the total "cohort" (the group of people who left IA after September 2001 and hadn't returned by April 2002), which was 5,578. The report says that the main reason others (over 2,200 people) didn't participate was because their contact numbers were found to be "Not In Service", showing "that many people move when they leave income assistance." Studies of welfare reforms since the mid-nineties in Alberta by the Canada West Foundation and by the municipal governments of Ottawa and Toronto in Ontario have shown that when they leave social assistance during welfare reforms, many people simply cannot afford a telephone...
I don't know exit surveys very much, but I'm not inclined to assume that the survey results apply to the entire cohort, because the 66% who didn't reply would have been those (in my humble opinion) who would be least likely to be in a job, in school or in a training program.
Lies, damn lies, and surveys...

After Welfare - Contrasting Studies (British Columbia)
March 27, 2003
"Statistics Canada has released a study on people who leave welfare that contrasts with the story spun by BC's Minister of Human Resources, Murray Coell. "Life After Welfare: The Economic Well Being of Welfare Leavers in Canada during the 1990s" by Marc Frenette and Garnett Picot provides some fascinating contrasts with Coell's characterization of the 90s and with what are passing as welfare exit surveys in his ministry."
Source : Strategic Thoughts

Life after welfare : 1994 to 1999 (dead link)
March 26, 2003
"Family incomes rose for the majority of people who stopped receiving welfare benefits during the 1990s. However, for about one out of every three individuals, family income declined significantly, according to a first-ever national study of the economic outcome for people who left welfare rolls."
The link above takes you to a summary of the report.
Complete report:
Life After Welfare: The Economic Well Being of Welfare Leavers in Canada during the 1990s (PDF file - 332K, 32 pages)
Source : The Daily [Statistics Canada]


Research Report - Ministry of Human Resources Exit Survey Results
* (dead link)
(PDF file - 48K, 7 pages)
Ministry of Human Resources
October 11, 2002
- the first in a series of quarterly reports on the activities and experiences of people who have left income assistance.
- "[t]he information comes from interviews of 1,833 individuals who received income assistance in September 2001, and who did not return to income assistance (IA) before the sampling date in April 2002. The survey found that almost 97% of the cases left IA to either work, attend school, for other income, or because of a change in family or financial status. More than 50% left income assistance for work, while 35% left to attend school or training."

Editorial Comment:
The number of completed surveys (1,833) represents just under 33% of the total "cohort" (the group of people who left IA after September 2001 and hadn't returned by April 2002), which was 5,578. The report says that the main reason others (over 2,200 people) didn't participate was because their contact numbers were found to be "Not In Service", showing "that many people move when they leave income assistance." Studies of welfare reforms since the mid-nineties in Alberta by the Canada West Foundation and by the municipal governments of Ottawa and Toronto in Ontario have shown that when they leave social assistance during welfare reforms, many people simply cannot afford a telephone...
I don't know exit surveys very much, but I'm not inclined to assume that the survey results apply to the entire cohort, because the 66% who didn't reply would have been those (in my humble opinion) who would be least likely to be in a job, in school or in a training program.
Lies, damn lies, and surveys...

* January 9/09 Update
- The link to this report is dead, but I'm leaving it in because of the relevant content.
Try copying the title into a Google.ca search box

 

BCEA Web Orientation Session - As a prerequisite to applying for income assistance, applicants are required (among other things) to complete a BC Employment and Assistance Orientation Session no more than 60 days before the date of their application. They can arrange to attend a session in person at an office of the Ministry, or complete this web session.
Income Assistance Estimator (Calculator) - key in some personal (or theoretical) numbers and this online calculator will tell you if you're eligible for income assistance and roughly how much you might expect to receive.


Information for Persons with Disabilities

Employment Program for Persons with Disabilities (dead link)

See also:
BC Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities (dead link)



Confirmed Job Program
(dead link)
December 2, 2002

"In keeping with the Ministry of Human Resources mandate to assist individuals to find and maintain sustainable employment, the Confirmed Job Program (CJP) is a new program intended to assist BC Employment and Assistance (BCEA) clients to secure a confirmed job by addressing financial barriers to immediate employment. The CJP provides a one-time grant of up to $250 to BCEA clients who can demonstrate they have secured a job leading to independence but need assistance to buy an essential item required to begin work. These items could include transportation to a job, safety clothing and work boots."
Source : Ministry of Human Resources

NOTE: It must really upset advocacy groups in BC when they read about the MHR mandate "to assist individuals to find and maintain sustainable employment" and this announcement of a "new program". If you scroll about two-thirds of the way down this page (the one you're reading now) to "BC Employment and Assistance Initiatives Effective April 1, 2002" you'll see a summary of changes to BC government supports that includes elimination of earnings exemptions for most clients, reduction of child care subsidies, discontinuation of work entry assistance and ongoing transition-to-work assistance, among other forms of "assistance".


New Training Means Jobs for Income Assistance Clients
(dead link)
Ministry of Human Resources
Oct 3, 2002
"
Income assistance clients will be able to get the skills they need to find stable employment through a new pilot program developed as part of the government's $300-million commitment to improve job placement and training."
NOTE: this link was dead on Nov1/02

Training for Jobs Program Pilot (dead link)
Ministry of Human Resources
Oct. 3, 2002
"
A total of 15 companies were chosen for the Training for Jobs pilot program that will support 5,000 BC Employment and Assistance clients across the province by providing them with the specific skills training and job placement leading to sustainable employment. Payment will be based on clients completing their training and staying off income assistance for a year."


Income Assistance Changes Protect Disabled, Promote Jobs (dead link)
September 30, 2002
Information Bulletin
"
Two new acts designed to ensure income assistance is available for people who need it most, while creating greater opportunities for employment, come into effect today."
NOTE: The two acts were actually proclaimed at the end of May, but the regulations under both acts have just been gazetted and are coming into effect now.

June 28, 2002
Policy Manual Manual Amendment #2 (dead link)
- incl. descriptions of changes to the following policies : Job Placement Program - Assets - Shelter Changes - Pharmacare - Medical Transportation - Diet - Medical Equipment & Devices - Hearing Aids - Orthotics and Bracing Devices - Physiotherapy, Chiropractic, Massage Therapy - Optical - Dental - Medical Services Plan - Health Benefits (Eligible Items, Non-Eligible Items)


Welfare Bills Passed Into Law
Both the Employment and Assistance Act and the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act were tabled for first reading in the BC Legislature on April 15 (2002), and both were passed at the end of May.
Links to the final (Third Reading) version of each bill appear below

Employment and Assistance Act (May 28, 2002) (dead link)
BILL 26 -- 2002
(Third Reading)
Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act (May 29, 2002) (dead link)
Bill 27 -- 2002
(Third Reading)
NOTE: these two bills were passed into law at the end of May 2002. The legislation appearing below will be repealed when the two bills come into force (by regulation)
BC Benefits (Income Assistance) Act and Regulation - BC Benefits (Youth Works) Act and Regulation - Disability Benefits Program Act and Regulation - BC Benefits (Appeals) Act and Regulation - BC Benefits (Child Care) Act and Regulation [NOTE: this last statute will not be repealed, but rather re-written and re-named Child Care Subsidy Act]

Progress of Bills (dead link)
- this BC Legislative Assembly page offers links to all 14 debates on the Employment and Assistance program bills introduced by the Campbell Government.
Click on the Progress of Bills link and scroll down the page to numbers 26 and 27 for links to the debates in the BC Legislature.
You'll find hours of reading and tons of detail about welfare reforms in BC in these debates.
Here's just one sample of what you'll find here - proceedings from the final Committee debate on the proposed Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act:
May 29 Committee Debate proceedings (Hansard)
(dead link)
- final debate before the Bill was passed (you have to scroll about two-thirds of the way down the page (or use Ctrl+f to find the relevant section in this issue of Hansard
[Note: PovNet has close to 80 links to NGO critiques of the BC Government cuts.]

Child Care Subsidy - New Policy (dead link)
May 9, 2002
Ministry of Human Resources
"This program has been carefully reviewed to ensure that the subsidy is available to families who are most in need. The subsidy now reflects the principles guiding the BC Employment and Assistance program by targeting the subsidy primarily to working parents with low to moderate incomes and parents who are actively looking for work."


New Acts Provide Assistance, Opportunity, Independence (dead link)
News Release (incl. backgrounder)
Government of British Columbia
April 15, 2002
"Income assistance in British Columbia is being redefined to focus on employment and self-sufficiency with the introduction of two new bills, the Employment and Assistance Act and the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act. The two acts replace four BC Benefits acts."

Work Search Guidelines (dead link)
"The Ministry of Human Resources is committed to increasing independence through employment and providing services that support clients. As part of this shift to employment and active participation, you are required to carry out a three-week work search prior to applying for assistance."

NOTE: See the British Columbia NGO Links page for reaction to the new legislation

BC Employment and Assistance Initiatives Effective April 1, 2002 (dead link)
Fact Sheet
March 15, 2002
NOTE: this fact sheet is no longer available on the BC Human Resources website; the highlights below were copied directly from the fact sheet.

Some salient points :
- three-week wait from first contact until intake review
- child care subsidy reductions
- children living with relatives who are their legal guardians are considered to be part of that family and thus no longer eligible for "Child in the Home of a Relative" assistance.
- monthly limits on crisis grants for food, shelter, and clothing
- discontinuation of the the 25-per-cent earnings exemption
- elimination of the earnings exemptions for employable clients and people with level one disabilities
- increase in earnings exemption for clients with level two disabilities ("DB2")to $300/mo. (up from$200)
- discontinuation of exemptions for family maintenance payments and orphans' benefit from CPP and income from other specified sources
- full-time non-disabled post-secondary students in programs eligible for BC Student Financial Assistance (SFA) are not eligible for income assistance through the BC Employment
and Assistance program
- discontinuation of homemaker services; short-term, emergency home-support services are provided by local health authorities and other ministries.
- revised (downwards) asset limits
- security deposits will be recovered from BC Employment and Assistance cheques at $20 per month; all BC Employment and Assistance clients are limited to a maximum of two
outstanding security deposits (except where the recipient is fleeing domestic abuse or has to move as a result of sale or demolition of the residence)
[NOTE : BC is the first Canadian jurisdiction to impose a time limit for receipt of welfare]
- employable single parents receiving BC Employment and Assistance are expected to seek work when their youngest child reaches age three
- support rates reduced ("The support rate has been simplified to create standard rates for people under 65 years.")

- employable clients will be limited to a cumulative 24 months (two years) of income assistance out of every 60 months (five years); after receiving assistance for a total of 24 months in a 60-month (five year) period, eligibility will cease for single people and rates will be reduced for families with children
- work entry assistance is discontinued and clients' requirements for items such as work clothes will be considered through the new job-placement programs
- ongoing transition-to-work assistance is discontinued.

Ministry of Human Resources Service Plan Summary (PDF file, 22K) - January 17, 2002
- Major overhaul of the BC Benefits (welfare) program

Seniors Supplement (dead link)
July 2001
Information for those 65 years and over receiving federal Old Age Security/Guaranteed Income Supplement (OAS/GIS) and for those receiving federal Allowance (SPA).


BC Human Rights Tribunal
- incl. links to the Attorney General's unofficial Consolidated Code including Bill 64 - the Tribunal's new Rules of Practice and Procedure effective March 31, 2003 -
Human Rights Code - Rules of Practice and Procedure - Hearing Schedule - Decisions - Decision Index by year - Decision Index by ground - Tribunal Members - Judicial Reviews of Decisions - Practice Direction

Office of the Ombudsperson
The Office of the Ombudsperson receives enquiries and complaints about the practices and services of public agencies within its jurisdiction. Our role is to impartially investigate these complaints to determine whether public agencies have acted fairly and reasonably, and whether their actions and decisions were consistent with relevant legislation, policies and procedures.

---

BC Welfare Ministry Inspires Most Complaints:
Ombudsperson details how her office fights to ensure government treats vulnerable people fairly.

http://thetyee.ca/News/2013/06/21/Ombudsperson-Report-2013/
By Andrew MacLeod
June 21, 2013
Nearly 20 per cent of files Ombudsperson Kim Carter’s office opened in 2012-2013 involved the social development ministry.

Source:
TheTyee.ca

http://thetyee.ca/

---

2012-2013 Annual Report of the
Office of the Ombudsperson
(PDF - 3.3MB, 77 pages)
http://www.bcombudsperson.ca/images/resources/reports/Annual_Reports/Annual_Report_of_the_Ombudsperson_2012-13.pdf
- includes case summaries of interventions by the Ombudsperson in the areas of Children and Youth, Health, Income and Community Support, Seniors and more

Source:
BC Ombudsperson
http://www.bcombudsperson.ca/

--------------------------------------------------

Improving the Care of Seniors:
BC Ombudsperson Releases Report with 176 Recommendations
(PDF - 260K, 2 pages)
http://www.bcombudsperson.ca/images/pdf/seniors/Best_of_Care_News_Release_final.pdf
February 14, 2012
VICTORIA – Today Ombudsperson Kim Carter released a 400 plus page report on her office’s three year investigation into the care of seniors in British Columbia. The Best of Care: Getting it Right for Seniors in British Columbia (Part 2) is a comprehensive and in depth investigation that makes 143 findings and 176 recommendations. The recommendations are designed to improve home and community care, home support, assisted living and residential care services for seniors.

Seniors' Care Report Part 2 : main page
http://www.bcombudsperson.ca/seniors/seniors-care-investigation/seniors-report-part-two

Report Overview (PDF - 9.3MB, 226 pages)
http://www.bcombudsperson.ca/images/pdf/seniors/Seniors_Report_Overview.pdf
February 2012
This report is a comprehensive and in-depth look at home and community care issues affecting seniors in British Columbia from an Ombudsperson’s perspective. (...) The complexity of seniors’ care issues and the division of responsibility between different provincial public authorities led to a long systemic investigation which has resulted in a two-part public report. Part 1 was released in December 2009 and addressed an important but narrow range of issues in the area of residential care. Part 2 deals not only with residential care but also general home and community care issues; home support; and assisted living – in short, a significant range of interconnected seniors’ care services in British Columbia. As a consequence, Part 2 is a more detailed and diverse report that includes a total of 143 findings and 176 recommendations.

Seniors’ Report Volume 1 (PDF - 4.3MB, 214 pages)
http://www.bcombudsperson.ca/images/pdf/seniors/Seniors_Report_Volume_1.pdf

Seniors' Report Volume 2 (PDF - 8.3MB, 254 pages)
http://www.bcombudsperson.ca/images/pdf/seniors/Seniors_Report_Volume_2.pdf

In addition to the two volumes of this report, the report main page
http://www.bcombudsperson.ca/seniors/seniors-care-investigation/seniors-report-part-two
...contains links to the following backgrounders:
[Click the link above to select a backgrounder.]
* Fact Sheet
* Home and Community Care Backgrounder
* Home Support Backgrounder
* Assisted Living Backgrounder
* Residential Care Backgrounder
* more...

Source:
BC Ombudsperson
http://www.bcombudsperson.ca/

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Government response to Ombudsperson report
on senior care problems doesn't go far enough

http://www.povnet.org/node/4852
February 16, 2012
The BC Ombudsperson, Kim Carter released the second of two planned reports on her office’s three year investigation into the care of seniors in British Columbia. The Best of Care: Getting it Right for Seniors in British Columbia (Part 2) makes 143 findings and 176 recommendations designed to improve home and community care, home support, assisted living and residential care services for seniors. (...) Seniors' advocates and critics say that the government's plan falls short of protecting vulnerable seniors from abuse.
- includes links to three related articles in the BC media.
Source:
Povnet
http://www.povnet.org/

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Also from the
BC Ombudsperson
:

First report on care of seniors
December 17, 2011

News release (PDF - 112K, 2 pages)
http://goo.gl/D7efN

List of findings and recommendations (PDF - 96K, 3 pages)
http://goo.gl/qgY7l

Full report (PDF - 1.2MB, 70 pages)
http://goo.gl/v1zMC

Ministry of Children and Family Development

News Releases

Funding Creates Child Care Spaces, Supports Providers
August 10, 2005
"RICHMOND – Child care providers will benefit from an $8.1-million investment in child care supporting the creation of more quality child care spaces, staff training and other service improvements, Minister of State for Child Care Linda Reid announced."

Backgrounder - list of projects, number of spaces created and funding amounts

Related Link:

Child Care in British Columbia


Early Childhood Development
"Seven BC ministries have responsibility for the varied aspects of services to children. Our vision emphasizes a cross-government strategy for children from pre-conception to six years of age."
- incl. links to the following:
Cross Government ECD Programs & Information (Adoption - BC Early Childhood Development Legacy Fund - Behavioural Support for children with autism - Child Care Resource and Referral - Child Care Subsidy Program - Children First Learning Sites - Family Support for Children with Special Needs - Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder - Health Files - Healthy Kids Dental - Human Early Learning Partnership - Infant Development Program - Parent information Publications - Pediatric Brain Injury - Public Health - Supported Child Care -
Success by 6
Publications (ECD Baseline Report - ECD Annual Report 2001/02 - Terms of Reference for BC's Early Childhood development Strategy - British Columbia Early Childhood Development Action Plan: A Work in Progress (pdf) - Indicators of Early Childhood Health and well-being in BC - Baseline Report
Other Resources and Links (Caring for Kids - Fetal Alcohol Research Roundtable - The Early Years - Infant Development Program of BC - BC Council for Families - Roots of Empathy
Source : Ministry of Children and Family Development

Related Links:
- Go to the Government Early Learning and Child Care Links page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/ecd.htm


Ministry of Healthy Living and Sport

Pathways to Health and Healing (PDF - 8.9MB)
Second Report on the Health and Well-being of Aboriginal People in British Columbia
Provincial Health Officer's Annual Report 2007

Release date June 25, 2009
This report contains eight chapters encompassing discussions on determinants of health, pregnancy, infants and children, diseases and injuries, physical environment, and health services, with a chapter devoted to recommendations on improving the health of the Aboriginal population in BC. In addition, with the availability of the 2006 Métis Nation BC Survey, a chapter is also provided on the health and wellbeing of the Métis population in the province. The report also includes examples of best practices, programs, and success stories in various Aboriginal communities in the province.

Appendix (PDF 1MB, 211 pages)
- extensive collection of vital statistics and demographic tables, including some comparisons of mortality and morbidity between status Indians and non-Aboriginal people.

Source:
Office of the Provincial Health Officer
[ Ministry of Healthy Living and Sport ]
[ Government of British Columbia ]


Ministry of the Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Treaty Negotiations


Ministry of Finance

News Releases
Budgets, Public Accounts, Economic Review

_____________________________


Balanced Budget 2014 :
Reinforcing Economic Growth & Job Creation

http://www.bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2014/default.htm
February 18, 2014
- includes links to all budget papers (some of which appear below) and related information

Budget Speech 2014 (PDF - 124K, 16 pages)
http://www.bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2014/speech/2014_Budget_Speech.pdf

Budget 2014 Highlights (PDF - 856K, 8 pages)
http://www.bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2014/highlights/2014_Highlights.pdf
Excerpt:
Within the balanced budget, government is providing $350 million in new, additional funding over three years to support families, individuals and community safety, including:
* $243 million to maintain existing services for adults with developmental disabilities and their families;
* $15 million for children and youth with special needs;
* $15 million for increased RCMP policing costs; and
* $6 million for legal aid-related services.
(...)
B.C. Early Years Strategy --- Making Progress:
The B.C. Early Years Strategy is an eight-year government commitment to improve the accessibility, affordability, and quality of early-years programs and services for families with young children. Budget 2013 committed $76 million to support the first three years of the strategy.
Priorities for 2013–14 include:
*
Identifying up to five early years centre sites;
* Informing eligible parents about the B.C. Early Childhood Tax Benefit;
* Launching a bursary program for students in Early Childhood Educator training programs; and
* Expanding professional development opportunities for licensed group and family child care providers.
In 2014–15, funding of $17.7 million will support creation of up to 1,000 new licensed child care spaces, with an emphasis on spaces located on school grounds and in areas underserved by child care.

News Release
February 18, 2014
Balanced budget maintains discipline, supports economic growth and job creation
Balanced Budget 2014

http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/2014/02/balanced-budget-maintains-discipline-supports-economic-growth-and-job-creation.html

The B.C. government has introduced Balanced Budget 2014, which includes forecast surpluses in all three years of the fiscal plan and modest investments in priority areas.
---
- includes detailed budget highlights + backgrounders:
* Fiscal Plan 2014-15 - 2016-17
* Proposed Liquefied Natural Gas Income Tax
* LNG Income Tax balances competitiveness, fair return
---
LNG 101: A Guide to British Columbia's Liquefied Natural Gas Sector (PDF - 1.7MB, 16 pages):
http://www.gov.bc.ca/mngd/doc/LNG101.pdf
---

Budget Backgrounders
http://www.bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2014/default.htm#backgrounders
- incl. links to the above budget papers, plus:
* Estimates * Supplement to the Estimates * Ministry Service Plans (see below) * Crown Agency Service Plans * Government Strategic Plan

Ministry Service Plans, 2014/15 - 2016/17
http://www.bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2014/serviceplans.htm

Selected Ministry Service Plans:

Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation (PDF - 860K, 24 pages)
http://www.bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2014/sp/pdf/ministry/sdsi.pdf
(Ministry responsible for social assistance in BC)

Ministry of Children and Family Development (PDF - 820K, 26 pages)
http://www.bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2014/sp/pdf/ministry/cfd.pdf

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Selected media coverage

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From CBC British Columbia:
[ http://www.cbc.ca/news ]

B.C. budget 2014: 'Boring, balanced budget'
MSP premiums, tobacco tax to rise, while first-time homebuyers will get some help
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/b-c-budget-2014-boring-balanced-budget-1.2540656

Budget 2014 Highlights
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/b-c-budget-2014-highlights-1.2540649

Videos:

* B.C. budget 2014 'boring, balanced' (duration 2:39)
http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/Canada/BC/ID/2438198901/

* B.C. Budget reaction : health, taxes (duration 1:52)
http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/Canada/BC/ID/2438198248/

NDP says families in BC pay more (duration 3:06)
http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/Canada/BC/ID/2438192718/

---

From the Globe and Mail:
[ http://www.theglobeandmail.com/ ]

B.C. budget a win for parents, home buyers
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/bc-budget-a-win-for-parents-home-buyers/article16953974/

Health premiums, tobacco taxes rise in B.C. budget
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/health-premiums-tobacco-taxes-rise-in-bc-budget/article16952839/

---

From The Tyee:
[ http://www.thetyee.ca/ ]

BC Gov't Brags Budget Keeps Taxes Low, but for Whom?
http://www.thetyee.ca/News/2014/02/18/BC-Budget-2014/

---

From the Victoria Times-Colonist:
[ http://www.timescolonist.com/ ]

Small surplus part of B.C.’s balanced $44.4-billion budget
http://www.timescolonist.com/small-surplus-part-of-b-c-s-balanced-44-4-billion-budget-1.858702

Budget: De Jong uses speech to introduce LNG strategy
http://www.timescolonist.com/budget-de-jong-uses-speech-to-introduce-lng-strategy-1.858716

Budget: Medical Services Plan premiums will continue to increase
http://www.timescolonist.com/budget-medical-services-plan-premiums-will-continue-to-increase-1.858764

Budget: Smokers hit with tax; money earmarked for research
http://www.timescolonist.com/budget-smokers-hit-with-tax-money-earmarked-for-research-1.858839

---

- Go to the 2014 Canadian Government Budgets Links page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/budgets_2014.htm

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NOTE : For budget reviews and analysis from a number of sources,
go to the 2013 Canadian Government Budgets Links page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/budgets_2013.htm

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


NOTE: On this page, you'll find information about the latest provincial budget only.

To avoid unnecessary duplication of budget links on multiple pages, I've moved links to all earlier budgets over to the pages below, organized by fiscal year. The pages below include links to media analysis and selected critique from NGOs on the budgets, and the amount of coverage varies across jurisdictions and over the years.

Go to Canadian Government Budgets 2013
Go to Canadian Government Budgets 2012
Go to Canadian Government Budgets 2011
Go to Canadian Government Budgets 2010
Go to Canadian Government Budgets 2009
Go to Canadian Government Budgets 2008

Go to Canadian Government Budgets 2007
Go to Canadian Government Budgets 2006
Go to Canadian Government Budgets 2005
Go to Canadian Government Budgets 2004


Ministry of Small Business and Revenue

BC Family Bonus

BC Family Bonus and Earned Income Benefit - Frequently Asked Questions

Ministry of Advanced Education
- incl. links to : The Minister - Ministry News - General Responsibilities - Ministry Service Plan - Annual Service Plan Report - Reports & Publications - Ministry contacts - 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games - BC Council on Admissions & Transfer - Career Awareness - Ministry of Education - Ministry of Skills Development & Labour - Search for post-secondary programs - Apply for post-secondary institutions - Career Planning

Ministry of Skills Development and Labour

Industry Training Authority (ITA) is "the provincial government agency with responsibility for apprenticeships and industry training programs in B.C. The ITA is working to support existing apprenticeship options, and to identify new training approaches. This will lead to a training system that provides expanded opportunities for British Columbians, and better meets industry and labour-market needs."

Ministry of Health

Pharmacare

Medical Services Plan

From the British Columbia
Ministry of Health:

[ http://www.gov.bc.ca/health/ ]

More B.C. seniors to benefit from Better at Home
http://www2.news.gov.bc.ca/news_releases_2009-2013/2013HLTH0017-000125.htm
News Release
January 28, 2013

BC Minister of State for Seniors Ralph Sultan joined the United Way of the Lower Mainland to announce that the Better at Home program is more than tripling the number of sites, adding 38 new locations including First Nations communities around the province.

The Better at Home program is designed to help seniors age 65 and older live in their own homes longer by providing simple services delivered by local non-profit agencies. The program is managed by the United Way of the Lower Mainland and funded by the government of British Columbia.
(...)
As part of Improving Care for B.C. Seniors: An Action Plan (PDF - 3.3MB, 12 pages - January 2013* ):
http://www.health.gov.bc.ca/library/publications/year/2012/seniors-action-plan.pdf
...the B.C. government provided the United Way with $15 million to establish and manage Better at Home. The community initiative is a key part of the provincial Seniors Action Plan to respond to the needs of seniors and an aging population in B.C.
[ * NOTE: January 2012 is the date that appears under "File - Properties" of the PDF file. The improving care document itself is undated. (?!?)
See my related rant : http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/rants.htm#dates ]

Seniors will be able to access Better at Home services in 56 communities throughout British Columbia.
For a full list of locations, visit the site below.

Better at Home
http://www.betterathome.ca/
"... a United Way managed program helping seniors remain independent"


British Columbians double-crossed over MSP contract with American corporation : B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union
vows to continue legal action to stop the government from handing over personal medical information to American-linked companies
November 4, 2004
"'British Columbians have been double-crossed,' said George Heyman, president of the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU). 'The health services minister promised that a contract negotiated with Maximus corporation would ensure the privacy of British Columbians would not be compromised. Less than a week after the privacy commissioner confirmed in his report that the USA Patriot Act is a real threat to the privacy of British Columbians, the Campbell Liberals are rushing in to sign, seal and deliver a deal!'"
Source:
Peace, Earth and Justice News

Changes to health benefit plans to achieve cost savings and fairness
Health Services
December 6, 2001
VICTORIA - Effective Jan.1, 2002, the provincial government will make changes to British Columbia's Pharmacare and Medical Services Plan Supplementary Benefits programs in order to ensure British Columbians have the most vital health services while protecting access to those with lower incomes, Health Services Minister Colin Hansen announced today.

Office for Seniors

---------------------------------------------

Office of the Provincial Health Officer

A Better Diet Will Reduce Health Care Costs
News Release
Oct. 4, 2006
VANCOUVER – The Provincial Health Officer’s 2005 annual report finds B.C.’s commitment to a healthier, fitter population is the best way to reduce future health-care costs and provide British Columbians with the benefits a safe, nutritious diet can bring to their lives. “We can reduce health-care costs and broaden the ability of all British Columbians to access safe and nutritious food if we pay more attention to what we eat, reduce our portions and remain physically active. These are all basic health tenets,” said Provincial Health Officer Dr. Perry Kendall.

Complete report:

Food, Health and Well-Being in British Columbia:
Provincial Health Officer's Annual Report for 2005
:
October 2006
(PDF file - 4.6MB, 166 pages)

Related link from StrategicThoughts.com:

Lower Health Costs by Helping the Hungry (British Columbia)
October 12, 2006
According to the Dietitians of Canada, about 10% of Canadians "lack the funds to purchase sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active healthy life." BC's Provincial Health Officer elaborated on hungry British Columbians in his latest annual report. In the highlights of his report, he stressed that: "Factors affecting the ability to afford nutritious food in BC include higher costs of a basic "market basket" of items, higher housing costs, inadequate social assistance rates, increased levels of homelessness, and a minimum wage level that can result in even full-time workers in some BC communities falling below the federal low-income cut-off." By raising both income assistance rates and the minimum wage, the Campbell government might lower health care costs and stimulate the economy.
Source:
StrategicThoughts.com

See also Ministry of Health Publications

Auditor General

Reports

Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development
Mission : To promote sustainable, liveable communities that provide healthy and safe places for British Columbians.
Popular site content:
* Local Elections Task Force * Towns for Tomorrow * LocalMotion * Spirit Squares * Infrastructure Stimulus Fund * Canada-BC Building Canada Fund * Local Government Grants * First Nations Relations * B.C. Climate Action Charter * Community Charter * Gas Tax Agreement * BC/Asia Twinnings * Board of Examiners * BC Arts Council

Seniors' Healthy Living Secretariat
The Seniors’ Healthy Living Secretariat has a broad stewardship role for implementation of the Seniors' Healthy Living Framework (PDF - 2.2MB) across government and with other important partners.

Through a Seniors' Healthy Living Advisory Network with individuals and organizations from across the province, the Secretariat will benefit from the knowledge and expertise of these leaders as it works to implement the Framework.

SeniorsBC.ca is a new website that provides information about government programs and services for older adults. Included on the website are sections on health care, finances, benefits, housing, transportation and more.

BC Stats

Social Statistics
A number of statistics are available that offer indications of the social fabric of the province.
The Socio-Economic Profiles and Indices present data in tables and charts on population, economic hardship, labour market issues, education, crime, health problems, risk factors for children and youth, and regional immigration indicators. Data on the proportion of the population receiving Income Assistance and Employment Insurance is presented quarterly and Community Fact Sheets offer a comparison to provincial figures of various socio-economic indicators using annual figures primarily. Finally there are links to other sources of Education Data and a page with information on Other Social Statistics.

Income Assistance and Employment Insurance Statistics
http://www.bcstats.gov.bc.ca/StatisticsBySubject/SocialStatistics/IncomeAssistanceEmploymentInsurance.aspx

Labour and Income Statistics
http://www.bcstats.gov.bc.ca/StatisticsBySubject/LabourIncome.aspx

BC Housing

Canada and BC Invest in Homeless Prevention
http://www.bchousing.org/Media/NR/2014/10/16/5590_1410161033-822?WT.mc_id=NR+-+HPP
October 17, 2014
British Columbians at risk of becoming homeless have more support to find homes in the private market. The new Homeless Prevention Program will make rent supplements and support services available to four at-risk groups.

The Homeless Prevention Program (HPP) [ http://www.bchousing.org/Initiatives/Access/HPP ] assists youth transitioning out of foster care, women who have experienced violence or are at risk of violence, individuals leaving the hospital and correctional systems, and Aboriginal people. Monthly supplements provided to participants to put towards housing costs are funded through the Canada-B.C. Investment in Affordable Housing. The Province will also contribute additional funding to support services that connect clients to community supports, helping them to maintain successful tenancies. This will help prevent vulnerable British Columbians from becoming homeless.

The governments of Canada and B.C. will provide an estimated investment of $62.5 million over five years [2014-2019] to the Homeless Prevention Program for rent supplements under the Canada-B.C. Agreement for Investment in Affordable Housing [ http://goo.gl/2Pc65f ]

The HPP is available in six communities around British Columbia and will grow to over 30 communities around the province.
Over the next five years, it is estimated that the program will provide housing and support for up to 4,000 people.

Source:
BC Housing

http://www.bchousing.org/

Related link:

B.C. government’s provincial housing strategy
http://www.housingmattersbc.ca/

Federal partner:
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

British Columbia renews housing strategy
http://www2.news.gov.bc.ca/news_releases_2013-2017//2014MNGD0006-000131.htm
News Release
February 6, 2014
VICTORIA – The B.C. government has updated the Province’s housing strategy, Housing Matters BC, to direct new affordable housing investments and better serve the future needs of B.C. residents.
The update builds on seven years of best practices, and establishes three priorities that will guide future investments and projects:
• Take meaningful steps to improve safety, enhance affordability and promote healthy homes and communities.
• Create greater housing stability in a manner that increases confidence for renters, landlords and strata owners.
• Develop partnerships in a manner that creates more choices and increases affordable housing options for all British Columbians.
- includes a backgrounder with more detailed information

Launched in 2006, Housing Matters BC remains the most progressive housing strategy in Canada. The strategy has guided more than $2.5 billion since 2006 for housing programs and infrastructure and it has transformed affordable housing in British Columbia.

To learn more about Housing Matters BC, visit: http://www.housingmattersbc.ca


Finding Our Way Home:
A Report on the Homelessness Crisis in British Columbia
(PDF - 1.6MB, 20 pages) (dead link)
PDF file dated June 2008
"This morning (April 8) the Metro Vancouver figures came out — a 364 percent increase in street-level homelessness in Vancouver since 2002. Not some other century, not some other government. This government, this minister, this Premier."

Source:
BC NDP

Related links:

July 25, 2008
The Homelessness Crisis In BC - Why Now?

January 17, 2008
Finding Our Way Home: A Consultation on the Homelessness Crisis in BC
Source: Finding our Way Home blog

Homelessness Action Week
- organized in Metro Vancouver by the Regional Steering Committee on Homelessness


Province Expands Homeless Shelters, Housing Supports
October 12, 2007
On the first anniversary of B.C.’s Housing Matters strategy, Premier Gordon Campbell and Housing Minister Rich Coleman today announced new and expanded measures to help break the cycle of homelessness with an added $41 million. (...)
As part of the provincial housing strategy, Housing Matters BC, and building on the work of the Premier’s Task Force on Homelessness, Mental Illness and Addictions, the four new and expanded measures are:
· Increase funding for emergency shelters so they can be open 24 hours a day/seven days a week to provide better services and assistance for those who are homeless;
· Expanding homeless outreach services to 27 new and existing communities to connect homeless people to housing and support services, including a new Aboriginal component;
· Provide 750 rent supplement units to assist the homeless in the private market; and,
· The Province will fund pre-development costs to ensure city-owned sites will be ready for the start of construction of new supportive housing within a year. Pre-development costs include costs for third-party work, such as architectural, geotechnical and environmental plans and studies.
Source:
Government of British Columbia

Related links:

Housing Matters BC

No New Homes in Premier's Homelessness Plan
Coleman challenges cities to "step up."
October 12, 2007
Premier Gordon Campbell has constructed an intricate array of innovative responses to B.C.'s sprawling homelessness crisis -- but he's not building more housing.
Source:
TheTyee.ca

New Strategy Improves Housing for Families, Homeless
News Release
October 3, 2006
VICTORIA – Housing Matters BC, an innovative and comprehensive housing strategy to help British Columbians access affordable housing, was unveiled by Minister Responsible for Housing Rich Coleman today. “This strategy will immediately assist approximately 15,000 low-income working families and homeless individuals,” said Coleman. “It’s also a new direction for housing, designed to provoke discussion about long-term solutions. We can only address homelessness and housing affordability if we all work together – long-term solutions require the co-operation of all levels of government, as well as organizations and volunteers dedicated to housing.”

NOTE: this news release includes a detailed backgrounder on all aspects of Housing Matters BC and links to more info for each component of the strategy--- the Rental Assistance Program (see the link below), the Provincial Homelessness Initiative, Homeless Outreach Projects, Independent Living BC, Home Ownership and Affordable Housing, and Modernization Strategy

Rental Assistance Program
The Rental Assistance Program provides direct cash assistance to eligible low-income, working families with children under the age of 19 and a household income less than $20,000 per year. The families must have lived in British Columbia for the last 12 months.

Related links:

B.C. subsidies aim to help families pay rent
VANCOUVER -- In an effort to ease British Columbia's swelling crisis in affordable housing, the provincial government is opting to give low-income families cash to better afford their rent. "This is not about building more [housing] units. This is about helping more people immediately," cabinet minister Rich Coleman said as he announced a $40-million rental aid program aimed at helping an estimated 15,000 families with annual incomes under $20,000.
Source:
The Globe and Mail


Queen's Printer

QP LegalEze (Queen's Printer)
An internet-based legal guide to the unofficial early consolidation of the statutes and regulations of the province of British Columbia.
- incl. links to :
Revised Statutes of British Columbia - Complete Listing of Statutes with Associated Regulations - BC Regulations Bulletins - Order in Council and Ministerial Order Resumes - Proceedings of Bills - Legislative Assembly of British Columbia


Other BC Government Links

Media
(HINT: Try clicking each media link below and searching their archive for specific words, e.g., welfare)
Victoria Times-Colonist
Vancouver Province
Vancouver Sun

Georgia Straight - "Canada's Largest Urban Weekly" [Vancouver]
TheTyee
Monday Magazine

Columbia Journal

List of issues to be taken up in connection with the consideration of the third periodic report of Canada : United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights - Implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (June 10, 1998) 
- British Columbia Government Response to the U.N. List of Issues (November 1998)

Amazing Time Machine
"The BC Archives Amazing Time Machine features eleven educational galleries covering BC. History topics drawn from the Province's K-12 social studies curriculum. The galleries have been designed for use by school children, their teachers and parents; however, the content will also appeal to anyone interested in British Columbia's history."
Source:
BC Archives - BC Royal Museum

B.C. Centre of Excellence for Women's Health
- Incl. links to : Who we are and what we do - Our research program - Supporting organizations - Centres of Excellence for Women's Health Program - Gender and Health Institute - Press Releases - New Projects Funded - Frequently asked questions - Publications - Grants - Resources - Health related links - Listservs - Meetings - Speaker series - and more

Northern FIRE : Northern Secretariat of the BC Centre of Excellence for Women's Health
"Before becoming Northern FIRE, the Northern Secretariat was part of a national network of Centres of Excellence that began in 1996. Under the Women's Health Bureau of Health Canada, these Centres of Excellence were established to address the imbalance of health care and health status faced by women, particularly those who are socio-economically marginalized. Through policy-oriented research, the Centres of Excellence contribute to evidence-based decision-making about women's health, health care and health promotion."
- incl. Women's Health in a Northern Context - Our Community Activities - Our Research Publications and Activities - Links to Other Women's Health Sites
Women's Health Links - 40+ links!

- Go to the website of the Centres of Excellence for Women's Health (Health Canada website)
- Go to the Canadian Social Research Links Women's Social Issues page

The Changing City
Vancouver in 1978 and 2003

It's not social policy, but this collection of seven (times two) breathtaking panoramic photos of Vancouver in 1978 and 2003 is very impressive, and definitely worth sharing.
Clicking on one of the links opens a page with a photo of a particular section of the False Creek area in 1978; this photo slowly transforms into the same scene in 2003. Be sure to move the scroll bar at the bottom of the browser to the right as the photo changes to see the entire scene. If you use Netscape, this effect doesn't work, so you'll have to click "Rollover" and click on each of the two dates to see both photos. [You'll see what I mean when you try it.]
Excellent photographic evidence of the transformation of Vancouver in the last 25 years...
Source: City of Vancouver website

See also:
- British Columbia NGO Links (A-C)
- British Columbia NGO Links (C-W)

 
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