Canadian Social Research Links

Non-Governmental Sites
in British Columbia

Sites de recherche sociale au Canada

Sites d'organismes non-gouvernementaux
en Colombie-Britannique

Updated July 15, 2017
Page révisée le 15 juillet 2017

[ Go to Canadian Social Research Links Home Page ]

See these related Canadian Social Research Links pages also:

- British Columbia NGO Links (D-W)
- British Columbia Government Links
- British Columbia Welfare Time Limits
- Provincial and Territorial Anti-poverty Strategies and Campaigns
- The Vancouver Olympics and The Poverty Olympics -
Selected links from the front lines of poverty advocacy work at the 2010 Olympics

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

PovNet's List of Poverty-Related Blogs:

* Peacock Poverty
* CCPA Policy Note
* State of Vancouver: Frances Bula's Blog
* Challenging the Commonplace blog
* THIS Magazine Blog

Legal Help for British Columbians:
A Guide to Help Non-legal Professionals Make Legal Referrals for Clients
This user-friendly guide helps people with low incomes take first steps to address legal problems and learn options of where to get help. Covers 40 common legal problems and a listing of the best sources for information and assistance. Now online as a wiki, making it easy to navigate and search.
Clicklaw is a website aimed at enhancing access to justice in British Columbia. It features legal information and education, but it is not a site of laws. Instead, Clicklaw features legal information and education designed for the public from over 24 contributor organizations, as well as selected others.


Victoria Times-Colonist
Vancouver Province
Vancouver Sun

Georgia Straight - "Canada's Largest Urban Weekly" [Vancouver]
Monday Magazine
Vancouver Courier
(HINT: Try clicking each media link above and searching their archive for specific words, e.g., welfare)

BC Blogs
- links to over 300 BC-based blogs organized under the following categories:
* Activism * Arts & Culture * Beyond B.C. * Commerce & Law * Environment & Ecology * Health & Lifestyle * Politics: Commentary * Regional * Tech & Media * Travel & Global Culture * Video Blogs & Podcasts

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 Canadian Social Research Links Minimum Income / Living Wage Links



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Canadian Social Research Links website ,
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New BC Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction to move quickly to increase social assistance rates by $100 a month and institute a poverty reduction strategy

June 21, 2017
Today's BC Liberal Announcement
Families have been Waiting for 16 Years
Posted by Sharon Gregson
Throughout 16 years in government, the BC Liberals could have chosen to make quality child care available and affordable across the province. Instead, they allowed the crisis to grow, particularly over the last four years. While parent fees skyrocketed, the BC Liberal Government consistently underspent their child care budget.

More info about $
The $10aDay Child Care Campaign grew out of partnership between the Early Childhood Educators of BC [ ] and the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC [ ] to create the Community Plan for a Public System of Integrated Early Care and Learning.

Federal Multilateral Agreement
Posted by Sharon Gregson
June 13, 2017
Federal government releases first National Early Learning and Child Care Framework in over a decade: SMALL STEP FORWARD – MUCH MORE TO DO!
After a decade with no federal leadership on child care, the release of a federal-provincial-territorial Agreement is welcome news but the political flux in BC means our province is not yet a signatory to the Agreement. All other provinces, with the exception of Quebec which already has a system, have signed.


Related links
from BC Laws:

Child Care Acts & Legislation in BC (Office consolidations):

Child Care BC Act

Child Care Subsidy Act

Child Care Subsidy Regulation

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)

Report Summary (PDF - 740KB, 4 pages)

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Half a million people are going hungry in BC:

Finding healthy food a struggle for many families on Vancouver Island

Northern BC families have highest levels of food insecurity

Deaf man’s human rights case against BC’s social assistance program settled but problem persists:

Working Poverty in Metro Vancouver (PDF - 4.1MB, 36 pages)
By Iglika Ivanova
June 29, 2016
This study examines Metro Vancouver working poverty trends by neighbourhood pre- and post- the 2008 recession. We are often told that the solution to poverty is for the poor to “get a job” or for various sectors to create more jobs. But this study finds that a job is not a guaranteed path out of poverty. Over 100,000 working-age people in Metro Vancouver were working but stuck below the poverty line in 2012, not counting students and young adults living at home with their parents. Contrary to stereotypes about poverty being concentrated mainly in Vancouver and Surrey, this study finds the growing ranks of the working poor are spread out across the Metro Vancouver region. The study explores the economic and public policy contributing to working poverty and develops recommendations for change.

The study is a co-publication of the following organizarions:

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – BC Office

United Way of the Lower Mainland

BC Poverty Reduction Coalition

Campaign 2000 Report Card on
Child and Family Poverty in Canada, 2015
November 2015

Campaign 2000

Campaign 2000 Report Card on Child and Family Poverty in Canada, 2015
(PDF 1.2MB, 20 pages)
Provincial report

Provincial report:

The Campaign 2000 website [ ] features report cards from provincial partners in Nova Scotia, Manitoba and British Columbia, aas well as media releases from those provinces, and an infographic featuring key findings and recommendations. Report Cards from our other provincial partners, including Ontario, will be released in early 2016.

British Columbia 2015 Child Poverty Report Card (PDF - 59 pages)

Campaign 2000

The Case for Increasing the Minimum Wage
What does the academic literature tell us?
By David A. Green
April 14, 2015

Economist David A Green, a professor and former chair of the Vancouver School of Economics at UBC and an International Fellow at the Institute for Fiscal Studies in London, conducted a thorough review of academic research on the economic impacts of minimum wages, and in this report he concludes that bold increases to the minimum wage make good economic sense.

Complete report:

The Case for Increasing the Minimum Wage
What does the academic literature tell us?
(PDF - 775KB, 12 pages)
This paper reviews the significant body of academic research about the economic impacts of minimum wages to assess the likely costs and benefits of an increase in BC’s minimum wage to $15 per hour. It was completed shortly before the provincial government announced a near-inconsequential 20-cent increase to $10.45 per hour.

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

BC Minimum Wage and Poverty : The Facts (PDF - 153KB, 2 pages)
March 2015
* BC’s overall poverty rate is the second highest in Canada
* $10.25/hr leaves full-time workers $6,000 below the poverty line
* 169,420 BC children live in poverty
* more than half a million BC workers earn less than $15 per hour
*Poverty costs BC more than $8 billion per year
* A $15/hr minimum wage is a critical part of a poverty reduction plan

BC Minimum Wage and Students : The Facts (146K, 2 pages)
January 2015
* $10.25 per hour is not enough to help address student debt load. Join the fight to make BC’s minimum wage $15
* BC eliminated student grants in 2003
* Tuition fees have more than doubled since 2002
* 550 hours of minimum wage work just to pay for tuition

BC Minimum Wage and Women : The Facts (PDF - 397Kb, 2 pages)
February 2015
* 70 per centof minimum wage workers aged 25-54 are women.
* 310,200 women earn $15 per hour or less.
* In BC, women earn 81 cents on the dollar compared to men.
* 81 per cent of single parents are women.

Fight for $15. It's only fair
The Fight for $15 is a campaign sponsored by the BC Federation of Labour [ ]. Our campaign is supported by a number of not-for-profits, community organizations and individuals who share our interest in combating poverty and income inequality.

See also:
BC Poverty Reduction Coalition
We are a coalition that includes community and non-profit groups, faith groups, health organizations, First Nations and Aboriginal organizations, businesses, labour organizations, and social policy groups. We have come together around a campaign aimed at seeing the introduction of a bold and comprehensive poverty reduction plan from the government of British Columbia that would include legislated targets and timelines to significantly reduce poverty and homelessness.


- Go to the Provincial and Territorial Anti-poverty Strategies and Campaigns page:

Vital Signs Reports paint a stark picture of youth unemployment across Canada
October 8, 2014
By Ella Bedard
Stability is not in the cards for Canadian workers, with young workers particularly affected, according to this year's Vital Signs Reports from the Community Foundations of Canada. The first Vital Signs was produced by the Toronto Community Foundation in 2001. It assembled local research and national data to paint a broad strokes picture of community health. Since its inception the Vitals project has expanded to include a total of 49 Canadian communities big and small, who have produced reports or are acting on findings from previous reports.




27 communities across Canada launch quality-of-life reports on October 7
(Ottawa, ON) Sept. 30, 2014 – Community foundations in 27 communities across Canada are releasing their Vital Signs 2014 reports on Tuesday, October 7. Vital Signs is an annual community check-up conducted by community foundations across Canada that provides a comprehensive look at how our communities are faring in key quality-of-life areas.

Local Reports:
Here, you'll find links to all of the local reports released on October 7, 2014.
A total of 49 community foundations are involved in the Vital Signs program – either producing a report or acting on the findings of previous reports.
The communities releasing Vital Signs reports in 2014 are:

* British Columbia: Abbotsford, Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve Region, Golden, Nanaimo, Phoenix (Grand Forks), Shuswap, Squamish, Sunshine Coast, Surrey, Victoria
* Alberta: Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge and Southwestern Alberta, Southeastern Alberta
* Saskatchewan: Regina
* Manitoba: Winnipeg
* Ontario: Huronia (Simcoe County), Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Peterborough, Sudbury, Toronto, Windsor
* Atlantic provinces: Fredericton, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia

Vital Signs
Vital Signs is a community check-up conducted by community foundations across Canada. Each Vital Signs report measures the vitality of its community in key areas, providing the community with critical information that can help set priorities and identify opportunities for action

Community Foundations of Canada

Clarifying the difference between the minimum and living wage
May 9, 2014
By Seth Klein
BC Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Seth Klein, responds to an earlier opinion piece (the difference between the minimum and living wage) in the Vancouver Sun by Mark von Schellwitz, Vice President (Western Canada) of the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association. The original piece by von Schellwitz is no longer online, but Seth's short clarification is worth a read if you're not sure what IS the difference between minimum wage and a living wage...

Policy Note
Policy Note is the blog of the BC Office
...of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

"The 2014 living wage for Metro Vancouver : now $20.10/hour"

Working for a Living Wage 2014
Making Paid Work Meet Basic Family Needs in Metro Vancouver
(PDF - 1.5MB, 8 pages) (dead link)
By Iglika Ivanova and Seth Klein
April 29, 2014
In 2008, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition and Victoria’s Community Social Planning Council published the inaugural report Working for a Living Wage. That report calculated that the living wage for families was $16.74/hour in Metro Vancouver, and $16.39/hour in Metro Victoria. That full report, detailing the principles, rationale, methodology, data sources, and business case for the living wage calculation can be found at Since then, however, daily living costs for families have continued to rise and changes have occurred to government taxes and transfers. And so this short report updates our calculation, providing the 2014 living wage for Metro Vancouver –– now $20.10/hour.


Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) - Ontario Office

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) - BC Office

First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition

Victoria Community Social Planning Council

Working for a Living
If you work for a living, you should get a living wage.
Listen to any of the 30 arguments for better pay.
Share this promotional video and spread the word. The CCPA -Ontario is proud to release a new microsite dedicated to the Living Wage campaign. Here you'll find thirty arguments in favour of a living wage, articulated by many of the campaign's strongest supporters. Please spread the word and share the arguments that appeal to you most.

About Working For A Living:
The CCPA-Ontario's Working For A Living website is a storytelling project to convey the value of a decent minimum wage and a living wage. As part of her summer 2013 student internship with the CCPA-Ontario, Ryerson University student Ellie Gordon-Moershel came up with the idea of an interactive website that combines one-minute audio clips with compelling photography to tell the story.

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) - Ontario Office


More BC living wage reports:

2014 living wage calculation: Parents need two minimum wage jobs each to support a family in Metro Vancouver

Living Wage 2014 calculated for Vancouver, Victoria and the Fraser Valley

Living Wage Calculation Guide 2014 (PDF - 1MB, 26 pages)

Living Wage Calculation Spreadsheet - April 2014 (Excel file - 78KB, 2 pages):

Working for a Living Wage 2008 - Original Full Report (PDF - 2.9MB, 52 pages)


Related links:

Metro Vancouver Living Wage for Families:

30 Arguments for Better Pay (video, duration 00:55)
The CCPA-Ontario's Working For A Living website is a storytelling project to convey the value of a decent minimum wage and a living wage.

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) - BC Office

CCPA National Office (Ottawa)

From the
BC Office of the

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA):

My welfare food challenge: Day 1
October 16, 2013
By Seth Klein, Director of the BC Office of CCPA
I’ve had a very fortunate and privileged life, and so I figured it was high time I tried to experience a little bit of what life on welfare is actually like, even if only symbolically; to see first-hand just how hard it is to eat a reasonable diet on the amount of money someone on basic social assistance in BC receives.
- includes a breakdown of the welfare cheque payable to, and the living costs of, a single able-bodied person, to show how the figure of $26 is left over for food
- also includes a detailed account of how Seth spent his $26 as frugally as possible, and he includes photos of his week's groceries.

Watch for regular updates from Seth during his week of living on a food budget of $26.
[Spoiler : "Day 2, and I've already broken the rules."]

BC Office
[ ]
of the
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
[ ]

Source of the
Welfare Food Challenge:
Raise the Rates
Raise the Rates is a coalition of community groups and organizations concerned with the level of poverty and homelessness in British Columbia.

British Columbia Budget 2013
February 19, 2013

The 2013 BC Budget was tabled in the Legislature on February 19, 2013.
For links to budget papers, budget reviews and analysis from a number of sources,
go to the 2013 Canadian Government Budgets Links page:


This page is in alphabetical order of the organizations listed here.

2010 Homeless Champions
(Life in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver)

"This website is dedicated to telling the stories of the unfortunate individuals living in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver in the hope that awareness of this problem will spur people to get involved, to let all levels of government know that something has to be done to alleviate this misery rooted in addiction, homelessness and depravity. To point the way to recovery from addiction, which we believe is the root of most of this situation. With the 2010 Olympics coming to Vancouver it is our mandate to record the transition and the extreme changes that are even now occurring and will continue to unfold in the Downtown Eastside."

Action Committee of People With Disabilities
The Action Committee of People with Disabilities, or ACPD, is a charitable cross-disability society located in Victoria, British Columbia.
(...) ACPD serves all people, regardless of disability type: physical, psychiatric, developmental, sensory and/or emotional. We are operated by and for people with disabilities. Whenever possible, our programs and services are offered by consumers.

Anti-Poverty Committee (APC)
"The Anti-Poverty Committee is an organization of poor and working people, who fight for poor people, their rights and an end to poverty by any means necessary. The poor face constant attack under the capitalist system and these attacks have only intensified under the BC Liberal government. APC is committed to fighting the brutal policies of the BC Liberals through direct action, mass mobilization, and casework."
- incl. links to : Home | Campaigns & Issues | Publications | Calendar | Archive | Links

Safe Streets Act - Welfare Campaign - Housing Campaign - Police Brutality - Skwelkwek'welt Support - Immigrant and Refugee Solidarity - Legal Defense - Harm Reduction - Cheam Solidarity

BC Association for Community Living
"The BC Association for Community Living is a provincial association dedicated to promoting the participation of people with developmental disabilities in all aspects community life. We also support activities dedicated to building inclusive communities that value the diverse abilities of all people.."
- incl. links to : About Us - Self-Advocacy - Social Policy Positions - Government Relations - Special Projects - COmmunity Living Month - Calendar - Resources - Issues

BC Association of Social Workers
BCASW is a voluntary, not-for-profit membership association that supports and promotes the profession of social work and advocates for social justice. BCASW is one of the provincial/territorial social work associations in partnership with the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW). Through CASW we support the work of the International Federation of Social Workers. BCASW was incorporated in 1956 and has branches and members (including students) throughout BC.

BC Blogs from The Tyee
- links to hundreds of BC-based blogs
organized under the following categories:
* Activism * Arts & Culture * Beyond B.C. * Commerce & Law * Environment & Ecology * Health & Lifestyle * Politics: Commentary * Regional * Tech & Media * Travel & Global Culture * Video Blogs & Podcasts

TIP: set some time aside to explore these blogs at a more leisurely pace --- this list is broader in scope than just social programs, so you'll find some surprise "pundit nuggets", like Norm Spector's own blog .

The Tyee

(CEDAW= Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women)

THE B.C. CEDAW GROUP IS A COALITION of women’s non-governmental and non-profit British Columbia organizations that are committed to advancing the equality interests of women and girls.

THE B.C. CEDAW GROUP MADE SUBMISSIONS to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women at the time of its reviews of Canada in 2003 and 2008.

THE B.C. CEDAW GROUP ALSO MADE SUBMISSIONS to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in 2006, and participated in the preparation of the Canadian non-governmental report for the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review of Canada in 2009.

THE GOAL OF THE COALITION is to ensure that governments in British Columbia comply with their human rights obligations to women.

BC CEDAW reports:

Feb 16, 2010
Olympic Games: Stark Contrast to Poverty and Violence
Open Letter to Prime Minister Harper and Premier Campbell

Dear Sirs,
400,000 visitors will come to British Columbia from around the world for the 2010 Olympics. We can show them beautiful mountains, new sports venues, and a new subway line. We can show them the extraordinary talents of Canadian athletes and artists. Tragically, the splendour and expense of the Olympic Games stand in stark contrast to the poverty and violence experienced by the most marginalized women in this rich country.
On February 2, 2010, the BC CEDAW Group, with the endorsement of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs and many other organizations, filed a report with the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women on these issues. [see the link below]
Union of BC Indian Chiefs

The report:

nothing to report (PDF - 83K, 15 pages)
Submission of the B.C. CEDAW Group
To the United Nations Committee on the
Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
A Report on Progress in Implementing Priority Recommendations made by
the Committee in its 2008 Concluding Observations on Canada

(...) The Government of British Columbia has failed to act on either of these central issues:
• women’s poverty and the lack of adequate social assistance, and
• police and government failure to prevent or effectively investigate violence against Aboriginal women and girls.
The Government of British Columbia stands in violation of its obligations under Articles 2 and 3 of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.

9 February 2010
Information provided by the Government of the
Canada under the follow-up procedure to the
concluding observations of the Committee
(PDF - 121K, 39 pages)
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
Interim Report in follow-up to the review of Canada’s Sixth and Seventh Reports
February 2010
On October 22, 2008, Canada appeared before the United Nations (UN) Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (the Committee) for the review of its Sixth and Seventh Reports on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). In its concluding observations following the review, the Committee asked Canada to submit, within one year, information with respect to two of its recommendations (paragraphs 14 and 32).
Additional information can be found in
Canada’s Sixth and Seventh Reports on CEDAW

BC Coalition of People with Disabilities
The BC Coalition of People with Disabilities is a provincial, cross-disability advocacy organization. Our mandate is to raise public and political awareness of issues that concern us.
- includes links to : Current Issues and Campaigns - Ongoing Programs and Publications - Advocacy Access Program - Wellness and Disability Initiative - Publications Catalogue - AIDS & Disability Action Program - Transition Magazine - Individualized Funding Project - Alternatives to Restraints - CARMA Project

Selected site content:

Disability Community Stunned by Provincial Cuts to Crucial Medical Goods and Services
March 5, 2010
VANCOUVER – People with disabilities who are already struggling to manage on provincial disability benefits have been told by the Province it will no longer pay for some of the medically essential items and services they depend on. Beginning April 1st, the Province will no longer fund a range of health items including pre-made foot orthotics, diabetic glucometers and a bottled water supplement of $20 a month for people with conditions such as HIV/AIDS.
[NOTE: After clicking the link above, you'll have to scroll to the bottom of the page to read the entire news release. The first part of the page is a more detailed list of the cuts.]
BC Coalition of People with Disabilities
For over 30 years, the BC Coalition of People with Disabilities (BCCPD) has been a provincial, cross-disability voice in British Columbia. Our mission is to raise awareness around issues that affect the lives of people who live with a disability.

Related link:

Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Regulation
- amendments made under BC Regulation 67/2010 appear in red text.

Help Sheets online (PDF files, unless otherwise noted)
Checklist to help you fill out your PWD Application - The Persons with Disabilities Benefit Application - Checklist for the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) Benefit - Appealing denial of the PWD benefit: The Reconsideration - Appealing denial of the PWD benefit: The Appeal Tribunal - Persons with Persistent and Multiple Barriers (PPMB) to Employment - Enhanced medical coverage - Trusts for Persons with Disabilities (PWD) - Employment and People with Disabilities - Employment, Education and Training Supplements for People with Disabilities - Appealing Denial of the PPMB Benefit: The Reconsideration Request - Appealing Denial of the PPMB Benefit: The Appeal Tribunal - Income Assistance Application Process for People with Disabilities - Rate Amounts for PWD and PPMB Benefits

People who must re-apply for disability benefits
Former beneficiaries of Disability Benefits ("DB II" Benefits) must complete the designation review form.
Changes to Income Assistance: Important Updates - find out here why people with disabilities are required to re-apply for financial assistance.

October 3, 2002
Analysis of Changes to Disability Benefits Legislation
- Update on changes to Income Assistance programs in BC
- Update on the new definition of disability and application form for Disability Benefits
- Disability Benefits level one will be eliminated as of October 1,2002

Community Alert : Update on the new definition and application form for disability benefits
September 19, 2002
"...individuals who currently have disability status will be reassessed under the new criteria of the definition of disability..."

BC Coalition of People with Disabilities responds to Ministers Coell and Cheema
April 18 and April 24, 2002
"Minister of Human Resources Murray Coell has written a letter to BC's news editors suggesting that disability advocates have made incorrect statements about the changes to disability benefits legislation. The Minister has also co-authored a letter with Minister of State for Mental Health Gulzar Cheema in which they say that incorrect rumours are circulating in the disability community about the impact of the changes on people with mental health disabilities. "
Links to the original letters by the Ministers on the Government website (this link was dead on December 28/02, so I've removed the URL... )

Analysis of Changes to Disability Benefits Legislation

BC Coalition of Women's Centres (dead link)
"The mission of the BC Coalition of Women's Centres is to seek an end to the violence, poverty and other human rights abuses experienced by women in British Columbia, by supporting and promoting both independent and coordinated social change action among women's centres and other equity-seeking organizations."

- incl. links to :
Action! [Grade the BC Government on Prevention of Violence Against Women | Get the FAMOUS Women's Bucks | Operation: Application | contact MLAs | links]
Archives IMPACT of BC Cuts on Women | Silent protest of BC women's minister | Prevention of Violence Report Card for BC Gov't | Alert to UN: BC's Human Rights violations]
Info [contact information | BCCWC mission and values | find a women's centre in your community]

On March 31, 2004, the provincial government eliminated 100 percent of the funding to all women’s centres in B.C.


Making JAM 2004 - Stop the Death of BC's Women's Centres! (dead link)
March 8, 2004
International Women's Day
"On March 31, 2004, BC Liberal Government will eliminate 100% of operational funding for all 37 of BC's Women's Centres. More than half will be forced to close, and many more will have to struggle to keep providing services to women."
Call your MLA - and show your support for BC's Women's Centres!
JAM the phone and fax lines. JAM up the E-mail inboxes. JAM between 11 am to 3 pm on March 8 to kick off the JAM Campaign
Send a Eulogy for BC's Women's Centres to Premier Campbell and Your MLA!
MLA Contact Info

BC Community Living Coalition
"The Community Living Coalition is an open and inclusive gathering of people and organizations dedicated to empowering individuals and families to make decisions about how they lead their lives in the community."
Founding Organizations:
Individualized Funding Families Coalition

BC Association for Community Living
Vision for Community Living
Visit these sites to find out the effects of BC Government cuts to community living programs for people with disabilities in British Columbia.

BC Council for Families
The BC Council for Families works to strengthen, encourage and support families through information, education, research and advocacy.
Site map

The BC Courthouse Library Society
The B.C. Courthouse Library Society is a non-profit organization providing access to legal information resources and information services to members of the legal community and the public of British Columbia.

BC Federation of Labour (BCFL)
"...where you can learn about: workers' rights, labour news and policies, the campaigns of BC's unions, and more."

The BC Federation of Labour represents 450,000 members of affiliated unions in more than 1,100 locals, working in every aspect of the BC economy.

Selected reports:

From the
BC Federation of Labour:

From best to last--young workers call frozen minimum
wage an embarrassment as BC set to claim last place

August 31, 2009
Victoria-Tomorrow British Columbia will become the lowest minimum wage province in all of Canada as New Brunswick raises its minimum wage to $8.25. A group of young workers gathered in front of the provincial legislature called BC's minimum wage freeze an embarrassment.
British Columbia
Federation of Labour


Related links from the
Labour Program, Human Resources and Social Development Canada:

Current And Forthcoming Minimum Hourly Wage Rates For Adult Workers in Canada
(this is the best resource for info on current and upcoming minimum wage levels)

Minimum Hourly Wages for Canadian Adult Workers since 1965
NOTE: this information is broken up into five files - one for each decade.
The link takes you to the latest decade (2005 to 2014); click the date links at the top of the page for pages for earlier decades.

Minimum Wage Database
[ Employment Standards Legislation in Canada ]
[ Labour Program, Human Resources and Social Development Canada ]

- Go to the Minimum Wage /Living Wage Links page:

BC Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU)

Fund all women’s services, BCGEU tells women’s services minister (dead link)
News Release
February 10, 2004
"The B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU) reacted angrily today to public comments by Ida Chong, minister of state for women’s services, that funding for women’s centres will instead go to counselling and shelters because ‘they directly help women and children.’ (...)
On March 31, 2004, the provincial government will eliminate 100 percent of the funding to all women’s centres in B.C. [emphasis added]. This amounts to about $47,000 a year for each of the 37 women’s centres, or a total of $1.7 million. The cost translates into just over $5 per woman helped by a women’s centre, or 91 cents for every woman and girl in the province, according to the B.C. Coalition of Women’s Centres."

BC Human Rights Coalition
The B.C. Human Rights Coalition is a charitable non-profit community based organization that seeks to promote and strengthen human rights throughout B.C. and Canada.

Information - incl. links to : Pamphlets and Manuals - Newsletters - Information Bulletins and Notices - Position Papers - Media Materials - Annual Reports

BC Human Rights Defenders
"The BC Human Rights Defenders is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and promoting the advancement of human rights provincially, nationally and internationally. (...) The Defenders have been active since May 2002, when the BC Liberal government eliminated the BC Human Rights Commission, making BC the first province without a government agency to advocate and promote respect for human rights in British Columbia. The new system created by the Liberals make it more difficult for people who are disadvantaged by poverty, disability, race, ancestry, gender, family status, sexual orientation, and religion, to access justice through an open and supportive human rights system."

Route 64 - Another Detour on the Road to Equality:
An Examination of the Current Human Rights System in British Columbia

March 2006
The BC Human Rights Defenders is pleased to make available the report from the International and Human Rights Law Association of the University of Victoria.

Complete report:

Route 64 - Another Detour on the Road to Equality:
An Examination of the Current Human Rights System in British Columbia
(PDF file - 481K, 78 pages)
March 2006
"On March 31, 2003, Bill 64, the Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2002, was brought into force. The bill enacted sweeping amendments to British Columbia’s Human Rights Code and abolished the B.C. Human Rights Commission, the body formerly responsible for administering the Code through a variety of functions including research, education, monitoring, investigation and dispute resolution."

Backgrounder (PDF file - 47K, 2 pages)

BC Legal Services Society

Making Justice Work : Improving Access and Outcomes for British Columbians
Report to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General The Honourable Shirley Bond
(PDF - 956K, 56 pages)
July 1, 2012
- includes a chapter on the current state of legal aid in BC and recommendations for reform of the justice system in BC.
- ALSO includes a bibliography comprising over 90 links to relevant reports, evaluations and academic articles.

Related Government links:

Justice Reform in British Columbia

On February 8, 2012, the Province of British Columbia announced a justice reform initiative [ ] to address challenges facing British Columbia’s justice system and identify actions to give British Columbians more timely and effective justice services.

Geoffrey Cowper, QC, was appointed as chair of the Justice Reform Initiative and was asked to consult with the judiciary, Crown counsel, the legal profession, police and others to look at challenges set out in the Province’s Green Paper, Modernizing B.C.’s Justice System
[ ].

As a forum for the public and stakeholders to provide their input, Cowper set up the B.C. Justice Reform Initiative website:

Cowper delivered his final report to government on August 30, 2012.
(...) The Province also asked the Legal Services Society for its advice on achieving efficiencies in legal aid services.

BC Ministry of Justice

BC Liberals Suck (blog)

July 24, 2008
The Privatization of Welfare in BC
There are many in the Province who are well aware that the BC Liberals have been in the process of privatizing the income assistance system over the past 7 years in office. It has often been incremental and under the radar of most people. When the citizens of BC look back in years to come to see where things went so horribly wrong, they will not have too hard a time figuring it out. They need solely to look at Gordon Campbell and his merry band of scalawags, pickpockets and scoundrels to see how we lost it all and why we are suffering so, some of us more than others.

The latest scandal in the making – the impending privatization of the welfare system (aka income assistance). Interesting to note that the BC government has NOT announced their new $17.9 million contract with Haley Ltd. a multi-national company that specializes in information technology that will “upgrade” and introduce a new integrated case management system to “modernize” the social welfare system. In case you weren’t sure, in the parlance of globalization, “modernize” is synonymous with privatize.

BC Non-Profit Housing Association (BCNPHA)
The BC Non-Profit Housing Association provides leadership and support to members in creating and supporting a high standard of affordable housing throughout British Columbia
"BC provides independent perspectives on the events, people and issues that make up British Columbia's zany political life. Unlike mainstream media which often appears captivated by the interests of big business or blatant sensationalism, it is our aspiration that will provide an elevated, alternate forum for discussion and commentary on the news and political issues that shape our lives and communities in British Columbia."

BC Poverty Reduction Coalition
We are a coalition that includes community and non-profit groups, faith groups, health organizations, First Nations and Aboriginal organizations, businesses, labour organizations, and social policy groups. We have come together around a campaign aimed at seeing the introduction of a bold and comprehensive poverty reduction plan from the government of British Columbia that would include legislated targets and timelines to significantly reduce poverty and homelessness. We seek to improve the health and wellbeing of all British Columbians.We have 35 Coalition Members and over 375 supporting organizations with a collective membership of over 300,000 that have joined the call for a poverty reduction plan.

35 Member Organizations of the Coalition:
(List only, no links)

375 supporting organizations that have
joined the call for a poverty reduction plan:
(List only, no links)

Join the Call for a comprehensive and
accountable poverty reduction plan in British Columbia:
Join others, including over 350 organizations with a collective membership of over 300,000 people throughout the province, who are asking for a poverty reduction plan. Together we can make a difference!

Recommended targets and timelines:
Reduce BC’s poverty rate by 30% within four years, and by 75% within 10 years.
* Ensure the poverty rate for children, lone-mother households, single senior women, Aboriginal people, people with disabilities and mental illness, and recent immigrants and refugees likewise declines by 30% in four years, and by 75% in ten years, in recognition that poverty is concentrated in these populations.
* Within two years, ensure that every British Columbian has an income that reaches at least 75% of the poverty line.
* Within two years, ensure no one has to sleep outside, and end all homelessness within eight years (ensuring all homeless people have good quality, appropriate housing).

Other Provincial Poverty Reduction Plans
Recommended reading
---- includes information and many links to related documents for all provinces and territories with a poverty reduction plan
---- breakdown of poverty plans across Canada, and highlights the fact that BC is one of the last provinces without one and BC still has the highest rate of poverty in Canada.
NOTE : You must click on each of the icons near the top of the page to access all provincial and territorial sections of this collection.

The Cost of Poverty
- includes : * Inequality * Health * Housing * Crime * Children
- outlines the cost of poverty BC faces as a province and emphasizes that poverty reduction is cheaper in the long-run than paying for all the negative consequences of poverty
NOTE : You must click on each of the icons near the top of the page to access all sections of this collection.

Reports and studies about poverty in BC (from various sources)
- links to key reports about the effects of poverty in BC

BC Poverty Reduction Coalition

BC Poverty Reduction Coalition Facebook page

No Poverty Reduction Plan for BC?
NOTE: this link takes you to the BC section of the
Anti-poverty Strategies and Campaigns page of this site:

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.

BC Public Interest Advocacy Centre - Human and equality rights
The British Columbia Public Interest Advocacy Centre (BCPIAC) is a non-profit, public interest law office. Its creation in 1981 reflected the fundamental belief that it should not only be the rich and powerful that are represented before our courts and regulators.

BC Teachers' Federation
The British Columbia Teachers' Federation (BCTF), established in 1917, is the union of professionals representing 41,000 public school teachers in the province of British Columbia, Canada. All public school teachers belong to the BCTF and their local teachers' association.

Caledon Institute of Social Policy

A New Era in British Columbia: A Profile of Budget Cuts Across Social Programs (PDF file - 36K, 10 pages)
Caledon Institute of Social Policy
July 2002
"This paper is a summary of the wide range of reductions and cuts the BC Liberals have introduced to social programs over the past year. It documents changes in the areas of health care, education, income security, justice, and services for children, women and persons with disabilities."
Resources (excerpt): for Budget 2002 and Ministry Service Plans for updates on general cuts across sector sand links to other sites for information on Residential Tenancy Act for information on cuts to programs serving people with disabilities for information regarding K-12 education changes and cuts for information regarding postsecondary education changes and cuts for information and commentary regarding income assistance for information regarding changes and cuts to children's programs for information regarding community living changes and cuts for information regarding women's programs for information regarding seniors' programs

Canada West Foundation
Our mandate is to explore public policy issues of particular interest to western Canadians, to test national policies against regional aspirations and to ensure an effective regional voice in national policy discussions and the national political process.

CBC British Columbia
[Canadian Broadcasting Corporation]

Abbotsford (B.C). sorry for using manure to drive out homeless:
'War on the homeless' treats homeless like 'animals,' local advocate says
June 5, 2013
The City of Abbotsford has apologized for spreading chicken manure over a popular gathering place for the homeless in an apparent bid to drive them out of the city. "I am deeply sorry for our actions," city manager George Murray wrote in an email obtained by CBC News. (...)
The practice of using chicken manure to drive away the homeless came to light after local homelessness advocate James W. Breckenridge wrote a column titled "This Stinks" in the Abbotsford Today community newspaper.
[To read the Breckenridge column, go to and scroll down the page to "This Stinks."]
The City of Surrey used a similar tactic in 2009 — spreading chicken manure outside a busy resource centre for the homeless — but was forced to remove it following outrage from community members.

CBC News


Abbotsford Spreads Chicken Manure In City To Rid Itself Of The Homeless
June 5, 2013

Breaking News: Abbotsford City Manager George Murray Apologizes For Chicken Manure Homeless Incident
June 5, 2013

Taking Responsibility Means Resigning (url is correct, despite the misspelling)
June 6, 2013

Jesus Would Be Ashamed
June 8, 2013

Is Abbotsford Sally Ann Using Hunger, Thirst To Get Rid Of Homeless?
June 10, 2013

Sally Ann Changes Course – Begins Feeding The Homeless
June 10, 2013

Answers Needed
June 10, 2013

More Abbotsford Today coverage of this incident (links to 16 articles incl. the seven links above)


BC Town Apologizes After Manure Used to Repel Homeless People
June 5, 2013

Something had to be done about Abbotsford homeless, resident says
June 7, 2013


Port Coquitlam used chicken fertilizer to drive away homeless man
June 16, 2013


- Go to the Homelessness and Housing Links page:

British Columbia coalition launches legal aid commission (dead link)
June 28, 2010
Concerns over cuts to legal aid services in B.C. have prompted a coalition of justice groups to launch a public examination of the system. The Public Commission on Legal Aid will visit 10 B.C. communities this fall to gather input from British Columbians in order to make recommendations to the provincial government. The commission is a joint project of several groups, including the Law Society of B.C., the Vancouver Bar Association and the Canadian Bar Association's B.C. branch.
CBC British Columbia

The Public Commission on Legal Aid has been established and is supported by the following six funding partners:
* Canadian Bar Association - BC Branch
* Law Society of British Columbia
* Law Foundation of British Columbia
* British Columbia Crown Counsel Association
* Vancouver Bar Association
* Victoria Bar Association

Related links:

June 24, 2010
The New Public Commission on Legal Aid Wants to Hear From You

A timeline of cuts to BC legal aid (from 2002 to April 2010)
Posted January 25, 2010


Protest shuts down Olympic Village condo sale (dead link)
May 15, 2010
Protesters crashed an open house at Vancouver's Olympic Village on Saturday, forcing police to lock the area down. Brandishing signs and chanting, dozens of people were there to protest what they say is a lack of social housing at the development. (...) About 475 units at the $1.1-billion waterfront development in False Creek went on the market Saturday. Another 260 were sold during pre-sales in 2007. About 250 rental units will be reserved for civic workers and low-income residents. The project has been mired in controversy. Last month, the city voted to halve the amount of social housing it had promised to provide in the Olympic Village development. The project also had to be rescued by the City of Vancouver with loan guarantees in order to get it ready for the Olympic Games in February.

Cut Olympic Village social housing: report (dead link)
April 20, 2010
(...) "It's unfortunate that we couldn't have more social housing on the site. The financial realities are forcing us to scale back somewhat," Vancouver Mayor Gregor Roberston told reporters.


From the
Vancouver Media Co-Op

False Promises on False Creek
Mayor hires hundred more police in response to growing homeless population;
hands promised social housing units at Olympic Village over to police
May 11, 2010
By Nathan Crompton
Mayor Gregor Robertson’s recent homeless count shows a 12% increase in homelessness since 2008, the year of his election to office. While Gregor ran on a platform to end homelessness, he and the Vision caucus have responded to this increase with the unaccompanied strategy of millions of dollars for increased policing. Now, as of April 20, the vast majority of the promised low-income units in the Olympic Village are being handed over to the police and other “essential” City workers.
[TIP : If you scroll to the bottom of the above article, you'll find 10 links to related information.]


May 25, 2009
New resource from the
Canadian Council on Social Development:

British Columbia:
The Best Place on Earth? Contemporary and Historical Perspectives
on Poverty Reduction Policies and Programs in British Columbia
(PDF - 410K, 38 pages)
By Scott Graham, Jill Atkey, Crystal Reeves, and Michael Goldberg

Poverty Reduction Policies and Programs
Social Development Report Series, 2009
[ Canadian Council on Social Development ]

Also from CCSD :

Poverty Reduction Policies and Programs in Canada (PDF - 341K, 29 pages)
By David I. Hay, Information Partnership

Related links ===> Go to the Anti-poverty Strategies and Campaigns page:

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives - British Columbia Office

Publications - links to over 300 reports from the CCPA-BC Office

Selected reports from BC-CCPA:

Working for a Living Wage 2013:
Making Paid Work Meet Basic Family Needs in Metro Vancouver
(PDF - 1MB, 8 pages)
By Iglika Ivanova, Seth Klein
May 2, 2013
In 2008, the CCPA, First Call and Victoria’s Community Council published the inaugural report Working for a Living Wage. That report calculated that the living wage for families was $16.74/hour in Metro Vancouver, and $16.39/hour in Metro Victoria. That full report, detailing the principles, rationale, methodology, data sources, and business case for the living wage calculation can be found at Since then, however, family costs have continued to rise and changes have occurred to government taxes and transfers. And so this short report updates our calculation, providing the 2013 living wage for Metro Vancouver––now $19.62/hour.

For more on the Metro Vancouver Living Wage for Families campaign, including for those
wanting to become living wage employers, visit A Living Wage for Families [ ]

BC Office
[ ]
of the
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
[ ]

Progressive Tax Options for BC : Reform Ideas
for Raising New Revenues and Enhancing Fairness
(PDF - 2.6MB, 48 pages)
January 29, 2013
By Iglika Ivanova and Seth Klein
[ Summary (PDF - 1.6MB) : ]
This report presents many possible scenarios for reforming our (BC) tax system to increase revenues and make the system more fair.

Related news release:

Change in direction on tax policy needed to escape budget crunch,
ensure high-income British Columbians and corporations pay fair share: study
January 29, 2013

Two Infographics illustrating some of the progressive measures that the BC Government could implement (or restore) if the top 1% of BC taxpayers paid a fair share of taxes:
[Click the link, then scroll halfway down the page to see the two infographics.]

Income inequality on the rise, especially in large cities
January 28, 2013
Income inequality in Canada is on the rise—especially in the country's largest cities. CCPA analysis of new data finds the richest 1% of Canadians make almost $180,000 more today than they did in 1982 (adjusted for inflation), while the bottom 90% of Canadians saw income gains of only $1,700.
NOTE : Includes two graphics entitled "They're richer than you think" --- one graphic compares numbers across provinces, and the other compares numbers for eight cities across Canada.

[ Pour une analyse québécoise (en français), visitez le blogue d'IRIS:
Le 1% au Québec : plus de revenus, moins d’impôts ]

Beyond Austerity - A video by Trish Hennessy (duration 2:34)
January 2013
CCPA-Ontario Director Trish Hennessy summarizes the "Ontario 2013: Toward a Post-Austerity Vision" core message in this two-minute video blog

BC Office - CCPA
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)

The case for exempting child support from welfare
July 20, 2012
By Kendra Milne
Based on recent announcements, it seems that the Ministry of Social Development is in the mood to address some of the long-standing problems within BC’s welfare system (although welfare rates remain distressingly low). Seth Klein recently recapped the Ministry’s June 11th announcement [ ], which set out almost 30 proposed changes to the system. More recently, the Ministry also announced [ ] that it will be restoring coverage for some health supplies and medical equipment that it cut in 2010.
Given the Ministry’s change in outlook regarding the balance between a welfare system that provides employable recipients some basic level of dignity and support, and a system that is so cushy that recipients will choose to rely on tax payer support over supporting themselves, this seems like a good time to raise another long-standing concern with the welfare system: child support.
Prior to 2002, recipients could receive up to $100 per month in child support without impacting their assistance. The idea was that a limited exemption would create an incentive for parents to go out and get a child support order against their ex, and to take steps to enforce that order. In 2002, that limited exemption for child support was eliminated and, since then, any penny of child support received by a parent on income assistance has been deducted from their assistance dollar for dollar.
The bottom line is, as long as welfare rates remain so low, creating even a partial exemption for child support payments would allow vulnerable families with children increased financial resources to meet basic costs of living.

Policy Note (blog)
[ CCPA British Columbia Office ]
[ Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) ]

New BC welfare rules: some positive steps forward (and a 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 : ).
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.

Policy Note (blog)

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Congratulations to Jagrup Brar: Time to raise welfare rates
February 3, 2012
By Seth Klein
On Tuesday, BC MLA Jagrup Brar wrapped up his month living on a basic welfare income of $610. He has returned to his family and a comfortable home. But we owe him great thanks. And kudos as well to the folks at Raise the Rates, who issued the challenge that MLAs try living on welfare themselves (Brar was the only MLA to accept the challenge), and who organized near daily activities during Brar’s month-long challenge.
While most of the coverage of Brar’s month was sympathetic, a few negative voices were heard. In particular, the Minister responsible (Stephanie Cadieux) and the Fraser Institute made a number of media interventions in defense of BC’s abysmally low welfare benefit rates. Their comments indicate they truly need to get out of the office more — they simply have no understanding of what life on welfare is actually like.

Among the key points made by the Minister and Fraser economists was that we needn’t worry about the $610 basic rate, because a majority of welfare recipients receive more (either because they have children or a recognized disability), an amount they deem “adequate.” It’s true that most welfare recipients get more than the basic rate, but calling those rates “adequate” is way off the mark.

As the National Council of Welfare notes, those on welfare with children and those with a disability still live thousands of dollars below the poverty line. And extensive research conducted by the CCPA (a study I co-authored called Living on Welfare in BC [see the next link below], which followed real people on welfare over a two year period, rather than just pondering numbers as the Fraser folks have) found that even those in receipt of the higher (supposedly “adequate”) rates were still frequently reliant on food banks and other charities to meet basic needs.

Related CCPA study:

Living on Welfare in BC:
Experiences of Longer-Term “Expected to Work” Recipients
By Seth Klein, Jane Pulkingham, et al
April 22, 2008

BC’s legal aid system is “broken”
Thousands lack access to justice, leading to high economic and social costs

News Release
November 9, 2010
(Vancouver) It’s time for a complete overhaul of BC’s legal aid system, according to a new report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and West Coast LEAF (Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund). (...) Rights-Based Legal Aid: Rebuilding BC’s Broken System examines the serious deterioration of legal aid services over the past 15 years, and particularly since deep cuts began in 2002.

Complete report:

Rights-Based Legal Aid:
Rebuilding BC’s Broken System
(PDF - 1.4MB, 28 pages)
(...) We propose that instead of trying to fix our damaged legal aid system, we build a new, rights-based system that would ensure legal representation for low income people, improve the justice system for all British Columbians, and reduce social and economic costs. (Excerpt from page 5)

Every bite counts: Government must set
menu for BC's food system in face of climate change

News Release
November 2, 2010
(Vancouver) A new report is calling on the BC government to take action to make BC’s food system work better for farmers, eliminate hunger, shift away from imported products, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The report, Every Bite Counts: Climate Justice and BC’s Food System, released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), calls for a rethink of BC's food system in light of climate change. The report acknowledges grassroots efforts to move to local, sustainable agriculture have found support at the local government level. Largely missing, it says, are actions by the provincial government to accelerate change.

Complete report:

Every Bite Counts: Climate Justice and BC’s Food System (PDF - 1.9MB, 39 pages)
November 2010
By Marc Lee, Herb Barbolet, Tegan Adams and Matt Thomson
"(...) Thinking about climate justice and food in BC reveals tremendous potential to develop win-win arrangements that cascade across health, education, nutrition, poverty and the environment." (Conclusion, page 35)

Report Highlights (PDF - 1.8MB, 8 pages)

Social housing reality check:
Ministry’s own service plans show few net new units since 2006
News Release
September 13, 2010
(Vancouver) A new report shows that despite some positive recent developments on rental assistance and homelessness, BC’s progress in building new social housing units has been minimal. Unpacking the Housing Numbers: How Much New Social Housing is BC Building? is being released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and Social Planning and Research Council of BC. The authors conducted a detailed examination of BC Housing’s service plans for 2006 to 2011. (...) In fact, the government’s own data indicate an overall net increase of only 280 new housing units over the past five years, a sobering and concerning finding.

Complete report:

Unpacking the Housing Numbers:
How Much New Social Housing is BC Building?
(PDF File, 559K, 12 pages)

Meaningful Training Programs for BC Welfare Recipients with Multiple Barriers
Help First, Not Work First
(PDF - 625K, 28 pages)
By Shauna Butterwick
July 26, 2010
Welfare "reform" in BC has made it more difficult to qualify for welfare, and many of those who have managed to remain on income assistance have multiple barriers to employment, including addiction, mental and physical health problems, learning disabilities, lack of English skills, unstable housing and homelessness. These recipients have not been well served by the “reformed” system, particularly employment training programs. This study examined the experiences of welfare recipients participating in two types of pre-employment programs: the BC Employment Program (BCEP) and the Community Assistance Program (CAP). The study makes recommendations for providing more effective and relevant services for people with multiple barriers.

2010 living wage shows the real costs
of raising a family in Metro Vancouver

News Release
May 4, 2010
Vancouver --- $18.17 is the 2010 family living wage, according to a report released today that calculates an hourly wage based on the real costs of raising a family in Vancouver. Working for a Living Wage 2010: Making Paid Work Meet Basic Family Needs in Metro Vancouver updates the first Metro Vancouver calculation published in 2008, and was released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition, and the Metro Vancouver Living Wage for Families Campaign.

Working for a Living Wage 2010
Making Paid Work Meet Basic Family Needs in Metro Vancouver
(PDF - 419K, 8 pages)
by Tim Richards, Marcy Cohen, Seth Klein
May 2010

Related links:

* Working for a Living Wage 2008 (PDF - 2.9MB, 52 pages)
(Original complete report)
September 2008

A Closer Look at Low Wages in BC (PDF - 269K, 9 pages)
February 2010
By Steve Kerstetter for the
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
Workers in British Columbia earned an average of $21.46 an hour in 2008, according to the latest annual wage data published by Statistics Canada. This was good news for workers at the average wage or better, and well above the minimum wage of $8. The average wage has gone up 25 per cent over the past decade (pre-inflation adjustment). However, a closer look at the situation of workers in BC reveals some troubling facts about wages and hours of work, and the workers who are most likely to have low wages and/or insufficient hours. Hundreds of thousands of workers are still at wage levels that either trap them in poverty or put them at high risk of falling into poverty.

A Living Wage for Families
To get involved or to become a Living Wage employer, you can start by visiting this website, which is the home page of the Metro Vancouver Living Wage for Families Campaign
- incl. links to :
* Home * What is a Living Wage? * Get Involved * Living Wage Employers * About Us

Latest News:

Sign up and endorse the Living Wage For Families Campaign (PDF - 321K, 1 page)
July 2009

Living Wage Campaign launched in Ottawa
June 2009

Canadian Policy Research Networks (CPRN)


More of the Same?
The Position of the Four Largest Canadian Provinces in the World of Welfare Regimes
(dead link)
November 5, 2004
by Paul Bernard, Sébastien Saint-Arnaud
"In More of the Same? The Position of the Four Largest Canadian Provinces in the World of Welfare Regimes, Paul Bernard and Sébastien Saint-Arnaud locate the welfare regimes of Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia among those of a group of advanced countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD]. They compare them in terms of a wide set of indicators representing public policy, social situations and level of public participation."

NOTE: This article is based partly on Gøsta Esping-Andersen's 1990 typology of welfare regimes in advanced capitalist societies and more recent related work. It's not a detailed comparison of welfare programs in certain Canadian jurisdictions, but rather an academic analysis of how the welfare systems in four Canadian provinces fit within the international typology. It should be emphasized that the analysis of welfare regimes in the four Canadian jurisdictions focuses on the mid-1990s, which was a tumultuous period in the evolution of the Canadian welfare system. Programs (and governments, except for Emperor Klein...) have changed since then, but ten years later, it's still true that "Alberta somewhat resembles the 'ultra-liberal' United States, while Quebec leans in the direction of Europe, and to some extent, of social-democracy." [Excerpt from the Abstract].

Complete report:

More of the Same? The Position of the Four Largest Canadian Provinces
in the World of Welfare Regimes
(PDF file - 1.5MB, 32 pages)
November 2004
[translation of an article initially published in French in the
Canadian Journal of Sociology, Spring 2004]


Canadian Union of Public Employees - BC

CUPE BC is a provincial division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, and acts as the political voice of CUPE locals in British Columbia.

CUPE BC represents 85,000 workers in more than 170 local unions and across many different sectors.

Carnegie Community Action Project
The Carnegie Community Action Project (CCAP) is a project of the board of the Carnegie Community Centre Association. CCAP works mostly on housing, income, and land use issues in the Downtown Eastside (DTES) of Vancouver so the DTES can remain a low income friendly community.

- incl. links to :
* About CCAP * About DTES * CCAP Reports * Bulletins * Better Incomes * More Social Housing * Poverty Olympics * Stop Gentrification * International Campaign * Thank You


Downtown Eastside (DTES) rents through the roof says report (dead link)
June 18, 2009
Carnegie Community Action Project (CCAP) marked the release of Still Losing Housing, their second annual Hotel Survey and Report for the DTES, by holding a press conference in front of the infamous Balmoral Hotel. (...) According to the report over 1,600 SROs are renting at $425 and over per month, despite welfare and disability rates averaging $375 per month in the DTES. That's a 44 per cent increase of rooms charging over $425, with some rates reaching as high as $800 per month.
Megaphone - Vancouver's Street Paper

The Report:

Still Losing Hotel Rooms: CCAP’s 2009 Hotel Survey and Report (PDF - 6MB, 20 pages)
By Wendy Pedersen and Jean Swanson

CTV British Columbia

Child Poverty in British Columbia
March/April 2009
"Our province has the highest child poverty rate in Canada.
It's a damning statistic that advocates are calling B.C.'s Shame."

Clicking the link above opens the main page of this four-part series from CTV-BC, where you'll find links to articles and videos on the following topics:
* BC - The highest child poverty rate in Canada
* One woman's struggle to provide
* Food banks jammed with kids
* Poverty's dangerous consequences
CTV British Columbia

Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health and Addiction (CARMHA) - Simon Fraser University

Housing and Support for Adults with
Severe Addictions and/or Mental Illness in British Columbia
(PDF file - 765K, 150 pages)
February 2008
By Michelle Patterson, Julian Somers, Karen McIntosh, Alan Shiell and Charles Frankish

Related links:

The high cost of homelessness (dead link)
Every homeless person costs system $55,000, an amount that could buy supported housing for each of them

By Lori Culbert
March 21, 2008
VANCOUVER - We've been counting them and governments have been scrambling to try to help them, but a recent university study has been looking at a new question about homeless people in B.C. - what each one costs taxpayers a year. The answer is $55,000 per person, or an annual total of $644.3 million in health, corrections and social services spending for all the homeless in B.C.
Vancouver Sun

Centre for Public Sector Studies
The Centre for Public Sector Studies was established in 1978 to encourage interdisciplinary research in public policy at the University of Victoria.
- North American Institute - "NAMI's mission is to examine all aspects of the North American regional relationship, recognizing the challenges facing the governments, peoples and cultures of North America, and to develop better approaches to this changing relationship"
- Center for North American Studies (Duke University) Interdisciplinary international center focusing on the political, social, and cultural consequences of regionalization, and attempts to place them within the long history of the interaction of Canada and Mexico with the United States.
- Local Government Institute (LGI) (dead link) - Created in 1995, LGI is a group of University of Victoria faculty dedicated to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of local governments.

Centre for Research in Women's Studies and Gender Relations
[ University of British Columbia ]

Report Card On Women and Children in B.C. (PDF file - 146K, 4 pages)
March 15, 2004
By Michelle Stack
"Whether we like it or not, the media is part of governing."

Centre for Research on Economic and Social Policy - CRESP (University of British Columbia)
"equality, security + community: explaining and improving the distribution of well being in canada"

- incl. links to : Project Objectives - Research Team - Project Outcome - Colloquium Series - ESC Project Survey - Useful Links - Contact Information

Research Series - links to almost 50 papers organized in the following clusters : Measuring and Explaining Inequality and Insecurity - Social Capital, Community, and Political Processes - Formulation and Assessment of Policy Responses.

A few sample papers:

Fixing BC's Structural Deficit--What, Why, When, How? (PDF file - 140K, 41 pages)
Jonathan Kesselman
February 2002

Base Reforms and Rate Cuts for a Revitalized Personal Tax
Jonathan R. Kesselman (1999).
Growing calls for cuts in Canadian personal income taxes have focused on the rates of tax but neglected a deeper analysis of the structural priorities for fairness and growth. This paper offers an economic analysis of the combined needs for base reforms and rate cuts.
Complete paper (PDF file 37 pages, 142K)

Income Redistribution in Canada: Minimum Wages versus Other Policy Instruments
Nicole M. Fortin and Thomas Lemieux
Revised December 1998
Complete report (PDF file - 56 pages, 419K)

City of Vancouver

Vancouver homelessness:

Welfare rolls down, homelessness up
New report blames provincial changes to eligibility rules for Vancouver's worsening situation
By Rod Mickleburgh

May 26, 2005
VANCOUVER -- Provincial government changes to welfare rules have doubled the severity of Vancouver's dire and growing homeless problem, according to the city's policy co-ordinator for the homeless. Jill Davidson said new requirements for receiving welfare the Liberals brought in are too onerous and bureaucratic for many of those eligible to receive social assistance. 'We think we could probably almost halve the number of people on the street if you just got people on welfare who were eligible for welfare,' said Ms. Davidson, the author of a 100-page report and action plan to eliminate homelessness in Vancouver within 10 years."
The Globe and Mail

Report lays out new strategy for homeless - Vancouver (dead link)
By Mike Howell-Staff writer
May 23, 2005
"Increase mental health and addiction services, build more social housing and make changes to the province's employment and assistance program. Those are the key priorities to reducing homelessness as outlined in a lengthy city report, Homeless Action Plan, going before city council May 25 at a public meeting. Written by senior housing planner Jill Davidson, who has worked on the plan for more than a year, the report comes at a time when the streets are filling up with homeless people. The city's conservative estimates are that 600 people sleep on the streets in the winter months and up to 1,200 in the summer. That's double the number from three years ago."
The Vancouver Courier (dead link)

Complete report:

Vancouver Homeless Action Plan (PDF file - 1.2MB, 105 pages)
By Jill Davidson
Homeless Policy Coordinator
Housing Centre
May 2005
The Housing Centre - City of Vancouver Community Services
The Housing Centre delivers social housing projects and undertakes policy and program development. The Tenant Assistance Program provides direct assistance to displaced tenants and homeless individuals in the City.
[City of Vancouver]

More Housing Centre Council reports - links to dozens more reports on housing and homelessness in Vancouver produced in the past few years by the Housing Centre.

Related Links:

Preliminary Results of [Vancouver] Homeless Count conducted on March 15, 2005 (PDF file - 14K, 2 pages)
Regional Homelessness
[Greater Vancouver Regional District]
"The Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) is a partnership of 21 municipalities and one electoral area that make up the metropolitan area of Greater Vancouver. GVRD's role in the Lower Mainland is to
deliver essential utility services like drinking water, sewage treatment, recycling and garbage disposal that are most economical and effective to provide on a regional basis, and to protect and enhance the quality of life in our region by managing and planning growth and development, as well as protecting air quality and green spaces."

Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC (CCCABC)
The Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC is a registered society, incorporated under the Society Act on November 2, 1995. The original child care advocacy organization, the BC Daycare Action Coalition, was formed in 1982. The purposes of the Society are to promote and support quality community-based child care services that benefit children, families and the public and in the best interests of society.
- incl. links to: * About Us * What's New * CCCABC Materials * Take Action * Advocacy resources * Calendar

Selected site content:

A Public System of Integrated Early Care and Learning:
$10 a Day Care a Key to Ending Family Poverty
(PDF - 1MB, 4 pages)
Fact Sheet No. 4
PDF file date : October 4, 2012
In 2011, the Coalition of Child Care Advocates and the Early Childhood Educators of BC released a Community Plan for a Public System of Integrated Early Care and Learning [ ] . The Plan offers a concrete, innovative ‘made in BC’ solution to the child care crisis facing families with young children. If and when government puts the Plan in place, child care will cost families $10 a day for a full-time program, $7 a day for part-time, and no user fee for families with annual incomes under $40,000.

Links to all four fact sheets:

Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC (CCCABC)

Early Childhood Educators of BC


Letter from the CCCABC to Honourable Mary McNeil,
BC Minister of Children and Family Development (PDF - 68K, 2 pages)
May 3, 2012
Dear Minister McNeil,
The purpose of this letter is to request that the Ministry of Children and Families immediately implement a moratorium on new approvals of Child Care Operating Funds (CCOF) for commercial child care chains operating in BC. This moratorium is required in order to put "families at the forefront" of decision-making, as committed under your government's "Families First Agenda for Change".
[Click the link above to read the complete letter.]

Backgrounder (PDF - 124K, 3 pages)

Media Release (PDF - 76K, 1 page)


Community Plan for a Public System of Integrated Early Care and Learning
April 2011
The Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC and the Early Childhood Educators of BC are pleased to share our Community Plan for a Public System of Integrated Early Care and Learning. Our Plan offers a concrete, innovative and ambitious way forward and provides a framework for significant and lasting system change in British Columbia.

Download the Plan (PDF - 2.2MB, 23 pages)
(...) Good early childhood education (ECE) practice recognizes that to support a child, one needs to understand the environment in which children live: their families, communities, cultures, and broader society. Children do best when they are supported by strong and healthy relationships, first in their families and then in their communities and beyond. The same is true for systems like this proposed Community Plan for a Public System of Integrated Early Care and Learning. To grow and thrive, this system needs a strong and supportive environment. This Plan includes four conditions to support a system of early care and learning: strong family policy, commitment from federal and provincial governments, First Nations and Aboriginal community control, and adequate and stable funding.

Endorse the Plan!

Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQ)


Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC (CCCABC)
CCCABC ia a voluntary organization of interested citizens – parents, child care providers, community organizations, and unions - whose purpose is to promote and support quality community-based child care services that benefit children, families and the public and in the best interests of society.

Early Childhood Educators of BC
Early Childhood Educators of British Columbia (ECEBC) educates early childhood educators and the broader community about the importance of early childhood education and care. We provide professional development opportunities to early childhood educators across the province.

Child-care crisis is a B.C. election issue
April 28, 2009
[ Author Rita Chudnovsky is a consultant with the
Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C.

October 23, 2007
On October 1, 2007, the BC government announced that, for the first time, private companies could receive major capital child care grants. The Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC predicted that this change in public policy would make BC attractive to large foreign owned child care corporations. Our worst fears have now been confirmed. We have learned that a foreign-based corporation is actively trying to take over community-based child care providers across BC. If they succeed - the face of child care in BC will be dramatically changed now and for a long time to come.
This is not the solution to child care in BC.

Hindsight from Australia - Foresight for BC (PDF file - 200K, 4 pages)
October 23, 2007
"(...)Analysis from Australia suggests that the domination of corporate child care has decreased accountability, quality, affordability and accessibility. Increased public spending on child care has not produced child care services in the public domain ñ in other words an infrastructure for the long term."

Columbia Journal
The Columbia Journal is a positive progressive alternative to the conservative corporate press in B.C. Dedicated to inform, entertain and advocate for the people of B.C., it is an independent publication, promising free and open debate on all issues, a voice for people throughout B.C.

Welfare Rates Still Suck
September 2007
Ron Carten
“Punitive!” That is the word Jean Swanson, a community organizer in the Downtown Eastside and author of Poor Bashing: The Politics of Exclusion, uses to describe welfare policy in B.C. And if anyone thinks the increase in welfare rates announced in the provincial budget marks a change in that policy they would be dead wrong. Those familiar with welfare in B.C. will see no change in such barriers to accessing the program as the three-week wait, the two-year independence test, the two-year limit, the 1-800 number enquiry and the mandatory internet application process. These barriers combined with a lack of affordable housing are what have contributed to the rising rate of homelessness not only in Vancouver but across the province, according to Swanson who now helps coordinate the province-wide Raise the Rates campaign from Carnegie Centre.
September 2007 issue of the Columbia Journal

Related links:

Downtown Eastside Revitalization Program
Raise the Rates
is a coalition of community groups and organisations concerned with the level of poverty and homelessness in British Columbia.
Carnegie Centre (dead link) - The Downtown Eastside’s Livingroom
--- The Carnegie Newsletter is published twice a month and contains a lively range of articles, news and views, prose and poetry about life in the Downtown Eastside

Also from the same issue of the Columbia Journal:

BC “Boom” going Bust for People
By Marco Procaccini
Two reports released earlier this month show that the current “boom” is not benefiting large number of people in BC, as increasing numbers of people are experiencing worsening poverty. The B.C. Progress Board report, which came down Tuesday, showed British Columbia is falling behind the rest of Canada on issues like poverty, crime and other social conditions. This despite a public accounts report Wednesday that showed the province’s budget surplus had ballooned to $4.1 billion.

Related links:

BC Progress Board Releases 2007 Interim Report
and Special Discussion Paper on Strategic Considerations for BC's Future
News Release - July 10, 2007
Executive Summary (PDF - 59K)
Entire Report - Issues and Trends (PDF - 1,267K)
Entire Report - Interim (PDF - 2,667K)
[ Request a hard copy be mailed to you ]


Despite Green Reputation, Northwest Comes up Short on Key Trends
Cutbacks in gasoline and improving health are bright spots
(dead link)
Press Release
June 12, 2007
Seattle, WA – According to new research by Seattle-based Sightline Institute, the Northwest is making only slow progress on key trends that shape our prosperity and environmental health. The region especially lags behind world leaders when it comes to energy efficiency and curbing sprawl, and is stalled on economic security for middle- and low-income northwesterners.
"Cascadia's sustainability think tank --- We create tools to help you build a better Northwest."

Cascadia Scorecard 2007
June 2007
The 2007 edition of the Cascadia Scorecard, the Pacific Northwest’s annual progress report, reveals that the region lags behind world leaders on trends such as energy, sprawl, and economic security. The good news is that we are making progress—and adopting smart solutions will accelerate those gains.

Community Legal Assistance Society
"The Community Legal Assistance Society (CLAS) was incorporated as a non-profit legal aid society in 1971. Our mission is to provide legal assistance to people throughout British Columbia who are physically, mentally, socially, economically or otherwise disadvantaged and to develop law that benefits disadvantaged groups as a whole."

Community Living Services Core Review

The Community Living Services Core Review is part of the BC government's overall Core Review (see the Canadian Social Research Links BC Government Links page for more information on the core review).

Vision for Community Living
Vision for Community Living is a project of the community living service providers of BC, with input from other stakeholders.
Community Living Coalition - Nov 1, 2001
Founding members:
BC Association for Community Living

The BC Association for Community Living is a federation that advocates for children, youth and adults with developmental disabilities and their families to ensure justice, rights and opportunities in all areas of their lives.
Individualized Funding Family Coalition
Community Living Service Providers
Purpose: To present one proposal to government that addresses the Core Review and the Budget process, and has the broad support of the Community Living Movement. This proposal will allow the Community Living movement to make the changes necessary to the service system in a consultative manner that avoids disruption of direct services to people with disabilities.
Service Providers' Submission (concerning the Core Review)
- incl. links to the executive summary and the complete submission

Individualized Funding Family Coalition
The Individualized Funding Family Coalition believes that people with developmental disabilities have the same rights as other citizens to self-determination, freedom and equality. We also believe that flexible and innovative approaches are needed to change the status quo, and ensure that each person has the means necessary to participate as a valued and contributing member in their communities. We therefore support the implementation of Individualized Funding in British Columbia as an option for individuals and families so they can have real choices in how they lead their lives. This web page serves as a resource for anyone who supports our vision for the future.

Creative Resistance
- incl. links to : British Columbia - Canada - US - World - Finding Strength - Action Toolkit - Communitas

- incl. links to 125+ articles and other resources concerning over two dozen election issues - highly recommended!
Issues : Aquaculture - BC Economy - Child and Family Services - Child Care - Disability Issues - Education - Employment - Women - Employment Standards - Energy - Environment - Freedom of Information - Gambling - Health Care - Housing and Homelessness - Human Rights - Income Inequality - Legal Aid - Lobbying - Long Term Care - P3s - Pharmacare - Policing - Prison System - Responsible Government - Seniors' Issues - Social Housing - Taxes - Welfare - Workers' Right

Online Resources : Homelessness and Affordable Housing
[from Creative Resistance]
Affordable Housing in Vancouver (City of Vancouver)
Shelter Net BC (NGO)
BC Homelessness and Health Research Network (University of British Columbia)
Creative Resistance: Housing and Homelessness

See also:
- British Columbia NGO Links (D-W)
- British Columbia Government Links


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