Low-income families in British Columbia: the time is now for a new strategy Presentation to the Select Standing Committee on Children and Youth, Legislative.
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Presentation on theme: "Low-income families in British Columbia: the time is now for a new strategy Presentation to the Select Standing Committee on Children and Youth, Legislative."— Presentation transcript:
Low-income families in British Columbia: the time is now for a new strategy Presentation to the Select Standing Committee on Children and Youth, Legislative Assembly, Province of British Columbia Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue Vancouver May 21, 2010
2 Three Questions 1.What are the systemic causes of persistent low-incomes, and how do they affect families in British Columbia from one generation to the next – both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal? 2.Are existing methods of measurement accurate, suitable and relevant to BC? 3.Which reduction strategies appear to be successful (or unsuccessful) in other jurisdictions and how can we best measure that success?
3 Contexts of low-income Housing and homelessness Education and literacy The economy and labour force Public policies and services Federalism Societal values, beliefs and attitudes Legacies of colonialism
4 National measures of low-income in Canada Low Income Cut-offs (LICO) Low Income Measure (LIM) Market Basket Measure (MBM) Core Housing Need Core Need Income Thresholds (CNIT) Federal program indicators: –Canada Child Tax Benefit –EI Family Supplement
5 Trends in poverty and inclusion measures across provinces Using a collection of several indicators Adapting LICO and MBM to provincial realities Updating and cross-linking administrative data sets on income tax, benefits, and service caseloads Developing new measures: –Ontario Deprivation Index –Newfoundland & Labrador MBM of Housing Affordability
6 Classic poverty relief policy Narrow focus on “the poor” Means-tested social assistance Reliance on charitable and non-profit provisions ‘Raise the rates’ as the main issue Piecemeal reforms and ad hoc responses Separate programs, complex rules Little social solidarity with wider population Politically unattractive
7 Provinces adopting poverty reduction strategies Québec 2002-2004 Newfoundland and Labrador 2006 Ontario 2008-09 Nova Scotia 2009 Manitoba 2009 New Brunswick 2009-10 Whose next?
8 Poverty reduction policies Community engagement: built upon widespread public consultations Political commitment: legislation and/or cabinet leadership Strategic: vision, action plan, short-, medium- and long- term goals Comprehensive: encompass several policy and program areas Varied approaches to Aboriginal peoples: recognition and partnership or conventional delegation Accountable and transparent: measurable targets, timelines, indicators, reporting obligations to legislature and the public
9 Conclusions: next steps for BC All parties endorsing value of a coherent approach to poverty prevention, reduction and alleviation for all families in British Columbia and in Canada Engaging with community groups, business, labour, municipalities, First Nations, poverty groups Preparing a draft action plan Improving adult income from employment Assisting low-income families with children Consulting on idea of new legislation Developing new measures and indicators by BC Stats and other agencies
10 Thank you for this opportunity Michael J. Prince Lansdowne Professor of Social Policy Faculty of Human and Social Development University of Victoria email@example.com