BC gets failing grade on annual CEDAW women’s rights report card

November 28, 2014

Each year, West Coast Leaf publishes a report card reflecting the province’s commitment to the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

This year, the province received diminished standing in nearly all areas identified by the convention, including women and access to justice, missing and murdered indigenous women and girls, social assistance and poverty, women and housing, and access to childcare.

B.C. is now the only province in Canada without a poverty reduction plan, and the province’s social assistance rates have not been raised significantly in eight years. It is therefore no surprise that our social assistance programs fall flat in addressing the needs of women.

The report also reflected concern that the province was failing to investigate cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women, especially in light of recent cuts to the RCMP unit responsible for investigating disappearances along the Highway of Tears. This direct and pointed action makes clear the provinces lack of commitment to the safety and dignity of Indigenous women and their communities.

Other areas in need of improvement included a lack of housing, and the increasing costs of rent. It appears that British Columbia has taken inadequate steps towards the eradication of inequality for women, despite Canada’s CEDAW ratification in 1981. The province must take greater measures towards the establishment of better social and economic supports targeted towards women and their families.

Read the full report and commentary online at http://www.westcoastleaf.org/userfiles/file/CEDAW%20Report%20Card%202014...


Child support clawbacks hurt poorest families

First Call B.C.’s annual child poverty report card shows that the government is failing to address child poverty in our communities.

One of the stories highlighted by the report was of Rebeca, a mother in Maple Ridge whose daughter Sophey has $400 in child support taken away by the government every month. Rebeca told First Call that that the $400 her daughter is supposed to be getting in child support “would go a long way at Costco.”

Sophey is one of nearly 30,000 kids who are living with a single parent on income assistance. She is living in poverty because the government is taking the money her dad pays to support her, and using it to pay for misguided priorities, like spending more than a million dollars hiring failed B.C. Liberal candidates.

BC children are living in poverty because the government is clawing back child support from single parent families on income assistance. It’s time for the government to end the clawback and give kids their money back.

BC is now the only province without a poverty reduction plan. One in five B.C. children are living in poverty. That’s disgraceful. We can and we must do better


Holiday food drive

I’m holding my annual food drive once again, and I know that our generous community members will once again step up with generous donations of non-perishable food and other needed items.

Many members of our community rely regularly on the food bank, many of them families with children; just a few extra groceries can go a long way. I will be collecting donations of non-perishable food at my office until December 19.

Most needed items include: canned meat, peanut butter, pasta, rice, juice, cereal, baby food, and formula.

DROP OFF YOUR DONATIONS: 2365 East Hastings St. (at Hastings & Nanaimo), Monday to Friday, 9 AM to 4 PM.


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