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Furstenau talks need to improve local food and income security

October 22, 2020

SIDNEY AND ROBERTS CREEK B.C. –Sonia Furstenau, leader of the B.C. Greens, spoke about the need to bolster local food security, as well as income security, in two campaign stops today in Sidney and Roberts Creek. Furstenau campaigned alongside candidate Adam Olsen in Sidney this morning and will meet up with candidate Kim Darwin later in Powell River-Sunshine Coast. 

“We have approached our platform by asking how we can make our province more resilient in the face of shocks like COVID-19,” said Furstenau.

“For many of us, the empty grocery shelves that characterized the beginning of the pandemic were the first time we’ve experienced the possibility of scarcity. 

“We are now seeing how the economic effects of the pandemic have not been felt equally. This underscores the inherent fragility of an economic system where the benefits of our growth in the past several decades have not been evenly distributed. 

“The B.C. Greens’ priority is to ensure that all British Columbians enjoy income security and eliminate the fear of being unable to afford the necessities of life. Creating basic levels of food and economic security for each British Columbian improves security for us all. It will make our communities stronger and more resilient, and ensure that our province is a healthy, safe place for us all to live.”

The B.C. Greens Food Security plan includes:

  • Establish a long-term food sustainability strategy for the province to decrease reliance on increasingly unreliable import supply chains and diversify farming in B.C.

  • Expand the area of land under food production and create a publicly owned agricultural land bank available to lease by new farmers.

  • Recognize income and regional disparities in food insecurity across B.C and work to enhance access to high quality, healthy food for low-income British Columbians.

  • Develop systems to address food insecurity for First Nations that honour indigenous knowledge and values.

  • Incentivize agro-ecological farming practices.

  • Provide $10 million per year to fund research and establish regional agricultural bureaus to provide expertise and support to local farmers to apply innovations on-farm and adapt to a changing climate.

  • Restrict and regulate foreign ownership of ALR land.

The B.C. Greens Income Security plan includes:

  • Implement a basic income targeted for youth aging out of care. 

  • Begin a transition towards basic income with the following initial steps:

    • Increase income support levels, beginning with making the $300 crisis supplement permanent and indexing assistance to inflation;

    • Eliminate the asset test;

    • Reduce clawbacks on earned income to reduce the disincentive to work;

    • Establish a 12-month period where those who qualify for income assistance can earn extra income without clawbacks.

  • Establish a housing office specifically charged with assisting people with disabilities and youth aging out to find suitable accommodation and supporting the transition.

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