Weaver visits tent city in Vancouver

April 28, 2017

VANCOUVER B.C. – Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green Party, visited a pop-up tent city in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside today. The tent city has been organized by Alliance Against Displacement as part of a week of action against homelessness.

“I am deeply touched by the stories I heard on the Downtown Eastside today,” Weaver said.

“The failed policies of the B.C. Liberal government have led to growing inequality in British Columbia. This week of action highlights the abysmally low welfare and disability assistance rates, the skyrocketing cost of housing and the lack of support for children that have led to so much unnecessary suffering in this province.

“In a society as wealthy as ours, it is shameful that so many are facing homelessness and housing insecurity. Everyone has a right to reasonable accommodation that is safe and secure, and a B.C. Green Government will take immediate steps to ensure that this right is met.”

“The B.C. Green Party is committed to providing adequate affordable housing and working towards a livable income for all British Columbians.”

The B.C. Green Party strategy for income security includes the following measures:

  • Develop a poverty reduction strategy

  • Establish a basic income support for youth ages 18-24 transitioning out of foster care.

  • Increase Persons With Disabilities, income assistance and shelter allowance rates by 10% beginning October 2017, rising to 50% above the current level by April 2020.

  • Eliminate MSP premiums and roll them into the income tax and payroll systems.

  • Establish an arms-length minimum wage commission to establish a new minimum wage and oversee regular rate reviews. 

The B.C. Green Party strategy for affordable homes includes the following measures:

  • Invest $750 million to build up to 4,000 units of affordable housing per year.

  • Invest $100 million in retrofits and renovations for existing social housing units.

  • Make modifications to the Property Transfer Tax and Home Owners Grant to make them more progressive and income-based.

  • Enhance provisions in The Residential Tenancy Act to control rent increases, and to protect tenants from unfair tenure termination.

The B.C. Green Party strategy for healthy lives, including mental health and addictions, includes the following measures:

  • Establish a Ministry responsible for mental health and addictions; which will be responsible for developing and implementing:

  1. Mental Health and Addiction strategybased on the recommendations of the Auditor General;

  2. Youth Mental Health Strategy for early detection of mental health illness.

  • Allocate $80 million to fund early intervention, youth mental health initiatives, supervised injection sites, and community based centres for mental health and rehabilitation.

  • Develop an immediate response to the fentanyl crisis based on successful programs in Europe that invest in treatment on demand, drug substitution, early-warning monitoring systems, and coordinated response.

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Media contact

Jillian Oliver, Press Secretary

+1 778-650-0597 | jillian.oliver@bcgreens.ca

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