The Policy Position Statement linked below was produced by Urban Core in collaboration with member organizations the Local Economic Development Lab and Exchange Inner City. February 2018.
Urban Core is a volunteer-run network of nonprofits, businesses, and individuals who deliver social services and are committed to supporting a continuum of economic strategies that provide a sustainable livelihood and improved incomes for Vancouver Downtown Eastside residents and beyond. Many members of Urban Core are formal partners with the provincial or municipal government in their work and serve British Columbians who require Income Assistance (IA) and employment services. We offer the following submission to the Provincial Poverty Reduction Strategy Consultations on reforming IA and the Employment Program of BC (EPBC) based on this experience. Urban Core members support the recommendations of the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition and Raise the Rates and present our recommendations as complementary.
For many in British Columbia, attaining economic self-sufficiency is an extended process due to health and education challenges. Existing IA programs and the EPBC do not account for this reality within their inflexible requirements, often removing supports at critical junctures, and denying non-Employment Insurance (EI) eligible clients access to certain training programs. For those whose economic selfsufficiency is temporarily or indefinitely beyond reach, multiple barriers prevent access to relevant income supports. The eligibility requirements of specific IA programs such as Persons With Disabilities (PWD) or Persons with Persistent Multiple Barriers (PPMB) present further obstacles for some of British Columbia’s most marginalized applicants.
Despite the best efforts of service providers, IA workers and WorkBC contract holders, the existing systems are not working for many of the people who need them most. This submission outlines a number of recommendations for BC IA and employment programs. These recommendations address the issues outlined above and provide pathways for government to support British Columbians in their ongoing effort to achieve stability and self-sufficiency, contribute to community prosperity and produce savings to government in health and emergency interventions.
Read the full Urban Core Policy Position Statement.
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Urban Core will be collecting signatories for their Policy Position Statement until March 18, 2018.
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April 16, 2018