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Posts Tagged "statement"

17Oct

Statement on International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

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Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, and Mable Elmore, Parliamentary Secretary for Poverty Reduction, have issued the following statement in recognition of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on Oct. 17, 2019:

“Today is the United Nations’ International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Since 1993, the day has recognized the need to eradicate poverty worldwide. This year, its focus is ‘Acting together to empower children, families and communities to end poverty.’

“No one should grow up in poverty. Every child has the right to access opportunities to live, learn and grow into adulthood without facing additional challenges of poverty. By better supporting families, we can break the cycle of poverty in B.C.

“Addressing poverty is a challenging and complex issue. We know that approximately 40% of the people living in poverty in British Columbia are working poor. They are people who have a paycheque coming into the house, but they cannot make ends meet.

“In addition to challenges around affordability, people living in poverty struggle with feeling isolated from their communities and not being able to fully participate in our society. They should not have to face the alienation that comes with the stigma of poverty.

“We must do better, which is why earlier this year the Province released TogetherBC: British Columbia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. The strategy, first of its kind in the province, is our path to reducing child poverty by at least 50% and overall poverty by 25% by 2024. When we create better opportunities in key areas, such as affordable housing and child care, these changes will help the people and families who need it the most.

“TogetherBC also recognizes that we must act together. Poverty reduction requires the strength of partnerships between governments, organizations, businesses, communities and individuals. It must be a collective effort informed by the voices of those who have experienced poverty – and supported by those who can help create change.”

Addressing poverty is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus, and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.

Learn More:

United Nations’ International Day for the Eradication of Poverty: https://www.un.org/development/desa/socialperspectiveondevelopment/international-day-for-the-eradication-of-poverty-homepage/2019-2.html

TogetherBC, British Columbia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy:
https://www.gov.bc.ca/togetherbc

12Oct

Ministers’ statement on tackling homelessness

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Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, and Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, have issued the following statement in recognition of Homelessness Action Week, Oct. 13 to Oct. 19:

“Homelessness is a complex issue causing deep and lasting impacts on the lives of too many people in B.C. We see it every day on our streets and in encampments that pop up in our communities. It can also be invisible — people sleeping on couches or staying in harmful relationships for shelter. It is personal stories of hardship and struggle, but it is also the result of system failures, impossibly high rents, barriers to support and poverty.   

“Throughout B.C., community organizations and people with lived experience of homelessness have been raising their voices for years. And for too long, they were left with little support to address a growing problem.

“By proclaiming Oct. 13 to 19 Homelessness Action Week in B.C., the Province acknowledges the tireless work of organizations and advocates to meet the needs of people experiencing homelessness. We hope to increase awareness and empathy, and encourage more people to get involved with local organizations and solutions. As a government, we’re committed to building on the successes we have seen responding to homelessness with proactive and preventative initiatives to stop homelessness before it happens.

“The new Office of Homelessness Coordination is working across government and with community partners to deliver a co-ordinated response to homelessness that is based on prevention and, if it does occur, an immediate response and stability so that it only occurs once. In everything we do, we are building a culture of empathy and putting people first.

“We’ve made historic housing investments. Through our Rapid Response to Homelessness program and BuildingBC: Supportive Housing program, we are building 4,700 supportive homes over 10 years for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. In just over two years, we have opened 2,000 supportive homes, with more than 800 more in progress. Twenty-nine municipalities have partnered with us so far to help people and improve the overall health of their communities. In addition, government is funding tens of thousands of new affordable rental units through our provincial housing plan, Homes for BC.

“These new supportive houses do more than put a roof over people’s heads. They provide 24/7 staffing and support services so help people can get the help they need. Preventing the reoccurrence of homelessness requires a strong foundation of supports and services, with a focus on the key areas of poverty reduction, mental health and addictions support, and more accessible affordable housing.

“The beginning of this work is laid out in two strategies that we released earlier this year: TogetherBC: British Columbia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy, and A Pathway to Hope: A roadmap for making mental health and addictions care better for people in British Columbia.

TogetherBC outlines programs and policies across government that will lift people up and out of poverty — and stay there — by removing barriers, creating social inclusion and continuing to focus on reconciliation.

“A Pathway to Hope lays out the first steps to turn the corner on the overdose crisis and create a sustainable system of supports for providers and people receiving care. We are helping supportive recovery homes become safer spaces for vulnerable people by increasing the daily user fee rates for the first time in 10 years and updating the Community Care and Assisted Living Act to support care options and add protection for the people receiving care.

“We are also investing in local solutions so local organizations have the resources and tools to continue to make meaningful change in communities.

“$10 million in provincial grants will service the sustainability of existing rent banks and create a provincewide system to help people throughout B.C. We are helping communities create local plans and projects for homelessness and poverty reduction through a $6-million grant for Homelessness Community Action grants and $5 million for local government poverty reduction projects and plans. We have also provided $3.5 million for local overdose prevention projects to help communities tackle the overdose crisis on the ground.

“The best way to tackle the complex issue of homelessness is through teamwork. Over the past two years, the Province has been stepping up to become the partner that community organizations need to continue to make real change. We look forward to a future home for everyone.”

Learn More:

TogetherBC, British Columbia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/about-the-bc-government/poverty-reduction-strategy

Building BC: Rapid Response to Homelessness program: https://www.bchousing.org/partner-services/Building-BC/rapid-response-homelessness

A Pathway to Hope: A roadmap for making mental health and addictions care better for people in British Columbia: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/BCMentalHealthRoadmap_2019.pdf

For a map of all announced supportive housing projects, visit: https://www.bchousing.org/homes-for-BC

Learn more about rent banks in B.C.: https://www.bcrentbank.ca

6Oct

Minister’s statement on World Cerebral Palsy Day

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Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, has released the following statement in recognition of World Cerebral Palsy Day:

“Today is World Cerebral Palsy Day. This is an opportunity to celebrate, raise awareness and take action to ensure that people living with cerebral palsy have the same rights, access and opportunity as everyone in our communities.

“Cerebral palsy is a physical disability that affects a person’s movement, posture and speech. It is the most common motor disability amongst children. There are more than 10,000 British Columbians living with cerebral palsy who deserve to live with dignity in a world without barriers.

“This year, anyone with cerebral palsy and related conditions, as well as their friends, families and communities, are encouraged to get active. The Move as One event is promoting the benefits of sport, physical activity and mental health on the quality of life for those living with cerebral palsy. People across B.C. and around the world are sharing their contributions on social media using the hashtags #CPMoveAsOne and #WorldCPDay.

“As part of the global GoGreen4CP campaign, we’re lighting up the Parliament Buildings in Victoria in green today in support and recognition of children and adults who have cerebral palsy.

“We recently launched public consultations to inform the development of legislation, standards and policies to better support people with disabilities so they can live with dignity and participate in their communities. I encourage everyone to attend a community session or provide their feedback online: https://www.engage.gov.bc.ca/accessibility

“Every person living with cerebral palsy has the right, and should have every opportunity, to have as full and complete a life as they would like.”

Learn More:

Cerebral Palsy Association of BC: https://www.bccerebralpalsy.com/

Accessibility through legislation public consultation (Sept. 16 to Nov. 29, 2019): https://www.engage.gov.bc.ca/accessibility/

B.C. government accessibility initiatives: www.gov.bc.ca/accessibility

Government services for people with disabilities in B.C.: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/family-social-supports/services-for-people-with-disabilities/supports-services

1Oct

Minister’s statement on Community Inclusion Month

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Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, has released the following statement in celebration of Community Inclusion Month, October 2019:

“This is a time to recognize people with developmental disabilities and celebrate the importance of all people being able to contribute and be included at home, school, work and in the community.

“This year, the theme for Community Inclusion Month is ‘the future is accessible.’ Throughout October, Community Living BC, service providers and community groups will host events and initiatives to build awareness about inclusion for adults with developmental disabilities. The month also recognizes the important role families, friends, caregivers, volunteers, community groups and employers play in ensuring the full participation of those living with developmental disabilities in our communities.

“We recently launched public consultations to inform the development of legislation, standards and policies to better support people with disabilities to live with dignity and to participate in their communities. I encourage everyone to attend a community session or provide their feedback at: https://www.engage.gov.bc.ca/accessibility/

“Every person with an intellectual or developmental disability has the right and should have the opportunity to live life to the best of their unique abilities and interests.”

Quick Facts:

  • There are more than 926,000 British Columbians over the age of 15, or almost 25% of the population, who have some form of a disability.
  • Community Living BC serves more than 20,000 people in B.C. who live with a developmental disability or who are diagnosed with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders or autism and have significant limitations in adaptive functioning.

Learn More:

Accessibility through legislation – public consultation (Sept. 16 to Nov. 29, 2019): https://www.engage.gov.bc.ca/accessibility/

B.C. government accessibility initiatives: www.gov.bc.ca/accessibility

B.C. government services for people with disabilities in B.C.: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/family-social-supports/services-for-people-with-disabilities/supports-services

Community Living BC: https://www.communitylivingbc.ca/

Re-Imagining Community Inclusion report: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/british-columbians-our-governments/organizational-structure/ministries-organizations/social-development-poverty-reduction/re-imagining-community-inclusion-march-2019.pdf

1Oct

Minister’s statement on Registered Disability Savings Plan Awareness Month

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Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, has released the following statement in recognition of Registered Disability Savings Plan Awareness Month:

“October is Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) Awareness Month in British Columbia. More than 31,000 people with disabilities have opened an RDSP in B.C., giving our province the highest per capita enrolment rate in Canada. This month is an opportunity to further increase awareness of RDSPs and how they can help to ensure a stable and independent financial future for people with disabilities.

“Right now, 40% of eligible people have signed up, which means there are still tens of thousands of British Columbians who are qualified but don’t have an RDSP yet. We want to make sure that every eligible person knows about this savings plan and how to access the resources and support to sign up.

“RDSPs are an excellent savings tool that help people with disabilities, and their families, plan a financially secure and independent future without affecting disability assistance. Anyone under the age of 60 who qualifies for the disability tax credit can open an RDSP. The federal government matches up to $3 for every dollar deposited through the Canadian Savings Grant program — up to $3,500 annually to a lifetime maximum of $70,000. People with low incomes can also receive a Canada Savings Bond of up to $1,000 annually, to a lifetime maximum of $20,000, even if they aren’t able to contribute. 

“Reducing poverty is a major challenge for our province. The RDSP is a valuable tool that can help to address poverty for people with disabilities. It’s an opportunity for people with disabilities to have some peace of mind, knowing they will have savings available as they age. I encourage everyone to visit RDSP.com to sign up or help someone start an RDSP today.”

Quick Facts:

  • More than 926,100 British Columbians aged 15 to 64 years, almost 25% of the population, identify as having a disability.
  • The federal government launched the RDSP in 2009.
  • B.C. continues to lead Canada with the highest per capita uptake of RDSP in the country:
    • 40% of eligible people now hold an RDSP (31,000 British Columbians).
    • The average value of an RDSP in December 2017 was $24,300 — $2,050 above the national average.

Learn More:

Registered Disability Savings Program: www.rdsp.com

Registered Disability Savings Plan action group and guide: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/family-and-social-supports/services-for-people-with-disabilities/supports-services/registered_disability_savings_plan_guide.pdf

B.C. government accessibility initiatives: www.gov.bc.ca/accessibility

B.C. government services for people with disabilities: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/family-social-supports/services-for-people-with-disabilities/supports-services

1Sep

Minister’s statement on Disability Employment Month

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Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, has released the following statement in celebration of Disability Employment Month:

“September is Disability Employment Month in British Columbia. This is a time to celebrate the contributions of people with disabilities in the workforce and to recognize the many inclusive employers throughout B.C.

“Government is working with the disability and business communities to help ensure people with disabilities have the opportunity for meaningful employment, greater independence and full participation in society.

“Businesses throughout B.C. can receive support with inclusive hiring through the Presidents Group Community of Accessible Employers. It provides employer-focused tools, resources and access to training on how to effectively recruit, hire and retain employees with disabilities.

“WorkBC centres provide support and resources to employees with disabilities, including personalized job-search support and the Assistive Technology Service program, administered provincially through the Neil Squire Society.

“Job seekers and employers can contact their local WorkBC centres to learn more about the Disability Employment Month events held in their area and the resources and supports available to help people with disabilities gain good, worthwhile employment.

“Inclusive hiring helps businesses attract and retain employees with disabilities who make a valuable contribution to the workplace, while also expanding the range of customers and clients. British Columbia is facing a shortage of skilled workers and there are thousands of enthusiastic and motivated people in the disability community who can meet that demand. 

“Everyone plays a role in fostering a welcoming workplace culture. We all want B.C. to be an accessible and inclusive province, where people of all abilities can participate in every aspect of life. Working together, we can reach this goal.”

Quick Facts:

  • More than 926,100 British Columbians aged 15 to 64 years, almost 25% of the population, identify as having a disability.
  • Almost 90% of consumers prefer companies that employ people with disabilities, according to a study cited in a 2012 Conference Board of Canada report.
  • The provincial government offers services and programs that support job seekers and employees with disabilities and employers who want to build an inclusive workplace, including:
    • WorkBC centres
    • WorkBC Assistive Technology Services
    • Community Transition Employment Plan
  • There are 102 WorkBC locations throughout the province that serve British Columbians, including people with disabilities. WorkBC also offers 24/7 access through Online Employment Services.
  • The Presidents Group, a group of B.C. business leaders, are encouraging and supporting employers across different sectors to hire more people with disabilities: www.accessibleemployers.ca 

Learn More:

Resources for job seekers with disabilities: www.WorkBC.ca/Accessibility

WorkBC Assistive Technology Services: https://www.workbc.ca/Employment-Services/Assistive-Technology-Services.aspx

For employers wanting to learn more about the benefits of hiring people with disabilities, visit: http://accessibleemployers.ca/

B.C. government services for people with disabilities in B.C.: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/family-social-supports/services-for-people-with-disabilities/supports-services

Disability Employment Month 2019 proclamation: http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/proclamations/proclamations/DisabilityEmplMnth2019

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