BC Election 2017: Party Positions on Key Living Wage Issues

A living wage means health benefits and pension

A provincial election is a great opportunity to examine how government policies can help reduce the costs that families face and encourage policies that would increase wages to help families cover costs. As we get ever closer to election day on May 9, the Living Wage for Families Campaign summarizes the party positions on key issues that impact low-wage families.

The Living Wage for Families Campaign is hosted by First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition. First Call sent around a series of questions related to child and youth rights to all three parties. We have selected a few questions which will specifically impact low-wage families for this blog post but please take time to review the full list of questions and responses.

Questions:
Living Wage
$15/hour Minimum Wage
$10aDay Child Care
Poverty Reduction Plan

 

Families need to be able to earn living wages to raise themselves and their children out of the stress of chronic financial crisis. The provincial government has a responsibility to avoid contributing to the problem of low-wage poverty by paying their employees and contractors a living wage. If elected, will your party establish and implement a living wage policy across the provincial government for all direct and contract staff?

 BC Green Party

 BC Liberal Party

 BC New Democrat Party

Short answer: No

Short Answer: No

Short Answer: No

Summary:

The BC Greens support transitioning to livable wages, through establishing a fair wages commission and exploring basic income as an option to fill the gap between current wages and livable wages. 

Summary:

Today’s BC Liberals believe in the fundamental principle that government shouldn’t spend more money than it brings in on programs and services. As a result, we do not intend to implement a living wage policy for programs contracted out or funded by government.

Summary:

If elected the BC NDP will bring together disability advocates and organizations, people living in poverty, poverty reduction groups and others who are committed to a better BC to develop a poverty reduction strategy and examine the full scope of poverty reduction initiatives.

 

Implementation of the $10aDay Child Care Plan would reduce the living wage by $4.12/hr and pay early childhood educators a living wage. If elected, will your party implement the $10aDay Child Care Plan to begin addressing the child care crisis facing BC families with young children?

Green Party of BC

 BC Liberal Party

BC New Democrat Party 

Short answer: No

Short Answer: No

Short Answer: Yes

Summary:

Comprehensive program for early childhood education and child care will provide:

  • Up to 25 hours free early childhood education per week for three and four year olds;
  • Free daycare for working parents with children under three
  • Up to $500 per month for families with children under three and a stay-at-home parent

Summary:

Committed to 5,000 new spaces in 2017 with a goal of 13,000 new spaces by 2020.

Summary:

The NDP will work towards a $10-a-day child care program and has endorsed the work of the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC and the Early Childhood Educators of BC. The $10-a-day program would be implemented over 10 years with full implementation in 2027.

 

Nearly half a million workers in BC earn less than $15/hour; 81% are 20 and older, and three in five are women. If elected will your party raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour?

 Green Party of BC

 BC Liberal Party

 BC New Democrat Party

Short answer: No

Short Answer: No

Short Answer: Yes

Summary:

A BC Green Government will establish an arm’s-length fair wages commission that will be tasked with establishing a minimum wage and overseeing regular rate reviews. Members of the commission will come from a cross section of society including business leaders, small business representatives, unions and the non-profit sector. The goal of the commission will be to bring forward strategies that address the discrepancy between minimum wages and livable wages.

Summary:

Our government’s focus is on growing the economy and encouraging investments that lead to higher-wage careers, not minimum wage jobs.

Summary:

The BC NDP will bring in a $15 per hour minimum wage by 2021, with increases each year. Once we reach $15/hr, we will index the minimum wage to inflation to ensure we don’t fall behind.

 

One in three poor children in BC live in a home where at least one parent is working full time, year round. Working poverty and child poverty are deeply connected. If elected, will your government adopt a) a comprehensive provincial poverty reduction plan with legislated targets and timelines and b) a goal of reducing BC’s child poverty rate to 7% or lower by 2020?

 BC Green Party

BC Liberal Party 

 BC New Democrat Party

Short answer: a)Yes to a poverty reduction plan

b) No commitment to reducing BC’s child poverty rate to 7% or lower by 2020

Short Answer: a) No b) No

Short Answer: a)Yes to a poverty reduction plan

b) No commitment to reducing BC’s child poverty rate to 7% or lower by 2020

Summary:

The BC Greens will work collaboratively with anti-poverty groups to support their work and determine best practices. A BC Green Government will, as part of a comprehensive anti-poverty strategy, identify strategies to address all aspects of child poverty in the province, including specific actions to address poverty affecting Aboriginal children and families.

Summary:

The most effective way to reduce poverty is to create jobs and opportunity through a strong economy.

  • Recently provided $10 million to Food Banks BC to help food banks distribute fresh healthy food.
  • Increasing funding to BC Healthy Kids Program by $6 million to include coverage for hearing aids and improve dental services
  • Recently contributed $7 million for a Community Poverty Reduction Fund, which will be distributed by the Vancouver Foundation.

Summary:

The BC NDP have put forward a poverty reduction plan five times in the legislature and been rejected each time. If elected the BC NDP will bring together disability advocates and organizations, people living in poverty, poverty reduction groups and others who are committed to a better BC to develop a poverty reduction strategy and examine the full scope of poverty reduction initiatives.

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