B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau questions NDP government minister in the B.C. legislature, July 13, 2020. (Hansard TV)

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau questions NDP government minister in the B.C. legislature, July 13, 2020. (Hansard TV)

B.C. VOTES 2020

B.C. Greens leader calls for move to basic income system

Don’t tie education fund to enrolment, Sonia Furstenau says

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau released her platform for the Oct. 24 election Wednesday, including changes to the province’s social assistance program to move toward a “basic income transition” in the future.

The first step would be making the temporary additional $300 COVID-19 crisis supplement added to social assistance and disability assistance permanent, and establish a 12-month period for recipients to make additional money without having it deducted from support payments. The Greens also want income assistance to be tied to inflation, and to eliminate the “asset test” that requires people to sell possessions such as vehicles to be eligible.

“Our social assistance programs do not lift people out of poverty, they actually entrench them,” Furstenau said at a campaign event in New Westminster Oct. 14.

Furstenau called for school district funding to be kept at the 2019-20 level, as schools deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and a transition to home and online learning that is affecting enrolment. She said districts are laying off teachers due to the pandemic, at a time when they need to adapt to the changes it has imposed on them.

Building on an earlier campaign promise, the platform pledges to provide $300 million in new funding to “begin the phase-in of up to 25 hours free early childhood education programs per week for three and four-year-olds, rising to $550 million as capacity expands.”

The platform confirms previously announced Green promises, including a plan to phase out public funding of for-profit long-term care facilities. NDP leader John Horgan adopted a similar position after Furstenau raised the issue in the election’s only televised debate Oct. 13.

RELATED: NDP’s long-term aim to phase out for-profit senior care

RELATED: B.C. parties battle over taxes to recover from COVID-19

The plan includes a rental support program for people paying more than 30 per cent of their income in rent, and an extension of leases for housing co-ops that are about to expire. That would lead to the creation of a land bank for new co-ops, and a capital fund to support acquisition and maintenance of rental housing by non-profits.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC Votes 2020

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Penticton Western News Publisher Warren Smith takes a look at the 2020 Best of the South Okanagan supplement appearing in today’s (Wednesday, Oct. 21) paper.
Hot off the Press: The Best of the South Okanagan

Check out Wednesday’s Penticton Western News for winners and favourites

Swimming lessons are returning to the Penticton pool. (Western News file photo)
Swim lessons return to Penticton pool

Registration starts on Thursday

Penticton RCMP have been cleared of any wrongdoing following the July 31, 2020 death of an elderly woman. (Black Press file photo)
Police watchdog finds Penticton RCMP not responsible for woman’s death

The investigation stems from an incident in July

Penticton law courts. (Black Press file)
Osoyoos man in court for alleged shooting

The Oct. 11 shooting left a man with non-life threatening injuries

File photo
EDITORIAL: The power of a single vote

In the Oct. 24 British Columbia election, every vote is important

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

(Kelowna Capital News)
B.C. Labour Board orders Peachland cannabis company to reinstate laid-off employees

The B.C. Labour Relations Board determined the employees were laid off due to their plan to unionize

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Curtis Sagmoen
Public warning issued to North Okanagan sex trade workers

RCMP warns workers to stay away from Salmon River Road area

Two pigs roam the Salmon Arm Walmart parking lot during a prior visit photographed by Danielle Burgi. (Danielle Burgi photo)
Pigs trot over for a visit at Salmon Arm shopping centre

Employees say this was the second drop-in from the temporarily free-range porkers

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Princeton man on motor scooter refuses to provide breath test to police

The scooter did not have a license plate and was not insured

The Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP located a hidden compartment in a vehicle, leading to a significant drug seizure, police said in a media release Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. (RCMP photo)
Vernon RCMP find illicit drugs in hidden vehicle compartment

Police seized 4 kg of methamphetamine from a Jeep involved in a violent hit and run March 24

Most Read