Alarming MCFD staff shortages putting children at risk

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VANCOUVER— B.C. New Democrats are marking Homelessness Action Week by calling on the B.C. Liberal government to take real action to help the homeless by passing poverty reduction legislation and providing real support to communities.

“It is unacceptable that during Homelessness Action week, B.C. is the only province in Canada without a comprehensive plan to reduce poverty. British Columbians deserve so much better,” said New Democrat spokesperson for social development, Michelle Mungall.

“If the B.C. Liberal government truly wants to make a difference during Homelessness Action Week, then they should provide real supportive social housing for communities that are reaching crisis levels with homelessness,” said David Eby, New Democrat spokesperson for housing. “Tent cities in Abbotsford and Victoria continue to grow. Cities that have never seen significant homeless populations before like Maple Ridge are grappling with how to respond. Even Terrace’s homeless count reached a record high this year.”

“We have a government that is selling social housing sites across the province, and have completely broken their promise to use the money from those sales to build new social housing. People deserve better than a government that neglects issues around homelessness and allows it to worsen,” said Eby.

Mungall and Eby said B.C.’s homelessness crisis requires leadership from the B.C. Liberal government.

“The B.C. New Democrats have introduced legislation for a poverty reduction plan four times since 2011, but the B.C. Liberals have refused to consider it,” said Mungall. “It’s time to move forward on a plan that will reduce poverty and homelessness in our province by passing our Poverty Reduction and Economic Inclusion Act.”