July 21, 2017 3:27 am
Updated: July 21, 2017 6:35 am

B.C. NDP government says it will take several months to develop a poverty reduction plan

File Photo. Minister Shane Simpson says it's only a matter of time before B.C. has Poverty Reduction Plan.

Don Denton/TCPI/The Canadian Press
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Advocates have asked for one and B.C. is the only province without it; a legislated poverty reduction plan.

The NDP government says that’s going to change.

LISTEN:  CKNW reporter Emily Lazatin interviews Social Development and Poverty Reduction Minister Shane Simpson

“We have half a million people in poverty in British Columbia right now,” says Social Development and Poverty Reduction Minister Shane Simpson.

READ MORE: B.C. Liberals waste no time criticizing new NDP government

Simpson says it will take at least a couple months to speak with community stakeholders and lay out the early stages of a plan.

“Money is an important part of this, but if you want to break the cycle of poverty, you need to create security for people. That could be housing, it could be childcare. It could be creating opportunities for employment, or educational opportunities that allow people to improve their skills.”

He says the government will be looking at a legislative plan, that could include childcare and an increased minimum wage.

The NDP announced Thursday it’s boosting monthly disability and income assistance rates by $100 each.

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