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

The COVID-19 outbreak at the two Coastal GasLink workforce lodges has officially been declared over. (Lakes District News file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Coastal GasLink worksites declared over

In total, 56 cases were associated with the outbreak in the Burns Lake and Nechako LHAs

Prince Rupert Fire Rescue was dispatched to a boat fire on Jan. 21 at Fairview Marina. (Photo: supplied)
Boat fire under investigation

Prince Rupert Fire Rescue attended boat fire at Fairview Marina

Toronto-based director Michelle Latimer was recently scrutinized after years of claiming she was of Algonquin and Metis descent. (CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)
Haida activist calls for hefty fines, jail time against those who claim to be Indigenous

Filmmaker Tamara Bell proposing the Indigenous Identity Act – to dissuade ‘Indigenous identity theft’

Prince Rupert lawyer, Donald A. Silversides has been appointed to the BC Liberals Election Organizing Committee, announced the party on Jan 21. (Contributed photo)
Don Silversides appointed to BC Liberal election organizing committee

Prince Rupert lawyer is the current BC Liberals acting president

Brett Alexander Jones is wanted on several warrants province-wide, in connection with multiple charges. Jan. 21, 2021. Kitimat RCMP photo
Kitimat RCMP searching for man wanted on several warrants province-wide

Jones is described as a five-foot 10-inches Caucasian man, with blond hair and blue eyes.

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Police are searching for an alleged sex offender, Nicole Edwards, who they say has not returned to her Vancouver halfway house. (Police handout)
Police hunt for woman charged in ‘horrific’ assault who failed to return to Surrey halfway house

Call 911 immediately if you see alleged sex offender Nicole Edwards, police say

A screenshot from a local Instagram account video. The account appeared to be frequented by Mission students, and showed violent videos of students assaulting and bullying other students.
Parents, former students describe ‘culture of bullying’ in Mission school district

Nearly two dozen voices come forward speaking of abuse haunting the hallways in Mission, B.C.

Joe Biden, then the U.S. vice-president, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau take their seats at the start of the First Ministers and National Indigenous Leaders meeting in Ottawa, Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau, Biden to talk today as death of Keystone XL reverberates in Canada

President Joe Biden opposed the Keystone XL expansion as vice-president under Barack Obama

Prince Edward Island’s provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Friday July 3, 2020. A lozenge plant in Prince Edward Island has laid off 30 workers, citing an “almost non-existent” cold and cough season amid COVID-19 restrictions. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘Almost non-existent’ cold and cough season: P.E.I. lozenge plant lays off 30 workers

The apparent drop in winter colds across the country seems to have weakened demand for medicine and natural remedies

Robert Riley Saunders. (File)
Disgraced Kelowna social worker faces another class-action lawsuit

Zackary Alphonse claims he was not informed of resources available to him upon leaving government care

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Most Read