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

Parksville Fire Department crews attended the scene of a house fire on Monday, Jan. 18, 2021 at the end of Foster Place in Parksville. No injuries were reported. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Fire crews called to battle house fire in Parksville

No injuries reported, kitty rescued

Emma Nunn from Alberni Valley Rescue Squad waits at the summit of Mount Arrowsmith for the rest of the AVRS rope rescue team on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. (PHOTO COURTESY DAVE POULSEN, AVRS)
UPDATE: Injured hikers among three rescued in the dark from Mount Arrowsmith

‘It was a very bad, very precarious spot to be able to locate them’

Kim Burden, executive director of the Parksville and District and Qualicum Beach Chambers of Commerce. (PQB News photo)
PQBeat: Chamber of Commerce executive director Kim Burden looks ahead

Podcast: Talk includes 2021 business plans in Parksville, Qualicum Beach, events and more

The Village Way and Highway 19A roundabout is the Town of Qualicum Beach priority for a grant application. (Google Map)
Qualicum Beach council favours roundabout over turf field project

Mayor believes road project has better chance of landing grant

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

A Courtenay resident labours to remove the snow build-up from around her car in February 2019. The area may see snow throughout the coming weekend. Black Press file photo
Snow, winter might not be done with Vancouver Island quite yet

Flurries, snow and cold temps predicted for the weekend for mid-Island

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Canada released proposed regulations Jan. 2 for the fisheries minister to maintain Canada’s major fish stocks at sustainable levels and recover those at risk. (File photo)
New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

Three B.C. salmon stocks first in line for priority attention under proposed regulations

Most Read