Chew on This! – BCPRC with national partner Canada Without Poverty organizing day of action October 17

On October 17 – the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty – food bank volunteers will serve up food for thought on street corners across the country. For the second year, along with poverty activists and people passionate about human rights, they’re calling for a federal anti-poverty plan to eradicate poverty and hunger for the 833,000 people in Canada who use food banks each month and the millions of others struggling to get by.

Instead of handing out a free lunch, volunteers will be handing out lunch bags, marked Chew on This!, which will contain an apple and a postcard about poverty and hunger in Canada that can be sent to Prime Minister Harper. Find out more on Chew on This!

The BC Poverty Reduction Coalition is organizing an action in Vancouver in support of this call. To get involved, please email Trish at

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Filed under Call to Action, Campaigns and Issues, Economic Equality

Revelstoke “chipping away” at tackling poverty

Since completing the Revelstoke Community Poverty Reduction Strategy, 2012, the town’s Social Development Committee has been “chipping away” on poverty reduction, writes Jill Zacharias in this article in the Revelstoke Times Review. The Social Development Committee has targeted poverty reduction as a priority for action and have been reaching out and digging deep to understand causes.

The first goal is “improved information sharing, networking and communication on poverty reduction goals and strategies,” Jill reports. They have also formed a working group to move things forward.

Read the article in Revelstoke Times Review: Revelstoke Poverty Reduction: Creating Shared Prosperity

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Filed under Economic Equality, Safe and Caring Communities

Take Action: Loss of Canada Pension Disability benefits for dependent children when the disabled person turns 65

In their work with grandparent-led families, First Call partner Parent Support Services often uncovers inequities that grandparents must face. One example is the loss of children’s benefit payments when their grandparent on CPP Disability turns 65.

When CPP Disability recipients turn 65 they automatically become “regular” Canada Pension recipients at a reduced rate – and the child’s benefit is lost.

Government thinking could be that the Old Age Security benefit will make up for the reduction in pension. However, as Jean, a full-time caregiver of two granddaughters, points out: “Old Age Pension is MY benefit. The Canada Pension Disability Dependent benefit is THEIR [the children’s] benefit.”

You are encouraged to bring this issue to the attention of your local MP as well as Minister of Finance Joe Oliver and Minister of Employment and Social Development Jason Kenney

Find more info on this issue

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Filed under Call to Action, Campaigns and Issues, Early Childhood Development, Economic Equality, Youth Transitions

Can we afford it? Video: Economist Iglika Ivanova on affordability and government revenue

On July 16, 2014, the Langley Teachers’ Association hosted a Public Forum on Education. Speaker Iglika Ivanova, an economist from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – BC Office, offered an explanation of affordability based on projected economic growth for BC and government taxation choices.

Though Iglika focuses on the affordability arguments relating to the teachers’ contract dispute, her analysis applies equally to other areas of child, youth and family services advocacy where the affordability argument is advanced by government using the “we can’t afford it” and “we’ll address needs in the future when the economy grows” message boxes. Using government data and CCPA research, Iglika illustrates the choices and priorities apparent in government decisions.

Watch the video (10 min.)

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Filed under Campaigns and Issues, Economic Equality, Research

SCY of BC: BC’s kids have the right to education!

In an open letter, the Society for Children and Youth of BC writes on the importance of respecting children’s best interests and their right to education from a human rights perspective.

A human rights approach “requires adults to consider children’s best interests in all matters that impact them. It requires adults to listen and give weight to the voices of children … and respond in meaningful ways to young people’s concerns about their education. It requires adults to avoid measures that hinder or prevent the realization of education and other human rights. And, taking a human rights approach means that adults will provide opportunities for children to reach their full potential.”

Read the SCY’s open letter

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Filed under Campaigns and Issues, Safe and Caring Communities

New Brunswick groups ponder embedding children’s environmental rights into law

Groups in New Brunswick have drafted an environmental bill of rights for children called A Bill of Rights to Protect Children’s Health from Environmental Hazards – the first of its kind in Canada, according to an article on Mondaq by Saxe Law Office.

“Children are far more vulnerable than adults to harm from environmental hazards, and childhood exposures can result in health effects throughout their life stages and into adulthood,” says the New Brunswick Children’s Environmental Health Collaborative, which initiated the bill.

Read more from CBC News

Thanks to the Society for Children and Youth of BC for bringing this article to our attention.

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Filed under Campaigns and Issues, Child Labour Campaign, Safe and Caring Communities

First Nations Health Authority Safe Infant Sleep Toolkit – Honouring Our Babies: Safe Sleep Cards & Guide

Responding to research showing that in First Nations and Aboriginal babies are four times more likely to die from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) than other babies in BC, the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) has produced Honouring Our Babies: Safe Sleep Cards & Guide

This downloadable education toolkit assists service providers in discussions with parents around safe sleep practices for infants.

Source: BCACCS E-News

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Filed under Early Childhood Development, Resource