Farnworth focuses on child poverty

Jennifer McFee, Coquitlam NOW

Port Coquitlam MLA Mike Farnworth outlined a plan Monday to combat poverty if he’s chosen as the BC NDP’s next leader.

To start, Farnworth would appoint a single cabinet minister to implement a family and child poverty reduction strategy. This minister would report directly to the premier’s office and would be responsible for setting and achieving legislated targets.

Farnworth would also expand childcare and early learning programs in B.C.

Brad West, Farnworth’s deputy campaign manager, said this issue will hit home for many local families.

“This is critical. There’s a lot of working families in Port Coquitlam and in the Tri-Cities, and no one has to tell them how difficult it is to find childcare space these days,” West said. “We’ve heard this from many, many parents, and it’s critical to help families break the poverty cycle.”…

West said families need more access to affordable housing instead of relying on rental supplements.

“You talk to people who have been in the situation, and they’ll tell you that those supplements get eaten up by increasing rents. So what we’re saying is that the province needs to be involved in building affordable social housing,” West said….

As well, he pledges to review categories for income assistance rates and link them to current inflation rates. He would restore supports for single-parent families and increase earning exemptions to help people transition from welfare to work….