A local poverty law advocate has been appointed to the advisory forum that will share ideas to shape the province’s first poverty reduction strategy.
City councillor Stacey Tyers is one of 27 people chosen by Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction Shane Simpson to provide insights and guidance to the minister as the poverty reduction strategy is developed.
“I’ve spent a majority of my career addressing poverty, so this is a real honour to be able to put the knowledge and skills I’ve gained through my life and career to work,” said Tyers.
“The hope is a comprehensive plan beyond just raising government assisted rates. We need to address the working poor, health care options, child care options, housing etc. I think if it was an easy one-size-fits-all issue, it would have been solved already.
“We have an opportunity here, to make a real difference in people’s lives and I’m really excited for that. It is a great group of people, I am confident we can get this right.”
Tyers, in her second term as city councillor and was the chair of the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine, has an extensive background in poverty law, poverty reduction, poverty education and awareness.
She has held a variety of roles in the field from executive director of Terrace Anti-Poverty, Poverty Law Advocate and Manager of Counselling and Support Services.
Tyers has worked passionately on the front lines of poverty, systemic advocacy, and in decision and policy implementation positions such as city council.
In addition to her professional experience, Tyers has lived in and experienced poverty as a single mom. Her passion and work in the field comes directly from wanting to provide the respect, support and assistance to the people she serves.
Some of the boards and committees she has been involved with include the BC Access to Justice Committee, Community Legal Assistance Society, Povnet, Ministry of Social Development’s Moving Forward Steering Committee and Regional Quality Service Control, APSECT BC and Federation of Canadian Municipalities on its Social and Economic Committee.
Forum members represent poverty advocates, people with lived experience, Indigenous people, academics and experts, along with representatives of the labour and business communities.
The minister’s announcement also marks the beginning of the Poverty Reduction Strategy engagement process, along with a website where people can contribute their thoughts on how to reduce poverty.
The Social Planning and Research Council of British Columbia (SPARC BC) will also facilitate in-person engagement sessions in up to 20 communities throughout the province.
The dates and locations for those sessions will be announced in the coming weeks.
The advisory forum will support the minister by:
* Identifying causes of poverty and innovative approaches to poverty reduction;
* Recommending priority actions and principles for the Poverty Reduction Strategy that governments and all sectors of society can collectively work on and support;
* Discussing ideas for poverty reduction generated through the consultation and engagement process;
* Offering expertise and advice on how best to implement the Poverty Reduction Strategy in the context of other government priorities;
* Working within communities to encourage full participation in the Poverty Reduction Strategy; and
* Providing advice on legislation, including targets and timelines.
* B.C. has the highest poverty rate in the country, with 678,000 British Columbians living in poverty according to the Market Basket Measure.
* The Market Basket Measure recognizes that a minimum disposable income of $20,000 a year for singles and $40,000 a year for a family of four is necessary to provide a basic standard of living.
* 118,000 (17%) of B.C.’s poor are children in low-income families and about 64,000 (9%) are seniors.
* Approximately 40 per cent of those living in poverty are low-income, working adults.