Keeping the momentum going!

NationBuilder r1 BC Poverty Reduction Coalition

Congratulations to new and returning municipal councils throughout the province, and all those who worked hard campaigning and getting people... out to vote. The reality is that even the biggest city budget in BC is only 4% of the province’s budget, $2 billion compared to $50 billion! So all those promises your incoming council members made need the support of the provincial government.

We’ll be providing a Welcome Municipalities package soon with ways to help your councils act on this but, in the meantime, you can join the success of the ABC campaign. People across the province are writing to their local newspapers about the urgent need for an accountable, bold and comprehensive poverty reduction plan. And it's working! We've seen letters recently published in the Burnaby Now, the North Shore News, and the Parksville Qualicum Beach News!

Could you please take a moment and use our easy tool to send a letter to the editor calling for accountable, bold and comprehensive action? You can use one of our many templates or write your own! Just click here to get started!

Now that we've seen the government introduce an important legislative frame for the plan, we need to push them to take bold and comprehensive action! We have a full suite of tools to email your MLA, arrange a meeting or write a letter to your local newspaper at https://www.abcplan.ca.

Get engaged in BC’s referendum on electoral reform

Now the dust has settled on one election, we have another voting opportunity! This one is about influencing the way we vote. It’s a referendum on electoral reform to choose sticking with ‘first past the post’ or changing to proportional representation.” The referendum is being conducted by mail-in ballot between October 22 and November 30, so you may have already received your ballot this week.

As the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition our focus is on the ABC Plan. We're not taking an official position or campaigning in the referendum. However, we do believe there are connections between electoral reform and poverty and inequality issues. And given that, we want to share some links to resources and encourage people to get involved.

How is electoral reform connected to poverty and inequality?

  • Evidence from across the OECD countries is clear that countries with proportional representation have less income inequality than countries that use “majoritarian” electoral systems like our first-past-the-post system. (For more on this, check out this helpful summary and references from Fair Vote Canada)
  • Minority and coalition governments are more likely to feel accountable to lower-income people. A problem with our current system is this: If you only need about 40% of the votes to win 100% of the political power, then you don’t need to concern yourself with the other 60%. Under proportional representation, every vote counts, and when every vote counts, every voter matters.

You can also learn more about the referendum (and ensure you are registered to vote) on the website of Elections BC: https://elections.bc.ca/referendum/

Some of our Member groups also have helpful resources about getting involved:

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has collected all their proportional representation materials in one handy webpage here: https://www.policynote.ca/pr4bc/

The BC Government and Service Employees' Union have created a petition to help spread the word: https://fairelections.bcgeu.ca/

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