Kelowna City Hall. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

Kelowna City Hall. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

Kelowna council advocates for increased provincial social assistance payments

Coun. Loyal Wooldridge tabled the motion, says many people on those payments live below the poverty line

At the request of a Kelowna resident on disability assistance, city council will tender a rare ask to the provincial government.

A motion tabled by Coun. Loyal Wooldridge will see the city send letters to provincial ministries supporting the increase of social assistance payments and that the $300 COVID-19 supplement to those payments is made permanent. The city will send the letters to the ministers of Finance, Social Development & Poverty Reduction, Housing, and Children & Family Development.

Wooldridge drafted the motion after a Kelowna woman who relies on those programs reached out to him, noting the remarkable difference the $300 ‘top up’ made in her life.

With disability and income assistance rates stagnant, Wooldridge says many people on those supplements live below the poverty line.

“Given that the provincial budget is underway, time is really of the essence,” Wooldridge said.

READ MORE: Targeted cash, social supports would be more effective than basic income: UBC panel

While council passed the motion with a 6-3 vote, not all are happy with the approach. Mayor Colin Basran, Coun. Brad Sieben and Coun. Gail Given opposed the motion, and even supporting councillors took note of the unusual process. Many suggested that the proper means for the request would be for residents to contact local MLAs or the ministries involved themselves.

“I’m very concerned we are opening the door to many, many more resolutions coming forward because there are a lot of very worthy causes out there that aren’t the decision of our municipal council,” said Coun. Given, suggesting lobbying higher levels of government should come via the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM).

Mayor Basran said he’s unsure that a letter from a single municipality would carry much weight but said he’d support a motion, alongside other municipalities, through a UBCM resolution. Ultimately, Basran voted against the motion, taking issue with making a budgetary ask of the province without knowing what the cost is.

“I really have no idea how I’m supposed to do that,” Basran said. “To say, ‘Hey provincial government, add this to your budget, but, by the way, I have no idea what it costs.’ That, to me, is very concerning.”

Despite his opposition, Mayor Basran will be the one who pens the letters.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com


@michaelrdrguez
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC politicsbudgetCity of KelownaDisability

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Cowichan Capitals traded defenceman Clark Webster to his hometown Summerside Western Capitals. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Hopeful Cowichan Capitals make flurry of deadline deals

Roster bolstered in case BCHL season gets go-ahead

Neurologist and medical educator Dr. Alexandre Henri-Bhargava, seen here speaking at the 2020 Breakfast to Remember in Victoria, will delve into the latest in dementia research during an interactive research event exclusively for attendees of this year’s virtual Breakfast. Access to the March 10 research event is included with the purchase of a Breakfast to Remember ticket. (Kevin Light Photography)
Blast off with Chris Hadfield at Alzheimer Society’s Breakfast to Remember in March

The Society hopes people in all corners of the province will make the most of this opportunity

The City of Duncan will implement a new pilot project targeting vandalism this spring. (File photo)
Duncan initiates pilot project to deal with graffiti

Project based on a successful one in Port Alberni

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

This was the scene outside North Saanich’s Parkland Secondary School after an attempted but unsuccessful break-and-enter into the school torched an ATM inside of it. Sidney/North Saanich RCMP did not make any arrests and currently lack suspects as the investigation continues. Members of the public who may have witnessed something or possess other information can contact police at (250) 656-3931 or to Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. (Submitted)
Money to burn: burglars torch North Saanich high school ATM

Police dogs searched the exterior and interior of the school after early morning break-and-enter

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Federal panel recommends 4-month gap between COVID vaccine doses due to limited supply

The recommendation applies to all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada

t
Province invests $2M in three Vancouver Island food hubs

Hub network provides shared-use processing facilities to small agri-businesses

Most Read