Raise the Rates has launched a new campaign for October 2012 – the Welfare Food Challenge! Anyone can participate in this Challenge to live on only the food they can purchase for $26 for a week. Find out more about it at www.welfarefoodchallenge.org.
Raise the Rates, organizers of the MLA Welfare Challenge, will continue to raise public awareness and advocate for public policy changes, including increasing welfare rates. Please consider making a donation to support this work.
Check out our new Take Action page
News release: Will poorest people benefit from provincial budget?
News release: “Welfare Challenge” group challenges BC to match Alberta’s disability rates
Jagrup’s latest blog posts
Tuesday, February 1, after a last night ‘couch surfing’ in Surrey, Jagrup Brar ended his month of living on the welfare rate of $610. He lost 26 pounds in weight, ended up $7 in debt and had to sell his backpack to have enough money to take the Skytrain back to Surrey.
Raise the Rates thanks Jagrup Brar for his courage and commitment to spending a month in poverty. Keep visiting this website for more updates from Jagrup and campaign information from Raise the Rates.
As Jagrup Brar has said many times, BC is a wealthy province and we can do better. We expect the politicians of BC to act to end the suffering of the 500,000 in poverty due to low wages and inadequate welfare rates.
10 reasons to raise welfare, voted on by people in the DTES of Vancouver:
- We wouldn’t have to rely on food banks and lines.
- So families won’t have their children apprehended.
- The cheque doesn’t take you all the way through the month.
- We have no shower, no washroom, you have to share with everyone on the floor; you want to quit drugs or alcohol, you can’t in this condition.
- Wouldn’t have to do risky things to survive.
- Can’t get enough food.
- Self worth and confidence.
- It would help avoid crises.
- Can’t buy clothes or anything.
- No personal life as a result (of low welfare rates).
The MLA Welfare Challenge was issued in 2011 by Raise the Rates, a coalition of community groups and organizations concerned with the level of poverty and homelessness in British Columbia. The purpose of the Challenge is to highlight the depth of poverty which 500,000 people across BC have to endure.
Jagrup Brar, MLA for Surrey-Fleetwood accepted the Challenge to live on $610 for the month of January. He is spending half the month in Surrey and half in Vancouver. While his experiences are not the same as people on living on welfare as he was in good mental and physical health when he started and he knows it will end after a month, none the less he will live on $610 and discover how little money that is. He is also meeting many other people on welfare and in poverty and learning of their experiences.
On the website you’ll find Jagrup Brar’s blog, facts and information about welfare and poverty in BC, a blog by a Downtown Eastside resident about Jagrup’s experiences, as well as some videos and links to media coverage.
We invite you to explore the website, share it with friends and contribute yourself.
Jagrup Brar accepts the MLA Welfare Challenge: