It’s BC budget consultation season once again. To provide input to BC’s Select Standing Committee on Finance, please go to this link. The deadline for all input is Monday, October 15, 2018 at 5:00 p.m
This year, I’m submitting the following:
To the BC Select Standing Committee on Finance,
I appreciate the opportunity to provide input on the spending priorities for the 2019 BC budget. I am mostly concerned about the connection between education and poverty. Our provincial anti-poverty strategy must include seamless and free access to provincially articulated Adult Basic Education (ABE) courses. I applaud the removal of tuition fees for ABE. However, in Vancouver, did you know that ABE students are still responsible for up to $600/year for college fees and the UPass? The province’s Adult Upgrading Grant, which is supposed to cover this, is based on Canada Student Loan guidelines and serves to screen out many of the very students it is meant to support. For example, women must get their husbands to fill out the form in order to qualify! Likewise, adult youth must get parental approval. If BC is serious about an anti-poverty strategy, we must continue to remove the barriers adult students face in accessing ABE courses.
Another area we mustn’t forget is childcare. While I don’t rely on childcare myself anymore, I made a personal promise that I would continue to speak out for universal childcare until it was realized. It is also closely linked to education and parental access to Adult Basic Education. Above all, it is an integral part of a rigorous anti-poverty strategy.
I look forward to seeing the BC government move forward on these foundational budget items.