Stan Hagen, the BC Liberals’ Minister of Human Resources, was chased out of the Downtown Eastside today by the APC Welcoming Committee, made up of residents and supporters. Shouts of ‘STAN GO HOME!!!’ and ‘SHAME!’ filled the streets as the crowd which surrounded Hagen as he left the First United Church chased him into a cab with his tail between his legs. The police presence was no deterrent for the angry crowd whose power could be seen in their faces and felt in the volume of their chants.
This is truly a victory for all! The message to Hagen and all other Liberals today was clear – YOU ARE NOT WELCOME IN THE DTES!!! Under NO circumstances will there be peace for any Liberal who deigns to step foot in the neighbourhood that has become notorious for the poverty they have created. We will not stand by as the thugs who are killing our brothers and sisters try and walk on our streets!
The Liberals are cowards who wage their attacks from behind desks and closed doors. We will not do them the same courtesy: we will fight them tooth and nail face to face! We promise to continue our fight against the BC Liberals wherever and whenever they show up!
United We Will Win!
For more information on on-going campaigns against the BC Liberals, including organizing against Lorne Mayencourt’s Safe Streets Act, visit apc.resist.ca, e-mail email@example.com or call 604-682-2726.
Poor face more government cuts
WebPosted Mar 31 2004 09:15 AM PST
VANCOUVER - Social activists are calling April 1 a symbolic milestone for B.C. – as the B.C. Liberals' two-year welfare time limit officially takes effect.
The beginning of the new fiscal year also marks the end to funding for women's centres – and the start of new cuts to child and youth programs.
Community groups and critics of the Campbell government had warned that thousands of British Columbians would be cut off welfare.
But now that's not going to happen, due to government exemptions to the welfare time-limit.
But activists warn the two-year welfare time limit could still have a devastating impact on British Columbia.
David Cunningham of the Anti-Poverty Committee says the number of people who lose their welfare benefits and end up on the streets will increase in the weeks and months to come.
"With the welfare cuts, with the women's centres closing, with children's homes closing, there's nowhere for poor people to turn.
"This is another burning hoop that we're forced to jump through, but unfortunately the hoop's getting smaller and smaller."
Michelle Dodds, who works at the North Shore Women';s Centre agrees with Cunningham.
She says the closure of women's centres, coupled with cuts to income assistance and youth programs will hit women and children hardest.
"What we're going to see is more and more desperation, hopelessness, illness," she says. "All the corresponding situations that happen when people are pushed into poverty."
BC Welfare Legislation Remains Oppressive to the Poor
The Active Community Presence Committee of Stop the Welfare Cuts Coalition urges British Columbians not to be fooled by the recent Liberal government’s addition of an exemption to the Two Year Time Limit cut off.
As Benita Bunjun from Vancouver Status of Women notes,: “Let us not forget that as of April 2002 the Liberal government of BC introduced wide-ranging regressive changes to income assistance, affecting approximately 150,000 British Columbians.”Such changes are designed to enable a cut of $581 million, approximately one-third of the Ministry of Human resources operating budget over the next three years (Klein and Long 2003). These changes occurred and are still occurring at the same time as intense restructuring of almost all other government services, including health education, labour, and the environment.
“The reality is that BC’s current Employment and Income Assistance Act and Regulations continue to be detrimental to the lives of people on income assistance,” says Megan Oleson of the Anti-Poverty Committee. Since April 2002, the BC Liberal government has attacked poor, women and the marginalized by implementing the following welfare changes:
Restructuring of Disability Benefits – complete overhaul via assessment review for every person on Disability Benefits.
Cuts to rates and benefits – welfare benefit rates for employable single parents have been cut by $51 a month (BCCEDAW, 2003) and support allowances for single “employable welfare recipients between the ages of 55 and 64 have been cut by between $47 and $98 per month, while couples in this age group have lost up to $144 per month (Klein and Long; BCCEDAW, 2003)
Two year time limit cuts and reduction –Starting April 1, 2002, single and couples without children classified as “employable” by the Ministry of Human Resources will only be entitled to receive benefits for two out of every five years.In addition, after the two year time limit, benefits for single parents and two parents families will be reduced by $100 and $200 per month respectively.
Targeting single moms – single parents categorized as “employable” are expected to work as soon as their youngest child turn three.
Two year independence rule – Applicants age 19 over are required to demonstrate that they have been financially independent for two consecutive years before they are eligible to apply for income assistance.
Active Community Presence mobilizes all communities to fight welfare cuts.Join us on Monday Feb 23 at across the province we will be organizing and participating in a Day of Action. We are inviting groups and individuals to adopt a welfare office, and to rally and show their fight back to cuts to welfare, across the city.
For Information and an Organizing Tool Kit,contact the Anti-Poverty Committee at 604-682-2726
Welfare Campaign: Welfare is a Right
The Anti-Poverty Committee is taking our power from the streets into the welfare offices. The Liberals remain dead-set on their April 1st deadline for welfare recipients receiving assistance; therefore, we believe it is an absolute necessity for ourselves and all others to escalate our campaign to ensure welfare is a right for all!
By constantly participating in coalition building we have helped bring together a group representing dozens of organizations fighting back! We know that united we stand but we must be diverse to advance.
The welfare coalition is made up of groups that struggle for the rights of women, indigenous sovereignty, queer liberation, labour issues, the dignity of people in poverty and all other aspects that lead the people’s movement to destroy this government!
We will begin fighting as a united front by taking back the welfare offices in our communities. We are coordinating “active community presences” to take a welfare office for a set amount of time. The actions will be synchronized across the Lower Mainland but each office will have a different strategy, varying between occupations, advocacy and leafleting.
By continuing our work on ground zero and within the offices, we believe the people on the streets will be empowered and the bureaucracies will no longer be able to hide.
APC is...The Anti-Poverty Committee is an organization of poor and working people, who fight for poor people, their rights and an end to poverty by any means necessary.
The poor face constant attack under the capitalist system and these attacks have only intensified under the BC Liberal government. APC is committed to fighting the brutal policies of the BC Liberals through direct action, mass mobilization, and casework.
We oppose racism, sexism, homophobia, and all other forms of oppression. APC is an independent and democratic organization open to anyone who agrees with our basis of unity. We are committed to working in solidarity with the struggles of other progressive movements — locally, nationally, and internationally — to end poverty and injustice.