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Delays slow BC government's promised poverty reduction plan, says minister

Last Updated Mar 1, 2018 at 12:29 pm PDT

Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction Shane Simpson is joined by UNBC chair Dawn Hemingway, (left), and Parliamentary Secretary and co-chair Mable Elmore as they discuss details of an advisory forum on poverty reduction during a press conference from the Rose Garden at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, October 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – There’s been a hiccup in the timing of the British Columbia government’s plans to introduce its promised poverty reduction plan.

Poverty Reduction Minister Shane Simpson announced plans last year to table legislation this spring that includes targets and timelines to cut poverty, but that has now been delayed to the fall.

Simpson says the New Democrats and the 27-member government-appointed advisory panel holding public meetings across B.C. need more time to put together the plan.

He says he decided to delay rather than rush in legislation in the coming weeks.

Last fall, Simpson said B.C. has the highest poverty rate in Canada with an estimated 678,000 people living in poverty, including 118,000 children.

The minister has said that the province is planning to introduce a pilot program that would give some residents a basic income as part of its plan to fight poverty.