B.C. Federation of Labour calls for better jobs, poverty reduction

By Bill O'Donovan
May 14, 2016 - 11:30am Updated: May 15, 2016 - 11:53pm

KAMLOOPS — The provincial election is just under a year away, and the B.C. Federation of Labour is drawing up its list of priorities under the heading 'Good Jobs' as it looks ahead to May 2017.

Friday's Session focused on jobs and the provincial economy. Federation members say they are worried about the precarious nature of the jobs, such as temporary and part-time positions. 

While B.C. leads the country in job growth, president of the B.C. Federation of Labour, Irene Lanzinger argues the majority are not high paying, permanent positions. 

"The vast majority of those jobs have been temporary, part-time, casual jobs, and low wage jobs," Lanzinger said. "In fact, 74 per cent of jobs in B.C. have been in that category as opposed to 35 per cent nation wide, so those jobs have not been good jobs."

On Saturday, those attending the regional conference in Kamloops will turn their attention to political action and next year's provincial election. 

Lanzinger said despite B.C. leading the country in economic growth it has the highest rate of child poverty in the country and is the only province without a strategic plan to deal with poverty. 

"That's why we're calling for both a $15 minimum wage to lift hundreds of thousands of workers out of poverty, but also a poverty reduction plan," she said. 

"We're the only province in the country without a poverty reduction plan. That would include a better minimum wage, higher social assistance rates, and something to do with housing. Housing is a huge issue in this province and the Liberals should be doing something about it."

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