Kelowna City Hall. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

Kelowna City Hall. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

Kelowna council advocates for increased provincial social assistance payments

Coun. Loyal Wooldridge tabled the motion, says many people on those payments live below the poverty line

At the request of a Kelowna resident on disability assistance, city council will tender a rare ask to the provincial government.

A motion tabled by Coun. Loyal Wooldridge will see the city send letters to provincial ministries supporting the increase of social assistance payments and that the $300 COVID-19 supplement to those payments is made permanent. The city will send the letters to the ministers of Finance, Social Development & Poverty Reduction, Housing, and Children & Family Development.

Wooldridge drafted the motion after a Kelowna woman who relies on those programs reached out to him, noting the remarkable difference the $300 ‘top up’ made in her life.

With disability and income assistance rates stagnant, Wooldridge says many people on those supplements live below the poverty line.

“Given that the provincial budget is underway, time is really of the essence,” Wooldridge said.

READ MORE: Targeted cash, social supports would be more effective than basic income: UBC panel

While council passed the motion with a 6-3 vote, not all are happy with the approach. Mayor Colin Basran, Coun. Brad Sieben and Coun. Gail Given opposed the motion, and even supporting councillors took note of the unusual process. Many suggested that the proper means for the request would be for residents to contact local MLAs or the ministries involved themselves.

“I’m very concerned we are opening the door to many, many more resolutions coming forward because there are a lot of very worthy causes out there that aren’t the decision of our municipal council,” said Coun. Given, suggesting lobbying higher levels of government should come via the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM).

Mayor Basran said he’s unsure that a letter from a single municipality would carry much weight but said he’d support a motion, alongside other municipalities, through a UBCM resolution. Ultimately, Basran voted against the motion, taking issue with making a budgetary ask of the province without knowing what the cost is.

“I really have no idea how I’m supposed to do that,” Basran said. “To say, ‘Hey provincial government, add this to your budget, but, by the way, I have no idea what it costs.’ That, to me, is very concerning.”

Despite his opposition, Mayor Basran will be the one who pens the letters.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com


@michaelrdrguez
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC politicsbudgetCity of KelownaDisability

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry wears shoes designed in her honour, as she views her image at the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on July 3, 2020. (Darryl Dyck - The Canadian Press)
Celebrating Vernon women in leadership this International Women’s Day

Pandemic highlights women excelling in critical response roles

Mya Kondor, owner and trainer of Canines and Co. in Kelowna. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
VIDEO: Kelowna dog school offers puppy socialization classes amid COVID-19

Canines and Co. has adapted to the pandemic to provide training essential to puppies’ development

Providing seniors with tablets in order to stay connected is just one of the services offered by the Lake Country Health Planning Society. (Literacy Alliance of the Shuswap Society photo)
Support helps Lake Country society reduce COVID impacts on mental health

District grants funding to Health Planning Society

Elementary students from Vernon Christian School are looking to spread some cheer through their Carnation for Seniors campaign. (VCS - Contributed)
Vernon students spread cheer through carnations

Vernon Christian School hosting carnation campaign to bring joy to seniors in town

Butter and sourdough bread is shown at a house in Vernon, B.C. on Wednesday, February 24, 2021. A Quebec dairy farmers’ group is calling on milk producers to stop feeding palm oil or its derivatives to livestock as controversy churns over how these supplements affect the consistency of butter. (THE CANADIAN PRESS - Jesse Johnston)
Poll: Care to spread your feelings on butter?

Reports of hard butter have rattled the Canadian dairy industry

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Kara Sorensen, diagnosed with lung cancer in July, says it’s important for people to view her as healthy and vibrant, rather than sick. (Photo courtesy of Karen Sorensen)
B.C. woman must seek treatment overseas for inoperable lung cancer

Fundraising page launched on Karen Sorensen’s behalf, with a goal of $250,000

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

Arrow Lakes Caribou Society said the new caribou pen near the Nakusp Hotsprings is close to completion. (Submitted)
Maternity caribou pen near Nakusp inches closer to fruition

While Nakusp recently approved the project’s lease, caribou captures are delayed due to COVID-19

Most Read