New group fights poverty
It all started with a big sign and brief encounter with Premier Christy Clark.
Teal Quin, a Kamloops resident, has struggled get by on social assistance, but was perturbed to read about government officials drawing huge salaries.
So, when the premier visited Kamloops in July, Quin decided to show up at a private function to see Clark.
She wanted the premier to know just how difficult it is for the many people who rely on government assistance.
But, the results didn’t really satisfy Quin, so she came up with the idea of forming her own group and staging a rally to bring attention to what she calls “legislated poverty.”
The fledgling group is called Legislated Into Poverty Society (LIPS) and the march is being called the Rally for Legislated Poverty Awareness.
The Sept. 30 rally will begin at city hall at 11 a.m. and move to the Ministry of Social Development office at 300-619 Victoria St.
Quin, who is unable to work due to several ailments, has started a petition asking the provincial government to raise monthly income-assistance rates.
Quin noted the group has about 150 people on its rally list and another 400 people have signed the petition.
More than a dozen local businesses and social agencies have also helped the group get the rally off the ground.
What makes this group unique, Quin said, is that it’s led by people who are on social assistance.
“None of us have a reason to do this, other than we’re on assistance and we’re facing these challenges day in and day out,” she told KTW.
Under current social-assistant rates, a single person gets $375 for housing accommodations and $235 for a living allowance.
Quin argued the amount is too low and often forces people to choose between food and shelter.
Following the rally, she hopes people in other communities around B.C. will follow her lead and start sister chapters of LIPS.
“That’s where the change is going to come, it’s going to come if it’s driven by the people for the people,” she said.
For more information, a Facebook page has been set up at www.facebook.com/pages/Rally-Legislated-Poverty-Awareness-Kamloops/203389719720689 Rally Legislated Poverty.