Letters to the Editor

A month on welfare turns focus on the poor

Jagrup Brar has taken a courageous stand to accept the MLA Welfare Challenge and live on provincial income assistance rates for one month in order to discover the reality of life for social welfare recipients.

Some people in the community feel that this challenge is a joke and that living on $610 a month will not be difficult, however they are very wrong. Mr. Brar has undertaken a serious effort to show the plight of people receiving social welfare.

His actions will demonstrate a big divide between the rich and poor, and make people aware that this gap has to be minimized.

Almost 60 per cent of the South Asian community lives under the poverty line but they do not realize their predicament because we engage in practices of communal living within our large families so that we can economize living expenses. When groups of people, like a family, are able to pool their money together, they can stretch their dollars even further.

I’d like to bring the focus off of those receiving income assistance to the farm workers in our communities. It is very difficult to raise a family on farm worker wages, especially as they do not even earn minimum wage. How can farm workers sustain themselves while sending their children to higher education? They will never be able to afford it.

Many people who live under the poverty line visit India, wear very nice clothes and pretend to be well paid. However, they live and earn here – in Canada. They have to pay for their food, shelter and other miscellaneous necessities of life in Canadian dollars; not in Indian rupees. Therefore they must consider supporting this demonstration for justice. In the first week of January I will ask the community and farm workers to come out and support this event by openly asserting their plight with large placards stating 1) We Want Minimum Wage; 2) We Want Stat Holidays; and 3) We Want Overtime. Farm workers deserve these rights like any other workers in B.C. that are governed by Employment Standards.

I also implore the community to support Jagrup Brar’s Welfare Challenge. Mr. Brar’s initiative is a great platform for us to put pressure on the government to do something for poor working people.

 

Charan Gill

CEO

Progressive Intercultural Community Services

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
BCTF touts deal in email to members
 
Family issues appeal to find Crystal Ratvay of Abbotsford
 
Police search for missing Surrey teen
Rail announcement scheduled
 
Tensions mount in French port over migrant influx
 
Soaring municipal pay criticized in provincial review
$5 million benefits bill to be sent to BCTF, if no deal
 
Second World War exhibit on display until Nov. 11
 
A new peace? Six-year deal for B.C. teachers

Community Events, September 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Sep 16 edition online now. Browse the archives.