Pandemic Response, Resilience and Equity Response, Resilience and Equity,

Local governments are on the front lines of the pandemic response.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed many of the areas where our region is most vulnerable, and made clear the social inequities that must be addressed to ensure long-term livability and resilience. Crises always affect equity-seeking residents more intensely – more must be done to ensure that people can access the support services they need and that all residents may benefit from B.C.’s economic recovery – a recovery that advances economic, environmental and societal objectives.

The Metro Vancouver Economic Prosperity Service is working to attract strategic investment that will create better well-paying jobs, address the income and affordability gap to promote shared prosperity. Learn more

Hear from Chair Dhaliwal about regional priorities, aspirations and inspirations in the first episode of Chat with the Chair

The Metro Vancouver Economic Prosperity Service is working to attract strategic investment that will create better well-paying jobs, address the income and affordability gap to promote shared prosperity.

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How does your party intend to support the health and well-being of B.C.’s equity-seeking residents going forward?

  • BC NDP

    As part of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have paid particular attention to the disproportionate impact on vulnerable populations. As just one example, we have been appreciative of the partnership offered by local governments in this, as we together worked to identify nearly 3,000 people experiencing homelessness, affected by visitor restrictions or shelter capacity reductions.

    As we move forward in recovery, we will continue to work to ensure that our recovery reaches everyone. Whether that is through expanding the Tuition Waiver for former youth in care, to ensure more of them are able to access post-secondary education, or through ensuring that whenever possible the infrastructure projects we fund through our Recovery Investment Fund are delivered through Community Benefit Agreements, to ensure that under-represented groups have opportunities for new jobs in the trades, we will work to ensure that the opportunities we create are available to those most in need of them.

Will your party commit to applying an equity lens for planning and funding decisions?

  • BC NDP

    Yes. Policy, legislation, programs and services have different impacts on different segments of B.C.’s population. To ensure government policies, programs and services are working for all British Columbians, we must understand the different ways that different people experience the world. That is why in our first term, our BC NDP government adopted GBA+ (Gender-based Analysis Plus) guidelines. GBA+ informs all stages of the development, implementation and evaluation processes, including issue identification, research and analysis, consultation, options development and decision-making. Should we form the next government, we will continue to use our GBA+ guidelines.

How will your party provide additional wraparound services, including resources for in-house, outreach, addictions and mental health programs?

  • BC NDP

    Before the pandemic, our efforts to tackle the opioid crisis were making a difference, and we saw the first drop in the rate of overdose deaths since 2012. We had a lot more to do, but things were heading in the right direction. When COVID-19 hit, and the crisis escalated, we responded across the full continuum of care – opening two new treatment facilities and doubling youth treatment beds, increasing overdose prevention services, providing more outreach teams, and giving people greater access to prescription medication alternatives. We are also currently implementing 6 new Assertive Community Treatment teams in communities to provide care for people with severe mental health challenges, and help reduce interactions with police.

    A re-elected BC NDP government will move quickly to accelerate B.C.’s response across the full continuum of care, including:

    • Building new treatment, recovery, detox and after-care facilities across the province – 800 new treatment beds, for a 30% increase in beds when combined with our existing investments to double youth beds;
    • Expanding the range of supportive housing for people who need it by:
      • Continuing to build on the success of the 2,800 supportive homes built so far, in communities across the province;
      • Developing new Complex Care housing facilities to provide an increased level of support – including more access to nurses and psychiatrists – for BC’s most vulnerable who need even more intensive care than supportive housing provides; and
      • Funding new rental supplements to help those who have stabilized in supportive housing and are ready to move into the private rental market, creating space in existing supportive housing to help more people experiencing homelessness who need the on-site supports.
    • Investing in the supports needed to address the impacts of this crisis in our communities:
      • New funding for more mental health and community social service workers to ensure there are more frontline workers to respond to needs in communities, and take pressure off police so they can focus on serious crime;
      • Providing $100M in grants for local governments which will help support them in responding to community concerns around street disorder and community safety; and
    • Continuing our work to help prescribers separate more people from the toxic drug supply through safe prescription alternatives.

    There is more work to do to tackle these challenges and get more people the treatment and healthcare they need. The BC NDP is committed to continuing that work in partnership with communities.