Immediate Release:
May 17, 2010

Tonight, at the Vancouver Board of Education (VBE) meeting, COPE trustee
Jane Bouey will move a motion as Chair of the Education and Student
Services Committee formally asking the board to sign onto the BC Poverty
Reduction Strategy.

The strategy is part of a campaign asking
the provincial government to commit to a poverty reduction plan with
measurable targets and timelines. The motion also calls to circulate the
letter provincially asking other
districts to sign on. Bouey arranged for the campaign to present to the
committee last week, where they were very supportive.

According
to Bouey, “it is absolutely shameful that BC has the highest child
poverty rates in Canada for 6 years in a row. There is nothing
inevitable about poverty and homelessness in a society as wealthy as
ours.”

According to the letter addressed to the provincial
government, “in this current climate of global economic downturn and
uncertainty, a bold poverty reduction plan also makes good economic
sense. Low-income families spend all the money they have, and do so in
our local communities. “

Bouey also notes, “Poverty is one of the
leading factors putting children at risk of poor school performance or
leaving school early. This letter asks the provincial government to
follow the lead of other provinces which have adopted provincial poverty
reduction plans. Our children deserve the same
commitment.”

COPE has been a signatory to the initial
letter calling for a BC plan since 2009. More information about the
campaign can be found at www.bcpovertyreduction.ca.

COPE trustees call on Vancouver Board of Education to be first school board to sign onto Poverty Reduction Strategy