Statement on Famliy Day and Helping BC Families - February 13, 2013

Mr. Randall Garrison (Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, this past Monday was the first Family Day in British Columbia. In my riding, municipalities celebrated this day with a free pancake breakfast in Langford, a family fun swim in Esquimalt, and family hockey games at the Sooke leisure complex, to name just a few.

While we welcome Family Day as a day to spend time together as families, we must now come together to do the work necessary to help those families who struggle every day to make ends meet. B.C. has the second-highest child poverty rate at 14.3%. The living wage in my riding is $18.07, but the minimum wage is still only $10.25, and the use of food banks in British Columbia is increasing twice as fast as the national average.

Fortunately there are groups like the Mustard Seed Food Bank, the Coalition to End Homelessness, and the Community Social Planning Council that are working hard to find solutions to the real challenges faced by all the diverse families in my riding, challenges in getting child care, affordable housing, food security, sustainable transportation and a living wage.

The work that these groups do will make a real difference for families in Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca in all these areas where the Conservative government is falling so short.