#PinkShirtDay2019: a time to reflect on how we treat those living in poverty

On #PinkShirtDay2019, BCAHL’s Op-Ed piece on Basic Income was published in the Vancouver Sun.  It’s fitting that it was printed on a day dedicated to kindness and awareness around the stigmatization of bullying as those who live in poverty face many levels of stigmatization – from institutional to individual.

BCAHL is concerned not only about the health effects of stigmatization but also about the health inequities that are at the root of the problem. Lack of income and poverty are ground zero.

Ryan Meili and Danielle Martin speak about income in their essay The Health Case for Basic Income, by saying that “income is often referred to as the ‘determinants of determinants’ because it influences access to other essentials for good health,”[i] such as safe and secure housing, healthy neighbourhoods, access to nutritious food, and education.

The good news is as with most chronic disease risk factors, poverty and lack of income are ones that can be modified.

Right now the Expert Committee on Basic Income is studying the feasibility of one possible poverty-alleviating tool: whether implementing a Basic Income pilot in BC would work.  You can submit your thoughts until March 15th.

Poverty is a complicated, systematic problem that requires a systematic-approach and the courage of decision makers to take the bold steps we need to move in the right direction. Like the courage of the two students who stood up to bullying and began #PinkShirtDay.

You can read our piece in the Sun here.

[i] Ryan Meili and Danielle Martin, The health case for a basic income, in Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Basic Income: Rethinking Social Policy; edited by Alex Himelfarb and Trish Hennessy. October 2016. Page 16.

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