BC Residents Living in Poverty Deserve Accountability
On May 12, 2015 BCPIAC filed a complaint to the BC Ombudsperson on behalf of nine community service agencies across the province, based on evidence that some of BC’s most vulnerable people are being denied access to basic welfare services.
Fourteen Ministry offices have been closed completely since 2005, and in September 2014, 11 more offices in the North and Interior reduced their hours to only three hours per day, from 1pm to 4pm. Two offices in the Downtown Eastside are only available for drop-in appointments for two hours each day.
Call centre wait times are long, and when callers finally get through, the Ministry places limits on the length of the call. The initial application for income assistance is more than 90 screens and must be done online, with no dedicated Ministry services available to assist applicants with its completion.