Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

Jobless BC welfare recipents climb 42 percent in a year

There were 42 percent more cases in the “expected to work” category receiving provincial welfare payments in February 2009 than there had been a year earlier.

The figure is included in a March 31 report posted on British Columbia's housing and social development ministry's website.

Overall the ministry's caseload increased by 12 percent from the previous year, with most of the gains in temporary assistance. The expected to work category climbed from 21,372 cases in February 2008 to 30,357.

The province's welfare caseload dropped starting in the mid-1990s, most dramatically after the B.C. Liberal government introduced new eligibility requirements in 2002. It has been climbing since 2006.

Documents obtained through a freedom of information request show that between 2006 and 2008 the expected to work category climbed by 35.2 percent in the Fraser region, 33.7 percent in the Interior, 32.5 percent in Vancouver Coastal, 23.8 percent in the North and 19.6 percent on Vancouver Island.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus