Common Front for Social Justice

For Immediate Publication

Press Release

The situation is more than intolerable : more than 150,000 NB citizens make a plea for change

Fredericton, Friday December 10, 2004.

“The situation is more than ever intolerable, and it is imperative that the government reduce the dramatic poverty in our communities”, declared John Gagnon, Co-Chair of the NB Common Front for Social Justice.
We only need a quick look at the statistics to have a good picture of the situation. However, the statistics don’t say all. They cannot make us feel the misery, the dependency, and the lack of understanding in which thousands of individuals, children and families in the province of New Brunswick live. These statistics cannot help us to understand why in such a rich province, kids are going at school in the morning on an empty stomach, why families live in the cold in the wintertime because they don’t have money to pay for heat, why thousands of families have to go to food banks to feed themselves, or show how to raise a family on minimum wage.
On this International Day for Human Rights, December 10th – a delegation of the NB Common Front for Social Justice, accompanied by a group of more than 20 or more people living in poverty, delivered Social Solidarity Contracts signed by close to 10,000 individuals, and 75 organizations representing more than 150,000 people to three MLA’s from the New Brunswick Legislature ( Claude Williams from the PC, Carmelle Robichaud from the Liberal Party and Elizabeth Weir from the NDP).
According to Mary Anne LeBlanc, Co-Chair of the Common Front : “These thousands of signatures call our government for change facing poverty. These signatures come from thousands of ordinary New Brunswick citizens and many organizations who plead loud and clear at this government to listen to their demands and to take concrete and significative action to reduce poverty in New Brunswick in a major way”. These contracts request that the provincial government considerably increase the basic rates of the income assistance as well as increasing the minimum wage to levels that will at least reduce the gap with or reach the Low Income Cut-Offs (LICO)–see attached document – as defined by Statistics Canada.

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For more information, please call the Co-Chairs . Mary Anne LeBlanc – 648-6989 (W) or 633-9881 (H) or John Gagnon – 547-6061 (W) 545-0651 (Cell.) or 545-6800 (H) , or at the Common Front Office – 857-2125

 

 

Table 3 : MINIMUM WAGE INCOME PERCENTAGE OF LOW-INCOME CUT-OFFS (POVERTY LINE), 2003

Income

LICO

% of LICO

Single employable people

12 896 $

16 862 $

76 %

Single parent, one child

12 896 $

21 077 $

61 %

Couple, two children

25 792 $

31 731 $

81 %

 

Table  8: WELFARE INCOME AS PERCENTAGE OF POST INCOME TAX LOW-INCOME CUT-OFFS AND AVERAGE INCOME, 2003

Type of household

Income

LICO-IAT

% of LICO-IAT

Average income

% of average income

Single employable

3 383 $

13 558 $

25 %

23 208$

15%

Single person with a disability

6 911 $

13 558 $

51 %

23 208$

30%

Single parent, one child

13 232 $

16 544 $

80 %

29 688$

45%

Couple, two children

16 852 $

26 061 $

65 %

68 349$

25%

 

Table 9 : PROPORTION OF WELFARE INCOMES SPENT ON HOUSING FOR A COUPLE AND TWO CHILDREN

Average mensual rents 3 bedroom

Average annual rents 3 bedroom

% of income spent on housing

Bathurst

473$

5 676$

34%

Campbellton

503$

6 036$

36%

Edmundston

445$

5 340$

32%

Miramichi

539$

6 468$

39%

Moncton

616$

7 392$

44%

Dieppe

*

*

*

Bourassa, C. et Provencher, Y. (2004) Minimum Wage and Welfare Incomes in New Brunswick.How to Survive? École de travail social, U de M