Tonight, the province's independent children and youth representative Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond will be addressing the British Columbia Federation of Labour's 2009 policy convention. But, in an interview with Public Eye, Ms. Turpel-Lafond stressed she'll be delivering a "bi-partisan" message to its delegates. "I'm going to put my soapbox wherever I can to talk about what I think is one of the most significant challenges at the moment for children in British Columbia - which is the poverty issue and the increasing number of children in poverty," she said, adding she's waiting to meet with the Business Council of British Columbia and the Vancouver Board of Trade.
"You may know from some of my presentations that - from September of last year to September of this year - we've had an 81 percent increase in the number of two parent families on social assistance. And I'm seeing the impact of this throughout the system," Ms. Turpel-Lafond continued.
"The issues of child poverty of enormous importance. The BC Federation of Labour is an important organization because this is their policy conference where they're going to set their policy for the year. And I'm hoping their policy will include a commitment to have a bi-partisan plan on child poverty in B.C. So it's really important for me that my soap box gets setup wherever anyone is prepared to hear about it."
Ms. Turpel-Lafond will be speaking during the convention's "Solidarity Night," which is being co-sponsored by the Working Opportunity Fund. The documentary Poor No More is also scheduled to be shown this evening.