Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps and Canadian Minister of Middle-Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance Mona Fortier met on Wednesday to discuss quality of life and well-being in the community. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)

Minister on middle-class discusses quality of life, affordability with Victoria mayor

Victoria stop part of minister’s quality of life tour

Canada’s first minister of middle-class prosperity made a stop in Victoria on Wednesday and discussed quality of life and affordability with Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps.

After meeting with B.C. Finance Minister Carole James, Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Finance Minister Mona Fortier participated in a round table discussion with Helps and other community stakeholders to hear their thoughts and concerns about quality of life and well-being in the region.

Helps said affordable housing, lack of child care spaces and the doctor shortage were some of the issues brought up during the meeting and said they all have an impact on the workforce as well.

READ ALSO: ‘We need to do more,’: Minister on middle-class squeeze in Vernon

“We’ve got the lowest unemployment rate in the country right now, which on the face of it is very positive, but businesses are limited in expanding or starting new lines of business because they can’t find employees,” Helps said. “Employees can’t find affordable housing.”

Fortier said building on the Canada child benefit – which brings $47 million into the region annually – the ministry is asking what else can be done to help families make ends meet.

Victoria has solutions to these issues, Helps noted, it just needs federal partners who can invest in them without many strings attached. Prevention programs, particularly with youth, are also needed according to Fortier.

Fortier said having a strong middle-class will help grow the economy so finding ways to reduce inequalities is a must.

READ ALSO: Minister kicks off quality of life tour in Kelowna

Fortier’s stop in Victoria is part of her quality of life tour – a tour with the purpose of better understanding of what quality of life priorities are in different communities.

She also stopped in Kelowna, Vernon and Surrey and will be headed to Vancouver.

Fortier said four themes discussed during pre-budget 2020 consultations were strengthening the middle class, climate change, relationships with Indigenous peoples and keeping Canadians safe and healthy. She said it was heard “loud and clear” that the government needs to focus on its middle class, but was unable to speculate how investments into this issue will affect the 2020 federal budget.

“We know we still have work to do,” Fortier said. “That’s why we had that conversation today, to focus on what else we should be addressing.”

shalu.mehta@blackpress.ca


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Immunocompromised people looking for more online grocery options

One woman has decided to build a greenhouse to ensure she is able to access food throughout pandemic

COVID-19: Coping with isolation, stress and anxiety

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health shares useful information on coping with pandemic

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

Nanaimo’s Harmac mill works to fill doubled pulp order for medical masks and gowns

Mill’s president says extra cleaning in place and workers are social distancing

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

No more ferries will sail from Departure Bay during COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. Ferries announces major changes to sailing schedules starting Saturday, April 4

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at federal prison in B.C.; other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, refusal to work notice sent, says correctional officer

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

‘Small python’ found in vacant Cook Street apartment

Snake taken to CRD Animal Shelter to be claimed

Most Read