Liberal MLA's bill calls for staggered welfare cheques

North Vancouver-Seymour MLA Jane Thornthwaite is calling on the province to begin spreading out welfare payments in the interest of saving lives.

Thornthwaite, who is the B.C. Liberals’ Opposition critic for mental health and addictions, introduced a private members’ bill in the legislature Wednesday that would see social assistance payments staggered, rather than delivered monthly.

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Studies have found overdoses spike following “welfare Wednesdays.”

“We need more concrete action on the prevention, treatment and recovery options in mental health and addictions in order to turn the tide on the number of deaths that continue to occur in British Columbia,” she said. “Changing the distribution of the cheques would help reduce the strain on overdose services and is a step in the right direction in fighting against the opioid crisis.”

Like most private members’ bills, Thornthwaite’s was not taken up by the house for debate and will not advance any further.

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