Friday, November 15, 2013

Why I am supporting Jagrup Brar for BC NDP President

Jagrup Brar is a big man - with a big heart and a strong social conscience.

Jagrup Brar with Constance Barnes, left, Jean Swanson, right
I wrote the posting below back in January 2012 when Jagrup Brar was the only politician in BC to accept a challenge to live on social assistance for a month and tell British Columbians how hard that was.

I watched with growing admiration as Jagrup handled that difficult situation with dignity and respect for those who have to survive on the meagre social assistance funding not just for a month but indefinitely.

Jagrup's willingness to walk the talk, to stand up for those who need help but are often ignored by government, impressed me immensely.

And so I'm proud to endorse Jagrup Brar for BC NDP President.

Jagrup Brar with son Fateh, left, and daughter Noor, right.
But Jagrup is about much more than just fighting poverty.   

As a three-time elected MLA, Jagrup knows how provincial politics works inside and out.  

Jagrup knows how to work with a caucus and what role the party plays in supporting MLAs and the leader.

And as a sitting MLA defeated in the May provincial election, Jagrup is committed to modernizing the New Democratic Party and improving the next campaign in order to win.

I have great respect for the other declared candidate Craig Keating.

But Jagrup Brar is my choice and I know he will do an excellent job. 

ORIGINAL POSTING - January 4, 2012

The New Democrat  Member of the Legislative Assembly for Surrey-Fleetwood accepted the challenge from Raise The Rates to live on social assistance - welfare - for a month to highlight just how difficult it is for the 180,000 British Columbians who need help from government to survive but get very little.

Jagrup is walking the talk - and is the first MLA to do this since the late great Emery Barnes in 1986, when the rate was only $350 a month.

You can see and read more at the website for this challenge.

I was particularly moved to see how proud Jagrup's 12-year-old daughter Noor was in speaking to Global TV about her father's determination to do something good for those in need.

Jagrup has to get by on just $610 for a month - of which $375 is for shelter and $235 for support - but pretty obviously the shelter money isn't enough anywhere in Metro Vancouver, so the support money gets used for rent, not food, for most recipients.

Social assistance rates are never an easy issue for governments of all stripes - the current BC Liberal government has a terrible record - the worst child poverty rates in Canada for eight straight years.

But the previous NDP governments and Social Credit governments also were strongly criticized at times for their policies.

I wish Jagrup well in not only getting through one difficult month that others face every month for years, but in opening the eyes and hearts of British Columbians to find a solution that lets people in need get the help they deserve.


Anonymous said...

I am a delegate to convention. I listened to the speeches tonight of both presidential candidates. Jagrup Brar has a clear understanding of what the President's job is IMO. It didn't sound like that to me with Craig Keating as his speech was more like he was running for Leader. I wonder if anyone else felt the same?

Bill Tieleman said...

Congratulations to new BC NDP President Craig Keating - good luck in the challenging job of modernizing the party!

Anonymous said...

Was wondering during that Social exercise of Jagrup's. What happened to the monthly salary he received while supposedly living in poverty?

Was it all 100% donated without any tax receipt to a charity? Seems to me if he wanted to really live out like that, he should have directed his salary to be donated all of it without any tax receipt or any benifit.

Seemed to be more grandstanding, since he knew he would go back to his $100,000 a year salary.

and I would say good luck to Craig Keating in modernizing the party.

He's going to need it.

Vanstar said...

So, Bill, are you going to stab Keating in the back now?

You really should stop "supporting" the NDP. You've done a lot of damage, Bill. The people you support can't get elected. The NDP cannot create Utopia in opposition.

Vanstar said...

So, Bill, are you going to stab Keating in the back now?

You really should stop "supporting" the NDP. You've done a lot of damage, Bill. The people you support can't get elected. The NDP cannot create Utopia in opposition.

Anonymous said...

Guess ol' Jag needs a job since he bombed on wanting to be NDP President.

Maybe be a social worker on the DTES?

He's self taught for it.